Brookewood’s motto, Nolite Timere, (which in Latin means "be not afraid") isn’t something Brookewood alumnae merely give lip service to; for Ann Marie Acevedo, class of 2014 graduate, it's a life-motto. Ann Marie is currently a senior at the United States Air Force Academy, a very selective school that trains students to work in the United States’ Air Force. Ann Marie is a senior in Cadet Squadron 15, studying Political Science and minoring in Spanish with a focus towards International Relations. In her free time, she plays for the women’s lacrosse team and enjoys the privilege of being a glider instructor pilot at the 94th Flying Training Squadron.
Ann Marie spoke with BAA recently about her current education experience at USAFA, and she was happy to talk about her experience as a student at Brookewood. Reflecting on her time as a student, Ann Marie stressed the importance of the stability Brookewood offered her, especially the spiritual encouragement from a sisterhood of the faithful. According to Ann Marie, "not only did the education set me up well to succeed in my bachelors of science degree, but the relationships I formed and the foundation of being a woman of good character is something I cherish. I might have had to learn how to use all the fancy new tools in our large chemistry labs at the academy, but I’ve always had the spiritual guidance from Brookewood's loving community that many of my current classmates lack."
When she was a student at Brookewood, Ann Marie was indeed a leader, encouraging others to cheerfully love their neighbors and to engage in the classroom with curiousity and joy. Ann Marie was also one of the top students academically in her class. The transition for Ann Marie to the Air Force Academy, however, was initially initimidating. Ann Marie left an all-girls environment and entered a mostly male one, competing with some of the best students in the country. According to Ann Marie, "when I arrived at the academy, I was completely overwhelmed by how impressive my classmates were, and I let their accomplishments intimidate me from trying to reach my full potential. I’ll never forget during my freshmen year when I called a fellow Brookewood girl and began crying. She so calmly reminded me that I had nothing to be afraid of. I thought of people like Mr. Nauman who had taught me better and had given me the tools to tackle whatever obstacle was thrown my way with passion and excitement. Taking these words to heart has empowered me so much so that I had them engraved in my class ring!"
Talking about her experience at Brookewood, Ann Marie highlighted the rewards of her challenging courses. Brookewood’s difficult reading list (The Iliad, Moby Dick, Crime and Punishment to name a few) helped equip her with wisdom from the classics, and her teachers’ enthusiasm helped fuel her own current research in college.
Recently Ann Marie was awarded a certificate from the Air Force for 92T0-Pilot, a certificate awarded after much training and diligence. We are so proud of Ann Marie, and Brookewood knows she’s already reaching for the stars!