WICHITA, Kansas – Anyone who knows Simeon Willis at Southeast High knows he’s bound for great things.
It was a prediction made official at the senior breakfast.
“First up is most likely to be President of the United States — Simeon Willis,” said the announcer.
A vote of confidence from his classmates, even though the White House is not Simeon’s goal.
“It’s pretty surprising because I’ve never thought about being President of the United States,” said Willis.
Instead, Simeon dreams of West Point and was just accepted into the military prep school. After a year there, it’s on to the prestigious academy.
“You’ve really, really got to be one of the top 1% to even be considered,” said Lt. Col. Shannon Pool.
Tough odds for any kid, but especially Simeon who was raised in poverty. He often lived with relatives, but he made a choice early on.
“I think I decided I wanted something great for my life kinda when I was younger, when my mom was in an abusive relationship so I wanted to avoid those types of situations,” said Willis. “And then starting high school, I found out about West Point and decided that’s where I want to go.”
And with the help of his JROTC instructors, Simeon excelled as a battalion commander and in school.
“Always working hard, up at 4:00 a.m. most mornings studying for his honors classes,” said Pool.
Now, Simeon says goodbye to high school. He won’t forget his past but use it to realize his vision for the future.
“I have overcome a lot of challenges, but I think they make me stronger in the long run and have pushed me to where I’m going to be next year.”
Simeon has defied the odds before, getting chosen to attend the Boys Nation Conference in Washington last year where he met President.