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PHS senior, Nell White, accepted into U.S. Air Force Academy

Nell White, Pineville High School senior, will continue her family's history of military service in the U.S. Air Force Academy this fall.
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 7:49 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2022 at 10:56 PM CST
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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - Growing up, we all think we know what we will grow to be. For many, life has other plans. For Pineville High School senior Nell White, continuing her family’s legacy of military service was all she wanted to do.

“I’ve always wanted to have a military career,” said White. “I’ve had a really long family history with that. The Air Force, in particular, is because I want to be a pilot, for bombers or carriers, you know, big heavy planes.”

That wish came true last week when she received a surprise phone call from 5th District Congresswoman Julia Letlow, telling White she had officially been accepted into the U.S. Air Force Academy. Both Letlow and Sen. Bill Cassidy gave her congressional nominations for application.

“I could not be prouder of Nell,” said Letlow. “She’s going to make the 5th District, she already has made the 5th District, so proud. And she’s going to go on to do amazing things.”

“When you see these young folks who are offering to serve us, that gives me incredible hope for the future of our country,” noted Cassidy.

Like the military, applying to a service academy is not an easy process. But White’s busy life as a high school student prepared her to take on every challenge. An avid athlete, White participates in many extracurriculars like track and field, soccer and JROTC. Plus, she is also a member of the Rebel Marching Band, leading as drumline captain.

“We estimate that she’s the only female drum captain we’ve had in probably 20 to 30 years,” said Rachel Morgan, PHS band director. “Which is really impressive. It speaks a lot to her ability. And then it also truly prepares her for life and for the future. You know, leading students of all genders, of all levels, of all ages.”

As that leader, White hopes to continue leading a life of legacy by encouraging other girls that they can do hard things too.

“I’d just like to use my position as an officer and a pilot to bring the best I can into the U.S. government,” said White. “And to provide safety for its citizens and show other young girls that they can do the same and move up through this process with me.”

Achieving an officer position in the military will make her the first in her family to do so.

White starts her six-week basic cadet training for the Air Force Academy in late June and academic course in Fall 2022.

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