Riston Holley, a senior at Barry County Christian School, has been extended a congressional appointment to a U.S. military academy of his choosing from Justin Amash, U.S. Congressman from Michigan’s 3rd District.
The youngest son of Ron and Mary Holley of Hastings, Riston’s academic achievement, proven leadership qualities and community service highlight Congressman Amash's appointment, BCCS Administrator Brandon Strong said.
“It’s nice to have something we know about a student confirmed by Congressman Amash. Riston is a tremendous leader, has a strong personal commitment to patriotism, and is from an exceptional family. It’s been an absolute pleasure to watch the growth of young people; to watch one receive an honor like this is certainly a highlight.”
Holley is the grandson of Lyle Holley, a World War II veteran and an influence on his decision to serve. “Grandpa served in the Army and has always lived his life with integrity, I hope to be able to live life similarly, as it is very important to serve my country.”
To earn nomination, an applicant must prove their leadership capability, have strong academic records, and be interviewed by a panel from the congressman’s office. Now that he has completed that hurdle, the next step is to receive an appointment from an academy, Strong said.
Holley has not determined which academy he will attend, but his top three choices are West Point, U.S. Air Force Academy, and U.S. Naval Academy.
Upon graduation, he will be appointed an officer in the corresponding branch of the military, where he will serve for a minimum of five years.
Upon nomination from an academy, he will receive 100 percent free tuition, housing, meals, books, health insurance and a small stipend with the appointment. With graduation, he will become an officer in the United States military, Strong said.//
“I am very thankful for the opportunity to get a great education and then have the opportunity to go on and serve my country,” Holley said. He is the first student in Barry County Christian School’s 45-year history to earn the honor.
Military academies receive approximately 8,000 nominations yearly, and accept only 1,200. Holley has attended Barry County Christian School for 13 years.
His education and scholarships are valued at more than $350,000 to date