When Aaron Nowlin ’12 came to Milton Hershey School his freshman year, he didn’t know where he saw his future. It took the help of an MHS employee to help guide him to the United States Naval Academy, where he’s currently a midshipman.
As a student at MHS, Nowlin knew he wanted to go to college, but also was thinking about joining the naval reserves. That’s when he says fate stepped in.
“I remember at lunch one day, Coach (Mark) Zerbe asked me if I had ever heard of the Naval Academy. I hadn’t,” said Nowlin. “The next day he brought in information packets and told me I should apply. Coach walked me through the whole process – he took me to the interviews and was there for all the appointments.”
Nowlin says if he hadn’t come to MHS, he never would have met Zerbe and he never would have attended the Naval Academy. It’s that ‘pay-it-forward’ mentality that’s driving Nowlin to mentor a current MHS student who’s interested in applying.
“If I had known that I wanted to go to the Naval Academy when I was a freshman or a sophomore, I would have done some things differently,” he said. “I’m giving him pointers and work-out advice to get him where he needs to be so that he can get into the academy too.”