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Dunn: Newport Harbor Excessive product, Naval Academy senior is now a Rhodes Scholar


Except for spending time with household and buddies, U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman 1st Class Benjamin Kwong, a senior, loved two of his favourite pastimes whereas on vacation break in Newport Seaside: Weight lifting and browsing.

Kwong, 21, has been pumping iron since his early teenagers and began browsing in elementary faculty, when his dad, Steve, would drive him and his buddies to a most well-liked break earlier than the solar would come up.

For Kwong, who’s scheduled to return to Annapolis, Md., on Friday, it has been a whirlwind tour since his latest choice as a Rhodes Scholar.

“I’m fairly excited,” Kwong stated of the distinction – he’s the Naval Academy’s fifty fifth Rhodes Scholar winner.

A cyber operations main at Navy and a 2019 graduate of Newport Harbor Excessive – the place he performed baseball for 4 years and soccer two seasons – Kwong stated he plans to pursue a grasp’s diploma in sustainability, enterprise and the setting on the College of Oxford whereas finishing a two-year Rhodes Scholarship program. Afterward, Kwong stated he intends to proceed his service in naval aviation.

Kwong began the Rhodes Scholarship utility course of late in the summertime and utilized within the fall. Greater than 840 candidates had been endorsed by 244 colleges for one of many 32 scholarships awarded within the U.S. in 2023.

“Any prestigious faculty utility, you are able to do all the pieces proper, however it’s nonetheless a crap shoot on the finish of the day,” Kwong stated. “I came upon that I gained proper after my Zoom interview. It was a enjoyable time. I used to be fairly stoked proper after. There was a giant soccer sport happening on the time and all of my buddies had been on the market, and I received to inform them, so it was actually enjoyable.”

Kwong rowed on the crew crew his freshman yr at Navy, then began taking part in volleyball as a sophomore and has participated on the Navy membership crew since. Along with volleyball, Kwong is the ninth Firm operations officer, vice chairman of the Navy Surf Membership and a volunteer with the Midshipman Motion Group’s Mids4Kids Program, in addition to serving as a plebe summer season squad chief, his favourite management place on the Naval Academy.

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