Story by SSgt Terence Brady on 07/11/2019Patrick Cavanaugh, a Piermont, N.Y. native and student at Tappan Zee High School was recently selected to attend the Summer Leadership and Character Development Academy hosted by the United States Marine Corps at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia from July 15, 2019 to July 20, 2019.
The academy is a week-long summer program for high school students from across the nation to train and develop leadership skills, character, and ethics in order to produce self-motivated, quality citizens. In order to be selected as one of the attendees, students must have shown physical, mental, and moral fortitude in and out of high school.
"I heard about SLCDA through a friend who was also considering applying, and wanted me to apply as well," said Cavanaugh.
Upon hearing the news of being accepted into the SLCDA program, Cavanaugh's parents were excited about his opportunity to grow as a leader.
"I think this opportunity is a tremendous one for Patrick," said William Cavanaugh, Patrick's father. "As a civil servant my whole life, I understand how developing leadership skills is very important to anyone, and especially in military service."
Cavanaugh is heavily involved in his academics and extracurricular activities, taking all honors and advanced placement courses, participating in the History and Spanish Honors Societies, and is a member of this school's Symphonic Wind ensemble and the Symphonic Orchestra, all while carrying a 95 grade point average. Outside of school, he is also an avid hockey player.
"I have played for my varsity hockey team since freshman year, and I also play travel hockey for the North Jersey Avalanche 18 AAA Elite team," said Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh disciplines himself by working out regularly and studying hard to facilitate self-improvement and development. For him, there is always room to grow and a greater challenge to conquer.
"To be my best self, I try to always keep my head up and to always see the positives in every situation," said Cavanaugh. "If one always see's the negatives in everything, and does not maintain an optimistic attitude in life, they will not be their best self, and will not achieve the things they have the potential to."
According to Tim Babroski, a Marine Corps veteran and Cavanaugh's uncle, his friends and family see that his determination and selflessness are tenants of leadership.
"He is a selfless team player. He has the heart of a young man who does not know how to quit or surrender, and above all he is devoted to his family and country," said Babroski.
Cavanaugh aspires to become a Marine Corps officer and pursue a law enforcement career afterward, and believes that SLCDA will be an opportunity to test himself and see what it takes to become a leader in the Marine Corps.
"To be honest, I look forward to everything at SLCDA," said Cavanaugh. "I can't wait to push myself physically and mentally, as well as to learn more about the United States Marine Corps and the different ways I can serve my country within the Marine Corps."