HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A young man from Leeward Oahu is about to make history.
In two weeks. Nathanael Endo will receive a diploma from West Point, making him the first Waianae High School alum to graduate from the prestigious military academy.
The Waianae native will graduate May 25 with a GPA just north of 3.0.
During a interview via FaceTime, he humbly credited much of his success to a solid upbringing in Hawaii and good role models.
Endo says graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point was a goal he had his sights set on since his freshman year at Waianae High School.
“I’m just very excited and honored to be able to graduate from a place like this,” he said.
Endo says academically West Point has challenged him in ways he never expected.
That’s saying a lot ― seeing how he was valedictorian of his 2015 class.
The 22-year-old says he believes things he learned growing up in Hawaii have played a key part in his success away from home.
“I think having the people skills, Hawaii teaches us aloha. So being able to interact with people. I’ve been able to make a lot of friends here,” said Endo.
“I kind of got ‘hanaied’ into a few different families.”
Upon graduation, Endo will start his military career as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, specializing in air defense.
He’ll go to Oklahoma for a few months for training before being stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
“My major is operations research and they have a special field called a functional area in the Army, which I go after eight years. I hope I can do operations research for the Army,” said Endo.
Before setting off on his new adventure in the Army, Endo will spend a few weeks in Hawaii. He told HNN he plans to fill up on as much mochi and spicy ahi as he can before heading back to the mainland.