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Nimitz High School senior sails to US Naval Academy on $750K scholarship

Nimitz High School senior heads to US Naval Academy on $750K scholarship
Nimitz High School senior heads to US Naval Academy on $750K scholarship 01:52

IRVING (  Could the next Maverick top gun hail from North Texas? You bet! The U.S. Naval Academy is already betting on Irving's Nimitz High School graduating senior Thomas Vo.

"Ever since I was little, I loved discipline," explains Vo.    

"So, I was like: 'hey, even though there's only an 8.5% chance I'm going to get in, I'm going to just apply and see where it takes me'."

And that drive is taking the 18-year-old to the U.S. Naval Academy. The appointment comes with a full scholarship valued at $750,000.

"I've been smiling so much my face hurts," Vo shared with a laugh as his classmates gathered for an afternoon assembly in his honor.  Vo says both grandparents were in the military, and he has always been drawn to the idea of serving his country.

"Everything about it was great: Discipline. Outdoors. The physical aspect of it.  It just spoke to me."

He also credits an Irving ISD ROTC teacher for encouraging his service dreams.

"Big props to L.T.," exclaims Vo.  "Without him I wouldn't be here at all!"

"I'm blessed to hear him say that," says Lt. Trevor Smalls, Irving ISD, "but he did the hard work, and I was happy to help him.  He's just an incredible young man - smart, ambitious. He has so much that he offers and brings to the table when it comes to the navy, so I'm excited to see his career flourish."

Even with his parents by his side, and his classmates cheering him on, Vo says it all is still sinking in.

"Still fees surreal," explains Vo.  "It will hit me when I'm on the plane headed to Maryland. For now, I'm just trying to soak in the moment."

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