Naval academy and high school team up to learn from each other
It’s the kind of morning ritual you might expect from a military academy. Students at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark begin each day with arms on shoulders, united as leaders. That mentality is strengthened thanks to a unique partnership that started in 2007 between the school and the U.S. Naval Academy.
“I graduated from here in 2017, so it’s my way of giving back because this community did a lot for me,” said Joseph Carmona, U.S. Naval Academy midshipman 3rd class.
Carmona is one of about a dozen U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen interning at St. Benedict’s for a monthlong leadership training program pushing the high school students to strive for a life beyond the Newark school walls, and providing the Naval Academy students with skills they’ll take into service and careers.
“It’s taught me a lot as far as leadership, and learning, getting to know the kids here. Growing up from Kentucky, it’s different, so it’s cool to see how different walks of life can all come together and achieve a goal,” said Brittany Bongiovanni, midshipman 1st class.
“I think it’s a motivation for our guys. It’s proven that way. We’ll have five this year in the brigade of midshipmen in the Naval Academy, five of our alums,” said St. Benedict’s headmaster Fr. Edwin Leahy.