Off to the Air Force Academy for local teen

April 16, 2002|STAFF REPORT

Upon congressional nominations from Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Robert Rodrigo Boniface has accepted an offer of appointment to the United States Air Force Academy from Lt. Gen. John Dallager, academy superintendent.

Robert is an Eagle Scout and earned 71 merit badges, five palms and two religious medals administered by Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in El Centro.

Overseeing volunteers for his Eagle Scout project, at 85 miles distance from the Imperial Valley, Robert blazed and constructed 400 feet of backcountry trail in the mountains near Ranchita.

San Diego's Catholic diocese and the Rev. Joe Carrol, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul, selected Robert for a scholarship to Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M., where he earned the St. George trek religious medal through the universal Catholic Church.


Representing Boy Scouts as an ambassador, Robert was an official Spanish translator at the Boy Scouts World Jamboree in Chile.

Having received an Air Force Academy Falcon Foundation scholarship for pilot-qualified students at the beginning of the current school year, Robert attends Valley Forge Military College outside Philadelphia.

On June 28, he reports to Colorado Springs for matriculation at the Air Force Academy. Robert plans to major in mechanical engineering and to pilot combat aircraft for the nation's armed forces.

A class of 2001 graduate, Robert is Southwest High School's first alumnus to receive a United States military academy appointment.

His maternal grandmother is Consuelo Cartas of El Centro, his sister, Breezy, is a senior at Southwest High and his parents are Elia and David Boniface.

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