North Mecklenburg High School senior Wesley Guthridge received the most important phone call of his life last month.
U.S. Rep. Alma Adams of North Carolina’s 12th district surprised the Guthridge family with big news on a late Friday night with a phone call telling them that their son, Wesley, had been accepted into the United States Naval Academy.
It is a military academy tradition for the accepted applicants, referred to as midshipmen at the academy, to be informed via phone call from one of their state’s representatives to Congress.
“I’ve been thinking about this day for over four years now,” Guthridge said. “It’s a huge relief to be accepted into my first choice school, especially since I’ve wanted to get into the (Naval) Academy since I was in eighth grade.”
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Wesley Guthridge, or Wes to his friends, is no stranger to big accomplishments: He is a student in North Mecklenburg’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and has worked as an ambassador for the program since his sophomore year. He has played four varsity sports in his time at North Meck, where he is currently the captain of the wrestling team. He has earned a 4.75 GPA as his senior year comes to a close, holding the 13th spot in his class ranking.
“Wes is an incredibly kind and caring individual, and a model student for our school and the IB program,” said Harriet Regen, the IB coordinator at North Meck. “He has a determination that is hard to come by in most students, he’s had his eyes set on the academy for as long as I’ve known him.”
The U.S. Naval Academy, which has a 6.8 percent acceptance rate, will provide Guthridge with an opportunity to enter the Navy as an officer after receiving his education. He plans to study political science and Arabic, and using this education to prepare for a long career in the military.
Guthridge announced his decision at the North Mecklenburg High School wrestling senior night Jan. 20. He received a standing ovation from the North Meck and Vance parents and fans. Even the Vance High School wrestlers stood up to congratulate Guthridge on his accomplishment and thank him for the service he will provide to his country.
His parents have been supportive, too.
“I think they thought this was just a bit of a passing phase at first, since I had a grandfather in the Navy. But now that it’s real, they’ve been nothing but supportive,” Guthridge said. “I know they’re proud of me.”
Guthridge is looking forward to the physical and academic challenges at the Naval Academy, but remained confident when asked if he was concerned about the workload.
“I’m one of the hardest working people I know. I have a huge amount of determination,” he said. “When I set my mind to something, it gets done.”
Mitchell Loll is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Mitchell? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.