Student Spotlight 2023: Avery Bentley, U.S. Navy

Tell us about yourself.

I am from Spartanburg, South Carolina, and I serve as a nuclear electronics technician in the United States Navy. I decided to join the military, specifically the Naval Nuclear Program, for the challenge. I wanted to prove that I could accomplish a long-term goal and the nuclear program was an excellent opportunity for an academic challenge. A fun fact about myself is that I can (almost) identify the flag of any country in the world.

What was your educational background prior to attending WSP, and which of our courses did you attend? 

I attended community college for a couple of years before joining the Navy, but I didn’t obtain a degree and never found exactly where I wanted my education to fit in my life. To use a nautical metaphor, I was a ship without a sail, so to speak. Recently, I attended Warrior-Scholar Project’s humanities course at Georgetown University.

Why did you decide to participate in WSP this summer, and was there a shift in your confidence level from the first day of the course to the last day?

I participated in WSP because I wanted to identify my academic weaknesses and strengths. Also, WSP is the only program of its kind that allows participants to have a fully immersive college experience, so I wasn’t going to miss out on that. On the first day, my confidence level was a 7 out of 10, but on the last day, it was between 9 and 10. This increase in confidence wasn’t just because I diagnosed where some of my academic weaknesses were but because I gained the tools to continue to work on my writing skills and analytical reading before I go back to college. Also, while at WSP, I realized how much I loved the humanities. When the academic content thoroughly entertains you, you can do the work because it’s fun.

What were some key insights you gained during your courses, and what is your biggest takeaway?

I learned how my education will complement my life/military experience. With every lecture and seminar, there were lessons I could tie into my life, which was very fulfilling. While reading the works of Abraham Lincoln, Alexis de Tocqueville, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I felt that I was becoming more well-rounded and learning valuable lessons in the power of language. The power of language is the most important thing I learned at WSP. I realized you can use language to move mountains, save lives, and enrich your life. Using the analytic skills to understand the language that I learned will be something that not only assists me in the pursuit of a degree but for the rest of my life.

In one word, how would you describe your overall experience?

Pivotal!

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