Skyler Wuest, a 2022 Goessel High School graduate, recently learned he was accepted into the U.S. Air Force Academy Prep School in Colorado. Wuest will report to the 10-month program in July, where only 200 students nationwide are afforded the offer. He is excited for this first step in a future career serving his country in the Air Force specializing in cybersecurity or aviation.
Wuest’s acceptance was the culmination of a long, thoughtful process and he was prepared to do whatever it took to get to his dream school in Colorado Springs. The selection process is rigorous and consists of a lengthy application process, physical fitness tests, extensive interviews and a personal nomination from the Office of a Member of Congress or the Office of the President of the United States. Each cadet candidate must demonstrate an aptitude for commissioned service and leadership, must exhibit personal integrity and must have successfully met all physical, academic and military requirements.
“Although I knew how low the acceptance rate was to the Academy, this was the only school I had a passion towards. I made the decision not to apply to any other schools and gave myself no other option but to succeed,” said Wuest.
Wuest started the application process in June 2021, interviewed with Kansas Representative Tracey Mann in November and was awarded a Congressional nomination to the Academy. He received word in March that he was accepted into the distinguished prep school and was notified in June that he secured a spot on the U.S. Air Force Academy Prep School Basketball team.
“During the four years of attending Air Force Basketball camps in jr. high and high school off-seasons, it was always my dream to be accepted and play on the basketball team,” said Wuest. “My experiences and connections with players and cadets sparked a desire to do whatever it took to achieve my goal.”
The mission of the men’s basketball program is to develop athletes for the rigors of Division I basketball and instill the Air Force core values into their athletic experience. The team usually competes in a 26-32 game schedule against junior colleges, NCAA/ NAIA junior varsity and military base teams.
Goessel head basketball coach Curtis Guhr commented, “Skyler has always been a hard worker whether in the classroom or on the court. I am so proud of Skyler and excited for him to continue to get to play basketball at Air Force.”
“I’ve always known Skyler to be multi-talented, goal-driven and have a tremendous work ethic. So attaining acceptance into the Air Force is no surprise,” added Wuest’s high school advising teacher Crysta Guhr. “He is ready to pursue the excellence that the Air Force requires.”
Next year Wuest will likely attend the U.S. Air Force Academy’s main campus in Colorado, an education valued at more than $425,000 plus a commission as an Officer in the U.S. Air Force upon his graduation in 2027.
“I’m excited,” he said. “This is something I’ve been working toward for a long time.”
Established in 1961, the competitive preparatory program is a pathway to those who wish to eventually attend the U.S. Air Force Academy, a public university and military service academy. About 80% of cadets who attend the preparatory program are offered appointment to the academy, according to the program website. While at the school, cadets wear Air Force uniforms, are expected to maintain military standards and are subject to the military’s Uniform Code of Military Justice.