Two Valley Forge Military Academy Cadets Head “Across the Pond” to Study at Duke of York

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Valley Forge Military Academy (VFMA) is pleased to announce and congratulate Cadet John Patrick O’Neill of Wakefield, Rhode Island and Cadet Qingtian Mei of Shenzhen, China on their selection for The Duke of York’s Royal Military School exchange program in Dover, Kent UK. Valley Forge Military Academy and College is an international leadership institute, comprised of a middle school (grades 6-8), high school (grades 9-12), and college, located in Wayne, PA 12 miles from Philadelphia.

Valley Forge Military Academy (VFMA) is pleased to announce and congratulate Cadet John Patrick O’Neill of Wakefield, RI and Cadet Qingtian Mei of Shenzhen, China on their selection for The Duke of York’s Royal Military School exchange program in Dover, Kent UK.

Selection for this study abroad experience is competitive. This year, there were six candidates who went through the selection process. Each applicant had to write an essay on the topic “Understanding Tradition in a Changing World.” This was reviewed by a faculty evaluation council who also reviewed the students overall academic performance followed by deliberation and ultimately a vote by the selection committee.

Cadet O’Neill completed his sophomore year at Valley Forge and will start his junior year at the Duke of York. Cadet O’Neill is no stranger to academic rigor. After completing his freshman year at Valley Forge, O’Neill competed for and was selected to attend the United States Naval Academy’s renowned academic STEM program last summer. With his experience at VFMA coupled with that of his summer 2014 experience at USNA, Cadet O’Neill is ready for the physical and academic challenges of Duke of York. Cadet O’Neill also earned a gold star for his academic achievement this year at VFMA and also received the Philadelphia Classical Society Poetry Cum Laude awards and the Poster Magna Cum laude awards.

Cadet Mei also completed his sophomore year at Valley Forge. Cadet Mei is emblematic of Valley Forge Military Academy as an international leadership institute. Cadet Mei began studying at Valley Forge two years ago in ninth grade. In that time he has gone from a basic understanding of English to being fully mainstreamed and carries a rigorous course load consisting of AP Biology and Honors math courses. He and Cadet O’Neill have both also earned the rank of Cadet Master Sergeant.

Selection for this exchange program is an impressive accomplishment. The Duke of York’s Royal Military School was founded in 1803, with a rich history and ethos of developing each student with character, self-discipline, self-sufficiency, life skills, and leadership opportunities. This is consistent with the cornerstones of Valley Forge Military which include academic excellence, character development, personal responsibility, and leadership. Both schools combine the relevant and unique ingredients of a military model to deliver a high quality education to equip students to be successful in life.

Valley Forge Military Academy and College is an international leadership institute, comprised of a middle school (grades 6-8), high school (grades 9-12), and college. Located in Wayne, PA 12 miles from Philadelphia, VFMAC offers commuting and boarding options. At Valley Forge Military Academy students are immersed in a unique college preparatory educational experience centered on academic excellence, personal motivation, and character that helps them reach their academic potential to achieve success in the classroom and beyond. From its cadet ranks, to the rifle club, to its award winning equestrian program, VFMA teaches students leadership and responsibility in practical ways.

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