By Steven Hoffman
Rachel Boohar has had her eyes fixed on the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for a while.
As a sophomore at Oxford Area High School, Boohar participated in a one-week U.S. Naval Academy STEM Program. As a junior, she took part in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s AIM Program, which introduced students to what life in the Academy would be like. Those experiences convinced Boohar that she wanted to study engineering and enter the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Boohar, a 2014 graduate of Oxford Area High School who excelled on the soccer field and in the classroom, has been accepted into the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Scholars Program, and will leave on July 21 for the orientation to the program in Connecticut. After three weeks there, she will head to the Georgia Military College for the summer orientation before classes begin in September.
“I’m really excited,” Boohar said in a telephone interview last week.
During Boohar’s four years at Oxford Area High School, she was one of the area’s top goalkeepers, and was lauded by her coaches for her leadership on and off the field. She helped turn around a soccer program that had struggled in the years before her arrival.
She was a four-year varsity starter at Oxford, earning numerous accolades, including a First Team All-Ches-Mont League selection during the last three seasons. She was the team’s MVP for all four seasons. During a game in her freshman year, Boohar tallied 74 saves in one game.
Her coaches at Oxford and with the West Chester United Soccer Club travel team considered Boohar to be a field general, a natural leader for her teammates.
“She is such a competitor and works so hard to be the best at what she is doing, whether it’s academics, music, singing, or her part in a play,” explained Paul Oechsle, who coached her for five years, in an interview last November. “She is a strong personality and very good leader. As a soccer coach, I will tell you that the goalkeeper position is a leadership position by nature and it takes a person with strong leadership traits to be successful and play at the level Rachel has been able to achieve at that position. She leads by example through her focus, work ethic, competitive attitude, great abilities and constant communication with teammates.”
Boohar was a standout academically, too. She served as the president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and the French Honor Society. She was also involved in the Select Choir and the school musical.
Boohar said that she’s looking forward to the challenges that U.S. Coast Guard Academy will bring.
If she maintains a good grade-point average at the Georgia Military College’s prep school program, she will get direct admission tot he U.S. Coast Guard Academy in the summer of 2015, with an anticipated graduation in 2019. She plans to major in Naval Architecture.
“It’s all planned out,” Boohar explained.
Boohar also sought and received a nomination for the Merchant Marine Academy before deciding to go to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. She went through the rigorous application process, which included a 30-minute interview with a panel of screeners who were asking challenging questions.
“They would trick me a little bit,” Boohar explained. “It was definitely intense.”
Boohar and her family were invited to a June 19 reception with Sen. Casey that recognized those students that he selected as nominees to the U.S. federal service academies. The Boohars also got to tour the Capitol Building as part of the experience.