Rawhani is nominated for the U.S. Naval Academy
Petersburg High School senior Mizani Rawhani was nominated for appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy by Congressman Don Young, Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Mark Begich.
Each member of Congress can have five constituents attending the Naval Academy at any time. When one member leaves the Academy, a vacancy is created.
“The Navy really caught my attention when the different military branches sent representatives to the school,” Rawhani said. “I have always thought I would love to fly but getting into the Academy seemed really hard. I considered just enlisting, but my dad told me that if I really wanted to go then I should take this route and it would be a challenge.”
Rawhani loves the challenge in any situation and thrives on it.
“I like to push myself physically and mentally,” he stated. “It's fun and rewarding all at the same time. I like to see where my limits are and gauge what I can learn and how I can learn it.”
He began this process in October to meet the deadlines for the end of November.
The application process has ten steps that include a preliminary application stating grades, school ranking, SAT scores, a college admissions test as well as a separate application to senators and congressmen for nomination.
When the applicant becomes an official candidate they will have to go through a medical examination, a candidate fitness assessment and an interview.
“I have completed everything up to the medical exam and everything I have submitted is to compete for a spot in the Academy,” Rawhani said. “I will be judged with thousands and only a small fraction of that number get to go so it is an elimination process from this point.”
Rawhani is a good student and loves to learn but was never quite sure what he wanted to do with his life.
“I am an A and B student and I really love school,” he stated. “Even if it is a class I don't love, I try to find the good in it. There is something I can learn in every class.”
According to Rawhani, school was a place to get away and concepts came easily to him.
He explained that he knows his chances are not amazing, but he feels that he has a chance.
“I don't think about the negative,” Rawhani said. “Until it is a definite no, I am going to stay positive.”
If accepted into the Naval Academy, Rawhani will pursue becoming a pilot.
“After the Academy will be flight training and that is a long-term goal and dream,” he stated. “Going to the Academy alone is a great opportunity but being a pilot is amazing.”
Rawhani has loved flying from a young age and has always felt very comfortable in an airplane.
“I'm not the type to give up on a decision I have made,” he said. “When I decide on something, I stick with it and if I do something it's because I like it and I feel passionate about it afterwards.”
He also explained that he is very excited for the opportunity that is before him.
“I am prepared for whatever comes my way in the Academy,” Rawhani said. “When I was younger, I felt that I could do anything but as I get older, I realize there are limits. It's scary, but I know I can always push myself to be more.”
Rawhani is involved in several different groups and activities in the community and in school.
He plays in a band that performed at the talent show recently, he performs in the dance troupe, he will play a role in the school play this spring and he has been a member of the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department Junior Firefighter Program for three years.
“When I think about it, I don't feel like I'm doing that much,” Rawhani stated. “After people start coming up to me and congratulating me or noticing what I am involved in it does seem like a lot.”
Rawhani also fishes in the summer with his dad on the Aleutian Dream.
“I started when I was 14 years old and was just piling webbing on the boat,” he stated. “I was still doing that up until this last year when I was able to start operating the skiff.”
He explained that he liked this job because it held more responsibility and there was more stress just making sure things were working the way they were supposed to.
Rawhani has spent most of his life in Petersburg and will always consider it home.
“As I've gotten older, the town has gotten smaller but it is still home and I love the small community feel of Petersburg. Everyone is close and it's nice,” he said. “This is home, but I am really excited about experiencing new things. I will always be able to come back here, but at this time in my life, I really just want to get out there and try something new and learn all I can.”