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Omar Bran ’17 Joins Class of 2021 Falcon Visitation Experience

Randolph-Macon Academy prides itself on preparing its students for the academic and social challenges of college. Most of its students go on to civilian colleges and universities, but others go to the military academies of the United States.  Omar Bran ’17 aspires to be a part of the latter.  His recruitment visit to the United States Air Force Academy this past April only affirmed his post-high school desires.

Omar was one of only 41 high school juniors invited to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for the Falcon Visitation Experience.  The Air Force Academy invites a select group of “highly qualified diverse candidates” to stay at the Academy for several days in order to experience the lifestyle of an Air Force Academy cadet.

He arrived on April 20, 2016, and was very impressed by the Academy.  “The campus was beautiful,” he said.  “They had an indoor track and football field, a swimming pool, and a four-story library with a ton of books, including some from the 1800’s.”  Omar also paid his compliments to the chef.  “The food was good and I liked how they offered a variety of healthy options,” he said.

Omar felt blessed to find himself on a trip such as this one.  His ultimate goal is to, one day, be an Air Force Academy graduate with the help of his teachers and parents.  There is only one thing standing in his way.  “I am from Guatemala,” Omar explained.  “You have to be a United States citizen in order to attend any of the service academies.  So I am currently working toward achieving the status of a United States citizen.” 

He was able to shadow multiple cadets in order to get a feel for the daily routine at the Air Force Academy.  “I met someone new every day,” he said.  The number of different cadets he was able to speak with provided various insights and perspectives of academy life and the campus itself.  “It was a great five days and I had a lot of fun,” said Omar. 

His visit to the Air Force Academy reinforced his confidence in himself and his ability.  “Hard work really does pay off.  The timing may make it seem difficult, but you can do it,” he assured.  Omar is excited to return to the beautiful campus at Colorado Springs, but hopes to be more than just a visitor the next time they meet.