GREENVILLE — Following in his father’s steps, a Greenville senior wants to make a career of serving the country following graduation on Sunday.
Greenville High School senior Levi Helms, the son of Michael and Lisa Helms, has been accepted into the U.S. Air Force Academy as part of the class of 2017.
“It’s thrilling,” Helms said.
According to his acceptance letter from the Department of the Air Force in Colorado, Helms will join a selected group of the nation’s finest young people as he takes a step toward becoming an U.S. Air Force officer.
Helms was one of 1,200 of 12,000 applicants selected to be in the academy, which, according to the letter, is equivalent to a scholarship valued at $414,000.
Helms described the application process as difficult, with a number of application rounds and pre-candidate questionnaires he had to fill out. He also obtained a nomination from U.S. Rep. Justin Amash as part of the application process.
During the Amash’s Academy Recognition Ceremony, Amash gave high praises to Helms.
“Helms is eager to attend the Air Force Academy because he understands the need for strong leaders in our nation’s military of the future,” said Amash, noting Helms shows leadership in school, through sports and at church. “He appreciates the extremely competitive academic environment offered by the academy, along with the opportunity the school provides to serve his country on a daily basis.”
Helms’ father spent 20 years in the Air Force and Helms used to live in Colorado right next to the academy for many years. He hopes to also make a career of the Air Force and one day to possibly become a pilot.
“Being in the academy will provide me with many diverse opportunities,” Helms said.
During the academy recognition ceremony, Amash read a quote from Helms’ football coach David Moore.
“I know Levi will be a great leader who will be able to take orders and make tough decisions,” Moore stated. “You will be choosing a person of integrity and commitment by selecting him for admission to the academy.”
Helms said he is “excited” about the future he has with the U.S. Air Force Academy.
“I hope it makes me a better person,” Helms said. “I look forward to serving the country.”
The Greenville High School graduation ceremony will be 3 p.m. Sunday.