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Home / AIM / AIM BLOGS / Ella Stolarzyk - PRE-AIM INTERVIEW

Ella Stolarzyk: Pre-AIM Interview

Ella Stolarzyk | July 17, 2023

Ella Stolarzyk

What interests you about the Academy and what made you apply to AIM?

As I considered different service academies, I was drawn to the Coast Guard Academy for its humanitarian mission. That mission deeply resonates with my personal values, as it embodies the ideology of aiding those in need. I made the decision to apply for AIM to participate real-time in Academy life and to connect with like-minded high school students. It also helps me understand what I can expect if I am accepted as a cadet.

What is the #1 thing you’ve done to prepare for AIM?

The most significant step I have taken in preparation for AIM is broadening my knowledge of the Coast Guard. In the months preceding AIM, I actively sought out firsthand experiences that allowed me to witness the Coast Guard mission in action. For instance, I had the privilege of going underway on the CGC BERTHOLF on a two-day shakedown in early March, gaining valuable information about life on a cutter. Additionally, I recently embarked on a memorable helo flight at Air Station San Francisco. These immersive encounters with the Coast Guard have given me knowledge on the training needed to be a successful USCGA cadet. Perhaps more importantly, the experiences I have had allowed me to better understand the types of leaders of character the CGA produces.

What would you like your fellow AIMsters to know about you?

Throughout the week at AIM, I would like to convey my enthusiasm and excitement as a fellow AIMster as we navigate the challenges we’ll encounter together.

What are you most looking forward to?

During my time on campus, I am eagerly anticipating the opportunity to connect with fellow AIMsters who, like me, are aspiring to receive appointments to the Academy. Building relationships with these like-minded individuals will be one of the highlights of my week. I am also excited about forming connections with coaches, teachers, and our cadre. Engaging with these mentors will not only provide me with guidance but also allow me to establish additional meaningful connections within the Academy community!

Any hesitations about your AIM week?

Among the obvious reasons for feeling nervous, my primary hesitation revolves around adapting to the East Coast weather. Coming from the Bay Area of San Francisco, I am not accustomed to high humidity and extremely hot days. The Eastern summer heat will pose an additional challenge during what is already expected to be a demanding week. To gradually prepare for this change, I’ve taken proactive steps such as staying well-hydrated and having training sessions during the warmest parts of the day. These preparations will hopefully help me face the rigor of my AIM week.

What do your peers think about your service academy aspirations?

West Coast high school graduation plans typically include attending state schools or large universities, with service academies being a less common path for almost all students. However, I made the unconventional decision to apply for a career in the Coast Guard by way of the USCGA. Despite this departure from the norm, my peers have shown unwavering support for my future. My friends ask numerous questions, join in my pre-AIM workouts and look forward to hearing updates post-AIM!

I believe I am respected by my peers for having the courage to not only pursue my dreams but also the decision to serve my country in an important and unconventional manner.

About Ella

  • Hometown: Danville, CA
  • Intended Major: Government
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