UPTON, Mass. – Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School senior Leah Cook has been appointed to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. The application process to the academy required a congressional nomination, and Leah received nominations from Congressman Jim McGovern and Sen. Ed Markey.

Each member of Congress is allowed to have a maximum of five cadets attending the academy at one time. For each cadet vacancy that occurs, the member may nominate up to 10 candidates to be considered for appointment. Vacancies occur when cadets graduate or leave prior to graduation. A nomination does not guarantee acceptance into a service academy. The academy’s Admissions Board ultimately decides who receives an appointment.

Cook, 17, the daughter of James and Moira Cook of Blackstone, received the appointment on March 16. She is the Student Council president, varsity track and field captain, and a member of the varsity soccer team. In addition, Cook has served as the class historian for the last two years, is a National Honor Society delegate, competed in Model United Nations, and received the Commonwealth Award for Student Council the previous two years. She has a co-op at Columbia Tech and won a gold medal at states last year in the SkillsUSA Skill Demonstration competition.

Cook will graduate from BVT’s Engineering & Robotics program with her vocational certificate and diploma this May. She plans to major in astronautical engineering at the Air Force Academy next year and become a fighter pilot. Cook will start basic training on June 23.

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