School of the Osage senior accepted into U.S. Naval Academy

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
School of the Osage senior Grace Martin.

Determination. Integrity. Discipline. To have any shot at being accepted into the highest tiers of academia, these are among the core elements a person must have. For School of the Osage senior Grace Martin, they’ve been at the forefront of her drive to reach her goals. Now, after years of hard work and perseverance, Martin’s drive has paid off after receiving a letter of acceptance into the U.S. Naval Academy. 

For Martin, the story starts years ago. She says she learned values of service and justice at an early age from her mother. Early on, she thought about what she wanted to do in her life and decided she wanted to help people and her country. She says that in fifth grade, her interest in the Navy peaked and she started to learn and appreciate its history. 

As high school came around, Martin knew she wanted to push towards higher education and achieve at a high level. Her mother introduced the idea of a military academy education, which turned into Martin’s. Moving forward, all sights were set on the U.S. Naval Academy. 

In order to bolster her application, Martin took part in as many extracurricular activities and high-level courses as possible. This included band, track and field, AP classes and more. Martin says she knew the odds were stacked against her, as the acceptance rate into the U.S. Naval Academy is only 8%. Still, that didn’t stop her motivation.

The process to apply to the academy was vigorous. Applicants have to showcase their work through submitted transcripts, references, ACT scores and extracurricular achievements. They must also be awarded a congressional nomination, which Martin applied for and was awarded by U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer. This involved submitting a separate application and working through a congressional application board. Without this nomination, the entire academy application would fall through. 

“The Naval Academy is lucky to have an exceptional student like Grace joining them. I am so thankful to Grace and her family for choosing to serve our country and know she will make Missouri’s Third District proud in Annapolis.” -Luetkemeyer said. 

Following this portion of the application, Martin says she still had to pass physical exams and physical training tests. Appointments were scheduled to test her eyes, hearing and general physical shape. The entire application process spanned more than a year’s time. 

Understanding the scope of the process, it’s easy to understand how elated Martin felt when her letter of acceptance was finally in hand. Martin says she is extremely grateful for all the help she received along the way from the School of the Osage staff, teachers and, of course, her mother. She says she was proud of her personal determination to reach the academy and relied on her faith in god to help her along the way. 

Martin will report to the academy on July 1. She says she will be required to wear a preassigned uniform, complete physical training and study intensive coursework focused in the STEM field. She plans to major in history or political science and minor in foreign language.

Martin will be in the academy for four years and will follow this up with a contract of Navy service for five years. She says she may spend time after the initial four years going to another academy for naval aviation.

“I feel honored to be in this position and I’m so excited,” Martin said.

Following her career in military service, Martin isn’t sure what will happen next. She says she is excited to have a solid nine years ahead mapped out and is comforted by the plans in place. She says she has considered work in government, and hasn’t ruled out a run at the presidency. 

For now, Martin says she loves her country and is ready to take a step forward to start serving. 

“I think it shows that you can achieve a dream if you put in the hard work and don’t give up,” Martin said.