White River High student-athlete Gabe Hawthorne is attending the Summer Leadership and Character Development Academy hosted by the U.S. Marine Corps.
Hawthorne, an incoming junior at White River, departed Sunday for Quantico, Virginia, and is among a class of fewer than 100 young people chosen to attend the Academy. The week-long program provides high school student from across the nation training in leadership skills, character and ethics.
In Virginia, Academy attendees will hear from notable leaders from around the country, including entrepreneurs, Holocaust survivors and Marine Corps leaders. They will be surrounded by a diverse group of students from throughout the country. Physical fitness are emphasized through physical training and scenario-based reaction courses. While those who complete all the events successfully will graduate, the time spent at the Academy is viewed as just the beginning. The goal is to return students to their communities more confident, selfless and better equipped to improve the lives of those around them.
Hawthorne earned his Academy slot by virtue of his accomplishments both on and off the wrestling mat. As a White River student, he has taken Advanced Placement classes, is a member of National Honor Society and carries a 3.9 grade-point average.
Competing for the state-champion Hornet wrestling program, Hawthorne was among those leading the way during the 2017-18 season. Competing at 132 pounds, he captured a Class 2A state title. Now, he is training with the USA Washington National Team.
Hawthorne first heard about the academy after meeting former college wrestler and retired USMC Capt. Aaron Jewell of Carbonado. After learning about the program Hawthorne saw an opportunity that would benefit him on and off the mat and would be a step toward his goal of attending the U.S. Naval Academy.