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W.T. White High School grad to attend West Point this fall

W.T. White High School grad to attend West Point this fall
W.T. White High School grad to attend West Point this fall 03:30

DALLAS ( – Attending West Point Academy in New York is a major accomplishment, with the acceptance rate just under 10%. 

One W.T. White High School student is heading to the prestigious academy this summer with the help of a mentor. 

Hamersen Bekele heads to West Point in July. Dallas ISD

Hamersen Bekele immigrated to Dallas in 2019 when he was just 14 years old to be with his mother. Bekele met Major Nebyou Yonas who was a Jr. ROTC instructor at the high school.  

"He said 'what's up' in my language and I was like shocked that he knew," said Bekele. 

Turns out Bekele and Major Yonas are both from the same village in Ethiopia and immigrated here about at the same age decades apart. 

"He's my countryman, we grew up in the same village pretty much, we learned how to swim in the same lake literally our life is very identical I came about the same age when he came to America didn't speak the language," said Yonas. 

"Wow there is someone who can speak my language and I want to hear more about him I want to talk with him the whole day if I could," added Bekele. 

Major Yonas also immigrated to the country about at the same age as Bekele. 

The two quickly built a strong connection.

Bekele didn't know how to speak a word of English—he's now fluent—in part due to Major Yonas's persistence and this bond grew his interest in joining the military. 

"I joined the program in like a week," added Bekele. 

"He started to enjoy some of the military things that we do from color guard to drill to physical fitness so you could see the interest in him," said Yonas. 

Hamersen Bekele says his goal is to be a doctor. Dallas ISD

Bekele put in the work and attended West Point's summer leadership camp and last month graduated sixth in his high school class. Yonas and Bekele now have an unbreakable connection.

"He can't get rid of me even if he tried, you know, we're going to keep track," added Yonas.

Inspiring any kid out there, if you put in the work, anything is possible. 

"In order to achieve something unexpected you have to do unexpected," added Bekele. 

Bekele's goal is to be a doctor.

He heads to West Point in July. 

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