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Lodi-area student Margaret Berry to attend West Point; nominated by Congressman Jerry McNerney

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Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:59 am, Tue Jun 7, 2011.

Margaret Berry is the only Lodi-area student selected to attend the United States Military Academy, West Point this fall as a first-year student.

The Woodbridge resident leaves for basic training in two weeks. “I’m super excited. I can’t believe I’m going,” Berry said Monday.

“Going to the academy is something not everyone gets to do. If you even have the opportunity to apply, you should do it,” she said.

She said she has had her sights set on the prestigious school since she was a sophomore because she wanted a challenge.

But in order to attend a military service academy, students must be nominated by an elected official. Berry is among the 15 selected by Congressman Jerry McNerney this year.

She said the application process is a project in itself. “You need the support of your family, your friends and your school,” she said.

The announcement was made Friday, and Berry was honored at an event hosted by McNerney over the weekend.

Berry was also required to pass a physical fitness assessment prior to being admitted into West Point.

While excited to explore a new city across the country from the area she’s lived all her life, she admits she’s nervous about becoming acclimated to the cold New York weather. But she’s looking forward to starting the next chapter in her life and getting a different college experience than her local friends, she said.

Berry recently graduated with high honors from St. Mary’s High School in Stockton, not Tokay as originally reported. She was affiliated with many campus clubs, including International Outreach.

Her mother, Jennifer, said she and her husband, Mark, are very proud of their daughter and support her decision to serve the country.

“An appointment to West Point was her goal and through hard work she achieved that goal,” Jennifer Berry said.

“She took a difficult course load in her senior year, played varsity water polo and was involved in many school activities,” she said.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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