WASHINGTON, DC  – Summit High School senior Sophie Reitz-Bouren was one of 20 young New Jersey residents accepted this year to one of the four U.S, Military Service Academies honored by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez at a reception hosted in his Newark office. The nominees were joined by family, friends, and the military academy screeners who recommended them for appointment.

“Our military academies accept only the best of the best to become the next generation of officers to lead our forces in the protection of our nation and our freedoms,” said Menendez. “I am so proud of these extraordinary young New Jerseyans willing to serve our country.  They will represent our state well, and I wish them the very best of luck as they embark on this new adventure.”

In addition to Reitz-Bouren, who was nominated by Representative Leonard Lance (NJ-07) and accepted into the Civil Preparatory School at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the nominees -- each chosen for their excellent academic records, leadership potential and strong character, among other criteria -- include:

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U.S. Military Academy at West Point

  • Kyle Beyer, Morris Plains (Morristown High School)
  • Kevin Hernandez, Union City (Union City High School) (accepted into West Point Preparatory School)
  • Solonika Kakoulakis, Edison (J.P. Stevens High School) (originally accepted into West Point Prepatory School)
  • Elizabeth Lee, Cherry Hill (Cherry Hill High School East)
  • Margaret Lynch, Rumson (Red Bank Catholic High School)
  • Jack Simpson, Ridgewood (Ridgewood High School)
  • Luke Sukienuik, Chatham (Chatham High School/University of Miami)
  • Fernando Sullivan, Carteret (Bishop Ahr High School) (originally nominated and appointed to the U.S. Air Force Academy)
  • Jeffrey Tantow, Port Reading (Woodbridge High School)

U.S. Naval Academy

  • Dean Caravala of West Caldwell (James Caldwell High School) (originally accepted into Naval Academy Preparatory School)
  • Nora Honrath, Brielle (St. John Vianney High School)
  • Peter Nestrowitz, Twp. of Washington (Paramus Catholic High School)
  • Christian Pearson, Teaneck (Teaneck High School)

U.S. Air Force Academy

  • Erin Durak, Bayonne (Bayonne High School) (accepted into Air Force Academy Prepatory School)

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

  • Claire Atkins, West Long Branch (Shore Regional High School)
  • Shannon Fahsbender, Andover (Lenape Valley Regional High School)
  • Wilson Maya, Madison (Morristown High School)
  • Carson Pearce, Manahawkin (Abeka Christian Homeschool Academy)
  • Christopher Waller, Middletown (Christian Brothers Academy)