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franklin county times

Newton teen on his way to U.S. Air Force Academy

By By Scottye Carter/The Meridian Star
June 27, 2001
Making the decision to go to college can really stress a person out. Most high school seniors spend their last year of school debating it.
For Jarrod Scoggin, the decision was not all that stressful. He's on his way today to the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Scoggin, who recently graduated from Newton County High School, was nominated to join the academy's class of 2005 by U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss.
He will receive scholarships and stipends totaling $311,000 for the four years. The Academy is located in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Air Force tradition
Scoggin's father, Clint, works at the Regional Counter-drug Academy at Navy Air Station Meridian. He is the reason Jarrod and one of his brothers, who is already in the military, became interested in the U.S. Air Force.
Jarrod's father chuckled as their new puppy chewed at his camouflage pants, and Jarrod watched as he described what his life will soon be like.
Scoggin departed from Meridian Regional Airport this morning at 7:10 a.m. his first taste of strict military life. He can only take specific items with him, like razors and other necessary items. Most of his clothing will be provided by the academy.
Scoggin claimed he was ready to go.
His mother, Tanya, laughed, but later she turned serious and said that in order to "cut the apron strings," Jarrod will not be allowed to call or come home for eight weeks or more.
Despite Jarrod's joking, the U.S. Air Force Academy is not an easy university to enter. The academy competes with institutions like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown and other Ivy League schools.
Clint Scoggin explained the process his son went through.
About 50,000 students become interested in attending the academy every year, but only about 1,400 make the cut.
In addition to his academics, Jarrod hopes to play intramural tennis. As for the distant future, Jarrod has a few plans.
Tanya, his mother, said that she was the first to know about his scholarship because Chip Pickering himself called their house.
Scottye Carter is a staff writer for The Meridian Star.