Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sunlake students flying high in commendations

Sunlake High school students Jonathan Quiros, 17, left, and Matthew Andresen, 16, have big ambitions.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Sunlake High school students Jonathan Quiros, 17, left, and Matthew Andresen, 16, have big ambitions.

LAND O'LAKES

When asked what they did over their summer vacations, Sunlake High School students Matthew Andresen and Jonathan Quiros could offer some unusual answers. Between them, these two students flew an airplane, earned a special commendation from a brigadier general and participated in flight and battle simulations.

Andresen, a 16-year-old Sunlake junior, won a Florida Aerospace Career Academy Summer Camp Scholarship to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Summer Academy in Daytona Beach. Quiros, a 17-year-old senior, attended West Point and U.S. Naval Academy summer leadership seminars.

Both had to fill out extensive applications, meet GPA and ACT score requirements, and write essays stating why they wanted to attend the seminars.

For Quiros, a Civil Air Patrol cadet who has a 4.1 GPA, the answer was simple.

"I wanted to be selfless in the service to my country," he said.

Interested in military service since early childhood, Quiros saw his participation in the seminars as "a way to continue with my goals and aspirations."

Of more than 5,000 applicants across the country, Quiros was one of 1,000 selected to attend the West Point seminar, where he participated in academic, leadership, athletic and military workshops (including battle simulations), underwent a daily regimen of physical training, and learned about residential living and admissions standards at West Point. While learning all about computer technology and cyberspace protection in one workshop, he was awarded a special commendation from Brigadier Gen. Timothy Trainor.

Quiros, who plans a career in the military, was also among 2,550 students to attend this year's U.S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar, where he participated in academic, leadership and athletic programs and learned about life in the Navy.

"Through both of these seminars I learned more about what is required of me, physically, mentally and morally, to be a part of the military," he said.

Andresen learned his own lessons at the Embry-Riddle's summer workshop. For one thing, he got to fly a single-engine plane under the supervision of a pilot.

"So I wasn't used to flying a plane at 3,000 feet. It was a little scary at first," he said with a chuckle. "Then I remembered that I was with a trained pilot. I knew it was okay."

Andresen's dreams of flight began in early childhood, when he played with RC cars, studied the development of Embry-Riddle vehicles and dreamed of the day he would be able to fly a plane.

"I've always liked anything to do with electronics," said Andresen, who holds a 4.333 GPA and is a volunteer at Grace Family Church soup kitchen. "And in my Embry admissions essay, I talked about the beautiful mechanics of a plane."

Aside from flying, Andresen designed a PowerPoint presentation for his own model plane and engaged in flight simulation activities at Embry-Riddle, as well as learned about the mechanics and inner workings of planes. This is knowledge he'll be able to put to good use this school year, as he continues his studies at Sunlake High's Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Academy. He already has received a college scholarship from Embry-Riddle, and plans to pursue a career in either medicine or aerospace engineering.

"Here at Sunlake we have career academies that are related to what these kids want to do in life. We want them to learn skills they can take to the outside world," said Sunlake principal Steven Williams. "These two exceptional students are connecting at a high level with their fields of interest. They're not only good examples — they're role models."

Sunlake students flying high in commendations 08/28/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 7:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Austin software company acquires second Tampa business

    Corporate

    Austin, Tex.-based Asure Software acquired Tampa's Compass HRM Inc. late last week for $6 million. Compass focuses on HR and payroll.

    [Company photo]
  2. Hackers hide cyberattacks in social media posts

    Business

    SAN FRANCISCO — It took only one attempt for Russian hackers to make their way into the computer of a Pentagon official. But the attack didn't come through an email or a file buried within a seemingly innocuous document.

    Jay Kaplan and Mark Kuhr, former NSA employees and co-founders of Synack, a cybersecurity company, in their office in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2013. While last year's hacking of senior Democratic Party officials raised awareness of the damage caused if just a handful of employees click on the wrong emails, few people realize that a message on Twitter or Facebook could give an attacker similar access to their system. 
[New York Times file photo]
  3. On average, a quarter of Transformation Zone staff not returning next school year

    Blogs

    Combined, nearly one in four teachers staffed at eight schools in the Pinellas County school district's Transformation Zone will not return to their school in the fall.

  4. New Port Richey police investigating shooting that left one man wounded

    Public Safety

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A man was shot and wounded Saturday after police said he assaulted a restaurant employee.

  5. What to watch this week: 'Still Star-Crossed' on ABC, 'House of Cards' Season 5

    Blogs

    MONDAY

    Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey in House of Cards Season 5.