While the Class of 2020 concluded their chapter with Northshore School District and now begins their next journey to college, career or gap years, one graduate, Woodinville’s Kai Cavan, plans to enter the United States Air Force Academy and begins boot camp this week. He was one of approximately 1,100 students selected for the Academy from the more than 10,000 who applied this year. This is a prestigious honor, as students who seek to be cadets must first obtain a nomination from at least one of the following categories: Congressional, Vice Presidential, Military-affiliated, U.S. Territory and International.
“The Air Force Academy’s opportunities and structure are undeniable and have contributed to my desire to seek a nomination,” said Cavan. “One of my main goals in life is to achieve a rigorous education, and with the opportunity to serve, the Air Force Academy is the best path to meeting this goal. After graduating from the Air Force Academy, I will immediately assume a leadership role as an officer.”
When asked how Northshore prepared Cavan for this next chapter he said, “My academic career within the Northshore School District has prepared me to be competitive nationally and to successfully achieve my nomination to the Air Force Academy. There have been some special teachers throughout my career at Northshore and the guidance of my high school counselor, Mrs. Miller who helped ensure I stayed on track to meet all the requirements to get my nomination.”
Cavan comes from two families who have a long history of military service, encompassing four branches of the military. His grandfather graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1969 and served in the United States Air Force as a fighter pilot until he retired.
Accompanied by his grandfather, Cavan visited the Air Force Academy for the first time for a baseball camp and vividly remembers the experience.
“He told me stories and explained things about the campus,” said Cavan. “We drove up the hill to the overlook of the baseball field and when we reached the top, I looked in amazement at the campus and knew right there that I needed to get here. It wasn’t just the view of the Academy but the moment when I realized that my values, goals and desires have led to the Air Force Academy and I needed to focus on the things that will help me to realize this goal.”
Cavan believes the biggest influence as to why he was selected for the Academy are the leadership skills he’s learned on the field, playing baseball for the past 12 years.
“I learned to build success through teamwork, overcoming challenges, team leadership and building trusting relationships,” said Cavan. “My teams haven’t always been winners, and as a leader, I learned the art of finding strength and skills from individuals to contribute to team success. I believe my leadership skills are the core skill set that helped me to be a good candidate for the Air Force Academy.”
Cavan desires to be a career officer and lead with the skills he will develop at the Academy.
“Like my family, I want to do my part in protecting this great country and I feel the best way to accomplish my goals is through the right preparation. The Air Force Academy will challenge me in the classroom and in life, pushing me both physically and mentally to become a strong and knowledgeable leader,” he said.