Alumni Spotlight – Alexis Wynne, SMA Class of 2019
St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School in Lee’s Summit, Mo. is proud to announce that Alumna Alexis Wynne was accepted to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Co. this fall. Alexis is a graduate of the class of 2019. At the young age of 19, this former Guardian has already learned that “success is a process.”
Alexis began setting big goals in high school and by watching others, realized the significance of focusing on the important things in life – “High school is a time to enjoy life but do things with the knowledge of how they will impact your life. The amount of power you have over where you will end up is astounding. Don’t let fear of success, fear of failure, or fear of what other people think steal your drive and ambition.” For Alexis, the process of getting accepted into the U.S. Air Force Academy began in March 2018. After completing a long list of forms, essays, intense workouts and getting recommendation letters from teachers, coaches, neighbors and Congressional nominations from Senator Claire McCaskill and Representative Emanuel Cleaver, Alexis was devastated to receive a letter in April 2019 informing her that she had been rejected. “I felt like a complete failure and I felt like I was not good enough.” Instead of giving up, Alexis promised herself she would get into the Academy no matter what.
Realizing that the Academy is one of the hardest places to get accepted, Alexis pushed herself to submit a request for reapplication in July 2019. She received a new and very long list of tasks to be completed by January 2020. She spent those months working through the process. “It was a very humbling experience, but it grew my character.” She attended South Dakota University, joined ROTC, increased her ACT math score by 3 points, and obtained new recommendations including ones from Representative Emanuel Cleaver and Senator Roy Blunt. On March 3, 2020, she received her official acceptance letter from the Air Force Academy.
Alexis has already set new goals since starting at the Academy with plans to become a test pilot for the Air Force, obtain a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering and possibly spend some time at West Point. Reflecting back, Alexis understands that “Sometimes, failure is the best path to success, because you have to stop and think about how bad you really want to succeed.”
Alexis credits many people at St. Michael who helped her during her high school years. “I learned the importance of hard work and challenging myself to be my best version. I had several good mentors who helped me along the way and encouraged me to work hard and stay motivated. SMA gave me many opportunities to step outside my comfort zone and improve my leadership. Because the teachers took the time to guide me, I was able to get to where I am. I will always be grateful to them for their time, and I will practice the selfless service I learned at SMA in my life at the Academy and future life in the operational Air Force.”
A great role model for current and future SMA students, Alexis proves that with hard work and perseverance anything is possible. The SMA community is confident that Alexis will achieve her goals and have a meaningful impact in the world.
SMA is a co-educational, Catholic high school with a faith-based curriculum, athletics and community that provides students with an environment of discovery and discernment of God’s plan for their lives to Know Truth, Love God and Serve Others. For more information about St. Michael the Archangel, visit the website at smacatholic.org.
One of the teachers who helped Alexis in achieving her goal was SMA chemistry teacher, Mr. Loecker. Here is what he had to say about her: “Alexis was so sharp when it came to math computations in her head. Also she is also a great example of perseverance. She did not get into the Air Force program her first try. So she went to college in North Dakota and got in when she reapplied the next year. I am very proud that Alexis did not give up on her dream!”
Do you know of an Alumni that should be in the Spotlight? Email Mrs. Hyde, email@example.com