West Point-Bound High School Graduate Credits Archbishop Broglio for Upward Career Path; Creates Scholarship

Salutatorian André Michell graduates from St. John Paul the Great High School in Dumfries, Va. after enrolling on Archbishop’s recommendation; starts basic training at U.S. Military Academy at West Point in July

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In 2011, when he was 15 years old, André Michell was living with his family in Kuwait City, where his dad was stationed at the U.S. Embassy as a special agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). That Christmas, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the U.S. Military Services, stopped by to see André, his sister Corrie, and their parents, Michael and Sandy Michell, while in Kuwait to visit U.S. troops and military chaplains. The Michells told the Archbishop of their plans to move back to Virginia the following year; and when the subject of where André might attend high school came up, Archbishop Broglio suggested Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries (now SaintJohn Paul the Great), a diocesan school led by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia from Nashville, Tenn. André recalls the Archbishop telling him that “I would be challenged to think critically and deeply by taking their philosophy and bioethics courses.”

On Friday, May 30, André Michell, now 18, graduated from St. John Paul the Great, anational honors student and Salutatorian of his class with a 4.58 grade point average. Also an accomplished athlete, he was Captain and Most Valuable Player on the high school swim team in addition to lettering in soccer, lacrosse, and baseball. He excelled in community service as well, serving as Student Government Secretary and working as a Peer Tutor and Student Ambassador. And with a composite SAT score of 2130, André Michell was accepted on full scholarship to both the United States Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy. André has chosen West Point, where he starts cadet basic training on July 2. He says he came to his decision following prayer, reflection, and another consultation with Archbishop Broglio this past January at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS) in Washington, D.C. André says the Archbishop told him that “both schools are incredible, and either would give me a solid foundation for military leadership. He advised me to pray about it, which I did. It was a hard choice, but I am at peace with my decision.”

Having accepted the appointment to West Point, André is now giving back to the high school where he has achieved so much distinction. André has established the “St. Michael the Archangel Scholarship” to help other military families attend St. John Paul the Great in the future. André has committed $50,000 of his own money over the next 25 years. He wrote the first $2,000 check on May 19, using all of his savings from years of babysitting, yard work, and general odd jobs. André says he owes it all to Archbishop Timothy Broglio, whose counsel led him to the right place at the right time in his life. “Archbishop Broglio has been absolutely instrumental in my career path,” he says. “I put a lot of stock in his advice, since he has so much experience as a pastoral leader, seeing many schools and dioceses in operation around the country and around the world. I knew if anyone could tell a good school when he saw one, it would be Archbishop Broglio. I am deeply thankful for his influence in my life and for leading me to John Paul.”

Archbishop Broglio made the following observation: “Meeting young people like André and Corrie renews your hope in the future and reminds you of the importance of the family. André grew up in a variety of cultures, but his parents instilled those fundamental values in him and in his sister. It is heartening to know that our Country will be served by an officer and a gentleman of his caliber. His commitment to giving back to St. John Paul the Great High School means that other sons and daughters of military men and women will be able to profit from an education there.”