Mililani teen makes a patriotic choice over Ivy league offers

Mililani teen makes a patriotic choice over Ivy league offers
( Image: Susan Nichols-Afuso )

MILILANI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When Travis Afuso graduated from Mililani High School this year, he was a valedictorian with a perfect grade point average.

"I tried to challenge myself as much as I could throughout my time in high school," he said.

He played on the Trojan tennis team and served on the student council. He was also an active member for Army ROTC for four years.

His strong work ethic and determination earned him scholarship offers from Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Notre Dame, the University of Virginia and the University of Montana.

But, he said no to all of them.

"I wanted to make this choice for my country," he said.

That choice was influenced by a research project on Hawaii soldier William Anderson killed in World War II during the Normandy campaign. It really left a mark on his life.

"This story was just one of 400,000 of the service men and women who died serving our country in the second World War," he said.

Travis visited Normandy and delivered a eulogy at Anderson's grave.

When he had to select a school, he chose the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

"I'm making this choice knowing that I'm going to serve the American people and the generations of Americans yet to be born so that one day they can have the same opportunities that I did," he said.

Travis is an only child, raised by his mom, Susan.

He leaves for West Point in the Fall.

"She recognized that this what I want to do and she was going to support me on that path however difficult it was for her," he said.

When Travis was younger he wanted to be a scientific researcher.

In four years he'll graduate from the military academy a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army.

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