I spoke with Jeremy Sharp, a senior at IDEAS Academy who recently enlisted in the United States Navy’s Nuclear Program. Below, Sharp talks of his future plans, worries, and offers his advice to others hoping to follow a similar path.
Keira Collin: Can you tell me about the Navy’s program that you enlisted in?
Jeremy Sharp: I’m going to be training to be a nuclear technician, so once I get a degree as a nuclear engineer, I can have the chance to operate nuclear reactors on ships or submarines. There’s a school in South Carolina called the Nuclear Power Training Command Center, and the curriculum and program are created by MIT. I’ll go down to South Carolina, where I’ll learn basics like thermodynamics, basic nuclear science. Then, I’ll go to a special school where I’ll learn how to operate power plant reactors, then to a place where they have reactors and study and work on a reactor, and accumulate years of college credit, that can be put towards a degree. At that point after I earn a Bachelor’s Degree I can become an officer. With the GI Bill and Post 9/11 bill, both of which I plan to utilize so i can get my Master’s Degree within a six year time span, it’s all paid for.
KC: How has IDEAS Academy helped you in this process?
JS: My education has really helped me in testing actually. From how I’ve been taught to process info here, I was able to take and utilize that to to find context clues which led to a high test score. Overall, my education at IDEAS has allowed me to think more abstractly about questions and try to solve them in non traditional or unorthodox ways.
KC: What are you looking forward to?
JS: I’m gonna get a high level, quality education, travel the world, have the opportunity to be on a ship going to port in places like Japan, Italy, and Thailand and you get to go explore those countries. That’s definitely a big excitement.
KC: Are you worried about anything?
JS: I’m worried about the intensity of the program as it is considered the best nuclear program in the world. It’s scary because I’m going into this and studying this hard and expedited subject in a short amount of time. I’m sure I’ll be able to overcome it.
KC: What does this acceptance mean for you, personally?
JS: I view it as a second chance for me. I was going to settle on a community college for a basic degree, but now I get to broaden my education, expand my leadership skills, and it allows me to take on an experience in my life that I’m looking forward to. I know it’s gonna be hard but it will be a way for me to broaden my horizons.
KC: What tips would you give to underclassmen interested in joining the military after high school?
JS: Pay attention in math. Definitely pay attention in school. The stuff all comes up. The more you know the better your job offers are gonna be. If you slack off you might not even qualify. You have to display a certain level of knowledge to be able to join the military. If you slack off and qualify you could be stuck with a cook’s job. Be disciplined. Make sure it’s right for you. Talking with a recruiter helps and alleviates questions and they’re definitely very knowledgeable.