McCracken County High School senior Reese Bell is gearing up to attend the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, later this year and he’s honored to have the opportunity.
“I’d always known about West Point as like the military academy, but last year about this time, I was invited to attend — they have like a summer program that they do before your senior year just to expose you the academy and for anyone who’s interested,” he said.
“Of course I did that camp because I was invited. I really found out that that might be a really good option for me because I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”
Congressman James Comer, R-Ky., nominated Bell for the military academy and, in late March, Comer’s office announced that he was accepted.
The 18-year-old student sees going to West Point as an opportunity to get a four-year education, to find something he would be interested in doing, and a chance to “dedicate” himself to serving something larger than himself.
“One thing they talked about in the summer camp was the different branch options within the Army,” he said. “I think the one that I would try to go into would be military intelligence, which seems something like I’d be interested in.”
Bell, son of Paula and Brian Bell of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Every Tuesday, The Sun publishes articles on area high school seniors who were chosen from a group of nominees for Teen of the Week recognition. Around the end of the school year, a selection committee will name one of these students as Teen of the Year, which carries a $5,000 scholarship. Another student will receive the Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.
At McCracken County, Bell has earned a 4.25 weighted cumulative GPA. He’s an AP Scholar with Distinction and participated on the high school academic team. He’s also taken part in the Future Business Leaders of America, the high school’s media team and National Honor Society.
Outside of school, Bell stays busy with CrossFit and plays bass guitar. He describes CrossFit as more than fitness, as it’s also a community.
“That’s actually become a huge, huge part of my life — probably in the last two years ... it’s a good community and I like the people and I like what it does for me,” he said.
“That’s another thing that pushed me to pursue maybe a military career because there are a lot of military and ex-military that come to (the) gym and that do CrossFit globally.”
Bell explained that he likes the “team group setting” with the fitness that goes into it. He also noted that CrossFit is physically intense.
“Of course, throughout school, I’ve always been pushing myself academically, but now I’ve got a chance to push myself physically,” he said.
“And academically, I feel like there’s only so much you can do, but physically, I’ve just felt like I’ve learned that I want to see how far how I can go. Like, I want to be better than I was yesterday, and I want to see how far I can push myself and what new things I can accomplish that I couldn’t do yesterday.”
With high school graduation coming up, Bell said he will head to West Point in late June for a basic training-type program for cadets, ahead of the academic year. He shared that he’s ready to be moving on from high school, and go to the next thing, but it’s also scary.
“I am as nervous as I am excited,” he said.
By KELLY FARRELL