Story by Sgt Carlos Cruz Jr. on 07/11/2019Nikolas A. Gresoi, a young man from Wernersville, Pennsylvania, with minimal knowledge of the military but interest in becoming a military pilot will attend the Marine Corps' Summer Leadership and Character Development Academy at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia from July 15, 2019 to July 20, 2019.
SLCDA is a week-long academy meant to strengthen young men and women's confidence and leadership skills by introducing them to Marine Corps values, culture, leadership and challenging them mentally and physically to get them out of their comfort zone.
Gresoi, senior at Conrad Weiser high school, was immediately interested in the opportunity to attend SLCDA after he and his mother stumbled upon it while looking for Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarships online.
"I came across a service academy forum and in the comments someone suggested looking into the SLCDA camp," said Linda Gresoi, mother of Nikolas. "Nik was immediately interested and soon began his application process."
According to Gresoi, he's been to other leadership camps and consistently works on his leadership skills and is especially interested in attending SLCDA to learn the Marine Corps views and philosophy on leadership.
"Not only is this a leadership camp, but it's Marine Corps related, and learning the military side of things will help me with my goals," said Gresoi. "I've never really had involvement with the military before so this is going to be a valuable experience for me."
According to Linda, Nikolas was quiet and observant early on, but changed throughout high school to be more assertive and seek opportunities to lead his peers. As such, Nikolas was selected by his teachers to attend to other leadership camps during his 11th-grade year.
"I believe the SLCDA leadership camp will take his leadership skills to the next level as well as give Nik a small taste of military life and expectations, which will benefit him because he's been interested in becoming a military pilot for years," said Linda.
Nikolas said his interest in the military came from playing military videos games with his friends. He said he liked the experience of working together with them towards one goal, in a military environment, and started thinking that's something he wants to experience in real life.
"Nik's father and I will support him in whatever life decisions he chooses," said Linda. "We only ask that as he continues to mature and thinks deeply about his choices and prays for guidance. This is his life and we want him to be happy and excited about his future."