Black Knights,

        I just walked in the door, coming home from an evening of interviewing candidates for a nomination to one of the service academies for Congressman Elijah Cummings. I just don't think I can do justice to expressing my sheer disgust and disappointment in the fact that out of 12 candidates from District 7 that we interviewed tonight (..and the 10 more I have to go thru on Saturday), than NOT ONE from Baltimore, District 7 was a diverse candidate.  I sat there tonight, interviewing kids who were mostly ambivalent about going to an academy, had no idea what they wanted to do after they graduated....

  • "I want to focus on business/economics." What kind of freakin' answer is that?
  • "My first choice and only choice is the Naval Academy and I want to go special forces." Did you know that the Navy doesn't have a Special Forces?

 had no plan B, where not interested in anything else but one Academy or even thought of ROTC.  All of these kids were bright, good grades, above avg SAT scores, but only 1 or 2 made you go WOW. WHERE ARE THE DIVERSE CANDIDATES?!!!! There have got to be some diverse kids (I don't care if they are Native American, Black, Asian, WHATEVER!) Where are they? Why are we not attracting these kids?

You know who's fault it is? It's partly our collective fault - EACH ONE GET ONE!!!! It's partly WP fault - obviously we are doing a DISMAL job of advertising and getting the word out in the communities where the MAJORITY of our soldiers come from. It's partly the Dept of Admissions fault - why did Congressman Cummings staffer tell me that they could only get someone from NAVY to do their school visits. NO ONE from WooPoo came to any of the schools in his district last year.  We have got to beat the bushes; we must start grassroots; and we need MORE PEOPLE doing it. 

I will continue to do my part - whatever it takes and I've committed to Congressman Cummings to help him with his school visits if Ron and I have to go ourselves. I ask everyone else to reach out to Admissions and Project Outreach and put these guys to work. Force the Academy to increase the budget so they can go more places or if you have money that you are giving to the Academy, don't let it go into the general fund - DESIGNATE it for Project Outreach. I don't know if that is even possible, but its worth a try. The Academy won't change unless we scream loud enough with some dollars to back it up.

Okay, I had my hissy fit. You can blast me if you'd like, I've ranted on with my .02, so bring it on.
Thank You for letting me get off a little steam.

Go Army,

Lisa Steptoe, '87

Chair, Communications Committee

AOG Diversity Leadership Council


CHECK OUT RECENT CAREER POSTINGS http://www.theblackknights.org/careers_employers.html





1 comment:

  1. Oh you and Ron are both pretty impressive, Lisa. I think that making time to visit schools might really get some kids to sit up and take notice.....
    Good luck!