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PA Cyber senior accepted into prestigious U.S. Air Force Academy Prep School

Apr 6, 2018

Isaac Melvin has always wanted to pursue a career in aeronautical engineering and serve proudly in the United States military.

He’ll get a chance to do both after having been accepted into the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School.

Melvin, 18, of Uniontown and a senior at PA Cyber Charter School, recently learned he was accepted into the Prep School’s one-year program, where only 125 students nationwide are afforded the offer.

The selection process is rigorous, according to Lt. Col. Richard J. Conwell, MSC, AFRES, the academy’s deputy liaison officer director in the western Pennsylvania region. Conwell said more than 90 percent of the accepted students will attend the U.S. Air Force Academy with the following year’s class.

“Next year, Isaac will likely attend the U.S. Air Force Academy’s main campus in Colorado,” Conwell said, “an education valued at more than $425,000, plus a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force upon his graduation.

“I’m definitely pleased, relieved, and excited to start my next chapter,” Melvin said of his acceptance to the program.

Melvin’s parents homeschooled him from kindergarten and enrolled him in PA Cyber in ninth grade. He became involved in school activities such as the Raspberry Pi Club, a basic programming group, as well as 3D printing, and served as captain of the Cyber Patriots team, all of which helped shape his interest in aeronautical engineering.  

He stayed involved in Boy Scouts since first grade, earning his Eagle Scout in 2016. He has taken on public speaking engagements and served in several leadership roles, including as 4-H shotgun president and troop quartermaster. Melvin also has served many volunteer hours in his community, spending five years with Meals on Wheels packing meal supplement bags.

“All of the programs I participated in, and also just getting the opportunity of having to be self-motivated and homeschooled, I think that really played a part in strengthening my application,” he said.

During 10th and 11th grades, Isaac began looking for universities with aeronautical programs and started looking at the Air Force Academy to make his dream of becoming an aircraft maintenance officer and pilot a reality.

Last summer, he was accepted into a weeklong seminar program. His mother, Yvonica Melvin, said the program covered all expenses, including his flight and tuition, and made him feel at home.

Following one year of prep academy, Melvin will enter a four-year program at the academy and pursue a Bachelor of Science. He has an automatic five-year commitment to the Air Force once he graduates from the academy.

He will enter the Air Force as a commissioned officer, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who also served in the U.S. Air Force. No one in his family has ever gone to an academy, he said. 

PA Cyber held a ceremony at its Greensburg office, where Conwell officially acknowledged Melvin's acceptance to the program. Melvin's family and PA Cyber officials were in attendance. See the photos.  

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About PA Cyber

Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.