HENDRY COUNTY, Fla.- An 18-year-old from LaBelle is the first female ever from Hendry county, to get an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Morgan Pepitone says she is motivated to do something amazing and great with her life, and she believes a career in the Army is a good start.
"My parents have always said, we want you to be better than us, we want you to get out of the small town and go somewhere and do something. So, that is my motivation. I want to do something great in my life," says Pepitone.
She has an amazing record at LaBelle High School. She has already completed her high school classes, plus many courses at Edison State College.
Labelle High Dean of Students David Kelley says, "She is a real hard worker. A great kid to have around. She leads by example, she's clearly in the top five academically in her class."
Pepitone is turning down several prestigious universities that have accepted her and even offered scholarships.
"I want to serve my country and I want the academics at West Point. People compare those to Harvard or Yale," says Pepitone.
She admits she is a bit nervous about going to the Military Academy.
"I am also excited, but yes, there is that feeling of possibly missing my family here. I have never been away from home for a long period of time. But I will get through it," she tells WINK News.
Pepitone hopes to become a lawyer in the Army, and then a prosecutor after her military career. She says she welcomes the policy change to allow women in combat.
"Women have wanted to be on the front lines for a long time. I have no problem with that," she says.
Pepitone will leave this summer for her appointment at West Point. She is working out, making sure she can handle the physical demands of being a plebe, a first-year student at the academy, and later a cadet.
David Kelley has no doubts that Pepitone will survive the rigors of West Point.
"She will do it, period, she is just one of those people who achieve," he tells WINK News.
Pepitone also is readying herself for the challenge of the military academy.
"I will make it, if not right away, I know I will make it," she says.