Handful of Cubs pursue unique plans in college

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By Andrew Bagnard and Liam Miller

While a majority of the Class of 2016 will continue to pursue their educational career in a traditional collegiate setting, some Cubs will embark on a unique path for their higher education next year.   

Seniors Noah Utley, Sean Min, and Matthew Yu will make history as the first three Cubs in the same class to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point.

After four years of education at West Point, each Cub will become a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Military; however, graduates from the Academy are not required to enter directly into combat.

Utley, who will play football for West Point, did not originally consider attending the institution; however, following his official visit, he “grew to really love the place and the culture surrounding it.”

Utley’s familial military connections also contributed to his decision to attend the Academy.  “My grandpa was a pilot in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, so I’ve always had that military connection,” Utley said.

Utley looks forward to attending the institution with two fellow Cubs because “it had never been done before in the history of the Academy. That’s why it is so special.”

Similarly, Yu decided he wanted to attend West Point “because of the atmosphere of trust.”  Additionally, Yu said,  “Everyone at West Point lives by the honor code.”

As a starter for the Santa Monica Rugby Club, Yu, ranked sixth in the nation, plans to join West Point’s rugby team. “I only have one year of Rugby under my belt, but I hope that is enough to earn a spot on the team,” he said.

According to Yu, West Point’s rooming fosters a sense of brotherhood similar to Loyola’s.   “My dorm will be my company. That company will then be broken down into platoons, and those platoons are then broken down into squads,” Yu said.

One graduating Cub, Robbie Simon, will follow his calling to the priesthood next year. Simon will attend the University of Steubenville, a Franciscan college in eastern Ohio. There, he will major in theology and philosophy while participating in the Priestly Discernment Program.

“The program offers a unique environment of brotherhood that fosters Christ-focused relationships as the students seek to become Godly men,” Simon said.

Simon chose the University of Steubenville because it provided “a challenge to join a group of Catholic men and women who are seeking to grow in virtue despite our past faults and failures.”

Simon said he is looking most forward to “being in an environment with men and women who put a high priority on their faith.”

Ryan Guiteras, on the other hand, plans to attend El Camino College for two years to achieve his associate degree in fire science and technology. He will be living in an apartment near El Camino and will volunteer at Fire Station 63 in Venice. After schooling, he will attend El Camino’s Fire Academy to pursue his dream of becoming a firefighter.   .

“I just recently got my EMT by attending a night program at University of California, Los Angeles.  The associate degree in fire science and technology and attending the academy both look great when applying to be a firefighter,” Guiteras said.  

Guiteras said that previous job opportunites sparked his interest in El Camino’s program.  “Volunteering at Los Angeles Fire Department Station 63 helped me realize that it is definitely what I wanted to do.” He also said that becoming a firefighter “will constantly challenge [him]and give [him]the opportunity to help people in need,” Guiteras said.  

Not all seniors, however, will attend college in the United States this fall.  In fact, Andrea Calabria, Marco Carbone, and Alex Ramsbottom will travel internationally to pursue their respective endeavors.

Calabria will attend John Cabot University, an institution supported by the University of Southern California (USC), in Rome, Italy.  After the year-long program, Calabria will enroll at USC for his sophomore, junior, and senior years.  “All my credit will transfer to USC, so I won’t be behind anyway,” Calabria said.  

The program is not necessarily a gap year, but it gives students time to ponder their future.  “It’s the perfect medium between a gap year and going straight to college. It gives a young person time to figure out what they want from their life,” Calabria said.

Calabria’s family is Italian, and he speaks Italian fluently. “My dad works there [Italy] often, and I have family and friends that live there,” he said.

Additionally, Marco Carbone will attend John Cabot University in Rome next year.  He, too, will enroll at USC in the fall of 2017.  

Carbone chose to travel abroad because “it is a far better adventure than living at home in Los Angeles.”  During his trip, Carbone hopes to learn about accepting responsibility and to “leave the confines of American culture and make [his]own way in a setting that is unmatched.”

Similarly, Alex Ramsbottom will also engage in a study abroad program next year, as he will attend the American University in Paris for the fall of 2016. Living in an apartment that is walking distance from The Louvre and Musee d’Orsay, Ramsbottom will participate in a one-semester general education program that will allow him to earn credits eligible to transfer to his USC business degree.

Ramsbottom, who had a choice to take either a gap semester or a semester of community college prior to transferring to USC, said he wanted to study abroad to “get out of LA because [he is]going to be spending the next four years here anyways.” In regards to his decision, Ramsbottom said, “I wanted to travel, have good times with friends, and experience the world a little.”

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