Ponderosa Grad Joins the Naval Academy

Ponderosa Grad Joins the Naval Academy
Posted on 09/15/2022
Jackson Engels in his naval uniformWhat is your name, which school did you attend, and what year did you graduate?
Jackson Engels, Ponderosa High School, Class of 2022

What have you been doing since graduation?
Attending the United States Naval Academy

What is your proudest achievement since graduating?
Finishing Plebe Summer and getting to the start of the academic year

Share a positive memory from high school that sticks out to you.
The best memory from high school was when I was able to go to the Denver Tech Center with the Technology Student Association for a competition at a hotel. We didn't win anything, but it was a very fun experience. Also, working on constructing the new layout for the engineering room at Ponderosa was very fun.

What was one unique thing you learned about yourself during high school? How did your teachers and school support you?
I learned that the difference between a 4.0 and a 1.0 is not how smart you are it's how well you manage your time. People who prioritize the right things do well academically, simple as that, and that's a skill that definitely applies in college. I thought teachers and the school supported me by letting me find my interests and exposing me to different career fields, sports, and clubs I could join.

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?
Get involved in clubs and sports early. To colleges or at least the Academy, your performance and athleticism in sports and involvement with extracurriculars, service projects, and leadership positions are equally as important as academics and should be treated as such. I didn't realize this until too late and didn't have nearly as many opportunities as I could have.

What skill (professional or personal) are you trying to master?
The most important skill I'm trying to master is being able to perform under pressure. Over plebe summer, we were yelled at and screamed at and put under intense conditions and time limits constantly for more than seven weeks, yet still expected to do our tasks perfectly and efficiently. This skill is invaluable to being a good naval officer and I practice it every day with the things I have to do.

What are your future plans?
When I graduate I plan to commission as a submarine officer in the US Navy
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