It's getting to be that time of year. When high school seniors and their parents start worrying. Will they get into the college they want? Will they be able to pay for it?
One remarkable young man in Fairfax County does not have to worry about any of that.
Timothy Park has hit the grand slam: admission to four of America's military service academies. It's almost like getting into every one of the Ivy League schools -- but you need a Congressional nomination. (He did not apply to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.)
"I'm feeling amazing right now!" said Park, 18, a student at Trinity Christian School.
Stellar grades... test scores... leadership... community service... fitness... were all part of the formula that got him into West Point, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force and Coast Guard Academies.
We know it's rare to get into four. But we can only guess how rare. "It's about one percent, if not less," Park said one graduate told him. "Of the whole country."
"I'm following up the legacy of service my grandfather started," he said. His grandfather was growing up in Busan, Korea when American troops landed to push back the North Koreans. Forever grateful, as a doctor in Pennsylvania, Eugene Park always provided free medical care to Korean War vets. "What he said is he had a debt of honor he wanted to repay."
Timothy's dad continues the tradition of service as a Lt. Colonel in the US Army. "We're very proud and excited he's going to serve our country," said Sean Park. "As Americans, there's no better thing than protecting our country."
"My first choice at this point is West Point, but I'm keeping my options open," said Timothy.
He admits it's a little daunting. But he wants to lead, and his school leaders are certain he'll succeed. "It's honestly, almost a miracle," he said.
Civil air patrol, cross country, National Honor Society, cellist, nine AP classes, 10 honors -- that's what it takes.
But he's not so different from a lot of young people. He still hasn't figured out his major. Could be physics... could be history. But whatever it is, tuition is free.