Nicholas “Nick” Wall is proof that hard work does pay off.
The 18-year-old who graduated from Andover High School this spring is one of only five men and women from Maine, New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts to earn an impressive full scholarship for the Naval Reserve Officer Training Course.
He will begin embarking on the course this fall at the University of Virginia, one of the colleges around the country where the Navy offers the scholarship.
Wall, the son of Bill and Denise Wall, graduated from Andover High with a 4.4 grade point average while also participating on the cross-country and ski teams.
“It is due to his hard work in academics, athletics and community service that Nicholas received this prestigious award,” said Denise Wall, a mother of four.
Wall, who wants to someday work on a submarine or aircraft carrier, was presented with the award at a graduation party last month at the family’s Blueberry Hill Drive home. Navy Capt. Zachary Johnson was on hand to personally recognize Wall in front of his family and friends.
“Getting this scholarship is so sweet. ... This means they pay tuition for four years, pay a monthly $250 stipend and even pay for books; the only thing they don’t pay for is room and board,” he said.
Wall is pursuing the marine option in the Navy curriculum, which includes early-morning field exercise classes, unit meetings, and marine science and marine history classes in addition to more typical college courses like calculus and writing.
A consistent honor student at AHS, Wall is not worried about succeeding as he said his years as a Golden Warrior prepared him well.
“Everything is there, you just have to ask,” he said of AHS. “Teachers are so supportive. They are just awesome teachers who helped me so much.”
Mary Robb, Stacy Giggie and Daniel Donovan made his A-list of favorite teachers as they, along with cross-country coach Leo Lafond, each wrote a letter of recommendation for the scholarship application that Wall filled out last year.
Wall, who must wear his Naval uniform twice a week on the University of Virginia campus, said he is ready to fulfill his requirement of serving his country as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps for four years following graduation. To prepare, he will focus the next few summers on marine training with submarines, destroyers and aircraft carriers on shore and attending a Marine Corps boot camp.
“The reason I am doing this is that I want to make a difference ... I want to work on how we, as a country, deal with conflict. It doesn’t have to be violence, war and combat,” he said. “It may sound cheesy, but that’s what I want to do.”