When it comes to goals, Richmond Hill High School senior Alexa Elliott has some advice for next year’s incoming freshmen.
“Don’t let anything stand in your way. Or anyone,” Elliott said. “If something doesn’t seem to be working out, you may have to crawl in through the back window because the front door is locked.”
That advice appears to come from experience. Elliott, whose twin sister, Amanda, is headed to the Air Force Academy, also will attend a service academy.
But first she’ll take a detour and spend a year at the Naval Academy Preparatory in Rhode Island. And she also had to get waivers for a number of allergies before the school would take her.
It wasn’t the way Elliott expected to get into the Naval Academy, she said, but it’s worth it. Now she’ll have a year of NAPS training before entering her plebe year at the Naval Academy.
“People who have gone (to NAPS) say it’s actually a blessing,” she said. “You’re getting paid to get extra schooling, and in addition, you learn more and that better prepares you for life at the Naval Academy and as an officer after graduating.”
Elliott is no slouch academically — she’s an honor roll and National Honor Society student who takes a lot of advanced placement courses and should graduate in the top 10 percent of her class.
“I thoroughly enjoyed taking psychology and business law, and all of my literature classes,” she said.
Elliott’s also involved in a number of extracurricular activities at RHHS, from color guard — “No. 1 in the state,” she said — to JROTC.
Over the course of her high school career, which actually began in Germany, Elliott also participated in softball, track and cheerleading. And she speaks fluent German to boot.
That doesn’t mean Elliott isn’t feeling a bit of the old pregame jitters when it comes to her pending departure for the Naval Academy Prep School.
“I’m nervous, I’m pumped and I am so thrilled I got this opportunity,” she said. “It’s a healthy kind of nervous, though.”
Elliott is actually a triplet — her brother, Josh, is also a senior at RHHS and will head off to Georgia State in the fall.
Elliot could’ve gone to Georgia or Florida, but her heart was in getting into either the Coast Guard Academy or the Naval Academy, she said.
But she’s glad it’s NAPS, because she said Navy offers her the best chance of eventually getting a job with the CIA, her long-range goal.
In the meantime, Elliott is likely making her folks proud. Her father Ron is retired military and working as a civilian public affairs officer on Fort Stewart. Her mother is also retired military and serves as the chief executive officer of Georgia Game Changers Running Company in Richmond Hill.
“I’ve got to thank both of my parents for supporting me through so many doctor’s appointments, and my sister, Amanda, she’s been my anchor, and Josh, him, too,” Elliott said. “And then there’s Dr. Aimee Taylor, my lit teacher. She’s been like a second mom to me. And God, of course. We’re very active in our church. It’s our foundation for the way we live.”
And then there’s Elliott’s cat.
“The name is going to make you laugh,” she said. “Lord Tubbington.”
Elliott leaves July 19 for NAPS. School begins July 22.