CHICAGO (CBS) — Hundreds of Whitney Young seniors will walk across the graduation stage today, and one was accepted into both his top schools against all odds.
Andrew Bui’s family story is a Chicago original, a tale of perseverance and pride in his country, and he shared it with CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas.READ MORE: Cab Driver Robbed At Gunpoint In Norwood Park
The Air Force Academy acceptance rate is only 11 percent; the Naval Academy only 8.3 percent.
“I knew that my odds of going in were slim,” Andrew Bui said.
But odds be damned, the Whitney Young senior got in to both prestigious military academies.
“I’ve always wanted to fly fighter jets,” he said. “It felt so surreal, like, I really did this.”
Andrew stood out to the academies, because he’s a two-sport athlete and an Eagle scout who excelled in his Advanced Placement courses. But there’s even more to his story than that.
You see, his parents came to the United States in the 1970s from South Vietnam.READ MORE: With Eviction Moratorium Over, Many Chicagoans In Need Of Rental Assistance Are Still In Limbo
His father managed to leave Saigon on a helicopter at the end of the Vietnam War. He had hopes of a brighter future; hopes of starting a family in America.
“I’ve heard stories from my parents about what their life is like,” Andrew said.
Those stories drive Andrew to serve the country where his parents found their new beginning.
“I’ve lived in this country my whole and I’m very proud to live in this country,” Andrew said.
It was no easy call, but he’ll be headed to the Naval Academy in the fall.
His acceptance letters will stay in Logan Square with his proud parents.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Temperatures Heating Up
A very selfless young man, Andrew said he couldn’t have done this without the teachers and staff at Whitney Young. He hopes to become an F-18 pilot for the Navy.