Francisco Cebreros is going to be an Army man.
Unless Navy comes calling in the next few weeks.
On Friday the Manteca High School Senior announced that he had been accepted at the United States Military Academy at West Point – news that he had been patiently waiting for since he went before an interview panel for Congressman Jeff Denham to earn his congressional recommendation months ago.
“It was breathtaking opening that letter, and a little bit scary at the same time,” Cebreros said. “This is something that was my biggest dream since I was only 3 years old – I’ve always wanted to attend a service academy and lead soldiers into battle.
“I love my country, and I feel that it’s my duty to serve.”
And West Point might not be his only option.
Cebreros, who also applied to the United States Naval Academy in Maryland, will have a tough decision on his hands if the Navy – of which his father served as an enlisted sailor – accepts him to their academy. It’s the only one of the two that he has actually visited, but either one that he chooses, he plans on focusing on the same careers – either intelligence, explosive ordinance disposal or special operations.
But now that he’s mentally preparing himself for a future in the armed services and a top-flight education, Cebreros said he can’t help but be proud of all of the things that he to do in order to get himself into this position.
On one hand he’s sitting with a 4.25 grade point average, and has been active in many activities on campus – he played left guard for the football team, served as the President for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, was involved in the fit club and served on the school’s Link Crew to welcome freshman to the campus.
He’s been involved with the AP Pathways program since his freshman year, and says that he’s happy with being able to be a part of the Manteca High School family.
“I love Manteca High because it’s just a family here on campus – it’s got friends and I’ve got brothers here and it’s great,” Cebreros said. “And we have an amazing administration that works hard to make sure that students have what they need to succeed.
“I wasn’t one of those people where my grades came naturally to me – I actually had to work hard to get where I am today and I think that being here at Manteca High with the support that we have was a big part of that.”
Cebreros will have one month from the date of graduation until he leaves for the academy – and two weeks of those will be dedicated to his work with the FFA and another will be his senior trip to Hawaii.
After that he ships off to a 6-week boot camp and then to school in West Point, New York.
“I had a little tear when he opened that letter but then I had to hold it back,” said father Francisco Cebreros. “I’m proud of him – it’s good that he’s going this route because you can further your career in the military better as an officer. It opens up a lot more doors for you.
“And the hard work really does pay off.”