PEMBERVILLE – Brenna Payne is looking for the challenge that will come with attending West Point.
“I first started looking at ROTC because I wanted to do some sort of service,” Payne said. “Then my mom showed me a picture of the academy as a joke, and I wanted to go there because I wanted the challenge and to push myself.”
She said she did not like the idea of going to college. She likes the idea of having the physical and academic demands that an academy has.
“I like how it creates leaders.”
Payne also applied to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which was her first choice, but she got the offer from West Point.
The Air Force had the career she wanted to go into: Research chemistry.
West Point also offers that coursework, she said.
U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, in December announced his nominations from Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District for consideration, including Payne, for acceptance into the United States Air Force and West Point Military academies in the Class of 2027.
Her dad was in the Army so that piqued her interest in West Point.
She has been unable to visit the New York campus and when she arrives in June it will be as a plebe.
Payne said she has been looking at how to prepare for the physical as well as academic challenges.
She said she hopes to make the Army her career and is looking to be an explosive ordinance disposal or intelligence officer. Her favorite classes are chemistry and calculus.
At Eastwood, Payne participates in bands, FCA, National Honor Society and Tri-M. She also has been involved in gymnastics for 12 years, 10 years competitively and currently practices at the Perrysburg YMCA. She competes in all four events: Vault, bar, floor and beam.
She also has competed in varsity gymnastics for Eastwood for four years.
Payne said gymnastics has helped her train for the physical requirements at West Point. Running is what she needs to work on, she said.
She is the daughter of Cletus and Nicki Payne, Luckey.