Detroit Lakes High School Senior To Embarque on Future with Navy

Detroit Lakes High School Senior To Embarque on Future with Navy Click to Enlarge

DETROIT LAKES, MN--Dignitaries, family, friends and school staff gathered Monday to celebrate a Detroit Lakes High School Senior's formal acceptance into the Naval Academy.

Elena Gilbert, daughter of Beth and Philip Gilbert, is among an elite group of applicants to be accepted into the Academy. The Navy's Captain Mark Salmon was on hand Monday to officially welcome Gilbert. He said it was a very competative process as there were 16,000 initial applicants for the incoming class. Salmon says through a screening process that number was whittled down to 4500 and those candidates had to go through a thorough medical exam and be nominated by a U.S. Senator or Representative. Through that process 1100 applicants were selected for the class of 2022. Gilbert was nominated by U.S. District 7 Representative Collin Peterson who attended the ceremony Monday afternoon at the Detroit Lakes High School Media Center.

"I'm just glad that there are young people that want to step up and serve us in the military. It's important...we have the finest military in the world, " Peterson said.

Gilbert will enter the Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, this summer to begin her four-year undergraduate progrem. Capt. Salmon says she will graduate with a Bachelor's of Science degree in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field. He says cadets are preparing over the course of their four years to become officers of competence, character and compassion in the Navy or United States Marine Corps. Gilbert will enter as a Midshipman which is a person on active duty in the Navy.

Salmon explained that being accepted into the accademy, Gilbert receives a fully paid undergraduate education: A four-year scholarship which is estimated around $200,000 total, plus health and dental benefits and a monthly stipend.

Along with her rank as a top student at DLHS, Gilbert was a member of the varsity girls swim team and member of DL Thriving.

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