While growing up, Kaileen Tweedie, a 17-year-old from Oakland Township, could frequently be seen wearing tennis shoes, gym shorts and toting around athletic equipment.
Being physically fit has always been one of the senior’s top priorities. Now, being in shape is more important than ever as she prepares to embark on her higher education journey at U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where she was recently accepted. Tweedie said the curriculum at West Point is vigorous, and she hopes her cross-country and lacrosse experience will help her through the physical portion of the program.
“It’s a college that offers opportunities that no other college can,” Tweedie said. "It’s all about the experience and becoming the best person you can be."
Though she hasn’t visited the campus yet, she has done a lot of research on the curriculum and how the academy is run.
“I hear the first year is the roughest," Tweedie said. "I have heard horror stories about the basic training with hard-core workouts at 5:30 a.m. and how you have to go to bed at 11 p.m. every night. Every minute is planned for you, but I’ll be all right in that lifestyle.”
Thrill of being accepted
The acknowledged Tweedie’s accomplishment at last week’s school board meeting.
“It is one of the highest ranking universities in the nation and is very difficult to get into,” said , Lake Orion Community Schools superintendent. “We are really proud of Kaileen, and we wish her well.”
Tweedie was thrilled to find out she was accepted into the academy; she said she literally jumped up and down, screaming with excitement. Attending West Point hadn’t occurred to her until last year when she took the time to think about what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. It was then that she decided that a government position, such as a foreign ambassador, would be the perfect fit.
Going to West Point is one of the best tickets into one of her desired positions, she said, crediting the school’s focus on building quality leaders. The idea of traveling for a career is exciting to Tweedie, who would also like to travel abroad during college, preferably to a Spanish-speaking country because she is familiar with the language.
She did admit that the commitment required in the Army after completing the academy is "kind of scary," but she said she is excited nonetheless.
Fitting in with an athletic background
After years of playing soccer and running track, Tweedie decided to switch courses and got involved in lacrosse during her freshman year of high school. She said she was one of the few girls to make it onto the varsity lacrosse team as a sophomore.
“Kaileen gives everything she has to her teammates,” said Bill Booth, girls varsity lacrosse coach at Lake Orion High School. “She is a leader on and off the field by setting a good example for other student athletes.”
Once at West Point, Tweedie hopes to continue running cross-country and playing lacrosse at some level and possibly to try something new as well. She said she has a love/hate relationship with running but believes it helps her mentally.
In addition to the team sports she participates in, Tweedie has a black belt in taekwondo. Aside from sports and working out, she enjoys volunteering her time at Beaumont Hospital. At times she can also be found volunteering for the Orion Township Fire Department.
“We are very proud of her appointment to West Point and know that Kaileen will be successful in this next part of her life,” Booth said.
Like Booth, Tweedie has high hopes for herself. When asked what her future goals are in life, she said she wants to run a full marathon and be someone really important one day.
Do you know our next Whiz Kid?
The Oakland Township Patch is always seeking suggestions from readers for individual kids, youth groups, teens and even sports teams that wow us with their accomplishments. We want to hear about these amazing children and teens and select one frequently as the Patch Whiz Kid. Submit your nomination in our comment box below or email the information to editor Brittney Moody. Be sure to include all of the following information:
- Nominator's name
- Whiz Kid's name and age
- Whiz Kid's school
- Whiz Kid's accomplishment
- Whiz Kid's key to awesomeness (what made him/her successful?)