A senior at Fairhaven High School has been formally appointed a cadet at the United States Naval Academy. Adin Monroe will be a member of Annapolis' class of 2027.

Monroe got word from the academy in October when he received a rare "letter of assurance," the equivalent to an early acceptance reserved for athletic recruits and other outstanding applicants.  As long as Adin met the remaining admissions requirements, he was guaranteed an appointment.

Adin was in disbelief.

"I was very surprised that I received the letter," he said.

Then came the nomination from Congressman Bill Keating on Dec. 28.

Adin still refused to believe he had officially been accepted.

Adin Monroe's Father 'Bawled'

Finally, official word came to the Monroe family last week that Adin would, in fact, be a cadet at the academy. It's still sinking in for Adin, but here it is in writing. Adin doesn't expect it to hit him until he arrives for Plebe Summer, the training program for freshmen, on June 29.

Courtesy of Brian Monroe
Courtesy of Brian Monroe

It was a moment Adin's father, Brian, will never forget.

"I'm not going to lie, I went into the basement and bawled my eyes out when we found out," he said. "Happy tears."

Needless to say, having a dream like this come to fruition is no easy task for anyone. There is an extraordinary amount of work behind landing this type of military academy appointment, but Adin had some significant challenges standing in his way.

"Learning and athletics were not always easy for Adin," his father said. "He spoke his first words when he was 4 years old. He was consistently below average on his elementary and middle school assessments. Athletically, he got the minimum playing time in baseball and was a pretty slow runner."

As far as Adin's non-verbal beginning to his life, Brian says that he knew his son wanted to speak.

"He was definitely present, it just took him longer to verbalize," he said. "Luckily, we were able to teach him some sign language so we knew when he was hungry and things like that."

Adin Monroe's Inspiring Transformation

Adin went from a non-verbal little boy to giving speeches in front of his entire school as class president.

So, what was the turning point in his academics and athletics? His parents really couldn't say.

"I guess it was just maturity," Brian said. "Adin really came into his own at Fairhaven High School." Adin said he "just kind of clicked with high school."  He is now a straight-A student and captain of the track team.  Adin has run three half-marathons, completing the latest in 1 hour and 32 minutes, and placing third in front of two college runners.

His transformation is not finished, however. When he started training for his candidate physical fitness assessment, he was only able to complete two pull-ups.  He now can do 18.

This kid has grit.

While there have been students who went on to West Point and the Air Force Academy, Fairhaven Superintendent Tara Kohler says she is not aware of any other graduating seniors ever getting an appointment to the Naval Academy.

"I never would have seen myself doing this five or 10 years ago," Adin said. "In my mind, we're just an ordinary family, nothing really too special. Me going to this school is just quite amazing. How an ordinary person can achieve anything they set their mind to — it's a great thing."

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