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NWC Alumnus to UConn ROTC: Leon Babcock Shares Story with Students

Leon Babcock, a 2015 graduate of Northwest Catholic High School, returned to his alma mater this month to talk with seniors about his experiences in the University of Connecticut’s Air Force ROTC program.

Northwest Catholic recently formalized its alumni speaker series to draw direct lines between current students and successful graduates in various fields. Leon Babcock made the connection clear when he told students, “Call me. I’ll help. Shadow me for a day. I can even connect you with the director. I’ll leave my contact information with Ms. Boyle.” 

Beth Boyle, a graduate of NWC herself, is the Director of Alumni LEADS, the new initiative in the school’s existing leadership program. Ms. Boyle has welcomed alumni to campus all fall, and each honored guest has described life in his or her field, ranging from hospitality to insurance to law and more. 

Northwest Catholic might have the most fiercely loyal alumni community in the state. Alumni often drop by the school to reconnect with old teachers, counselors, and coaches. Today, with the new speaker series, Northwest Catholic is showing its current students, who might not yet fully understand what it means to be part of the Pride, what networking looks like.

When Leon Babcock was a student at NWC, he played on the baseball and football teams and was a member of the Jazz Band. After graduating he attended community college, earning a degree in Cyber Security. Babcock transferred to Uconn where he is currently studying Political Science and is a U.S. Air Force ROTC cadet. He is working toward becoming a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force upon graduation. 

Cadet Babcock shared many of his college experiences and described the potential scholarship opportunities available to those interested in ROTC. He went into detail describing the ins-and-outs of stipends, physicals, training programs, travel opportunities, and more. He even discussed second careers for those who eventually retire as Air Force officers. He mentioned careers in international business and private airlines and more. He explained to the students, who may have never considered the connection, that the Air Force offers a well-paved road into the corporate world. 

Perhaps Babcock’s most important message was: “Your grades matter. If you want to get into ROTC, you need good grades. If you want to get your first-choice assignments, you need to stand out.” He continued, “You need to set yourself apart from others, and your hard work will get noticed.”

Students asked questions about flight school, aircrafts, and why the Air Force, and every time Babcock gave an honest response. What made the students smile, and his former social studies teacher and baseball coach, both who attended the presentation, laugh, was when Babcock poked fun at himself, saying he had trouble staying clean shaven at Northwest Catholic. He admitted that kind of discipline was hard for him when he was a student, but now he appreciates the expectations. Babcock said, “Hey, you feel better when you look better. It’s true.”