Sunday, July 21, 2024

Filipina Achieves Top Honors At US Coast Guard Academy Graduation


Filipina Achieves Top Honors At US Coast Guard Academy Graduation


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Victoria Gil Echavez Regalado has made history as the first Filipina to graduate with a specialized degree and magna cum laude honors from the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA). On May 22, she graduated with top honors in naval architecture and marine engineering, becoming the first Filipino to complete this prestigious program.

Victoria at 21, began her journey in 2020 when she was selected by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) as an international cadet for the USCGA’s International Cadetship Program. She took her oath in Manila and joined the academy in New London, Connecticut.

Throughout her time at USCGA, she was active in Women’s Water Polo, the International Council, and the Genesis club, showing her commitment to both academics and extracurricular activities.

The PCG celebrated her achievement on Instagram, stating, “The Philippine Coast Guard congratulates CG Probationary Ensign Victoria Gil Regalado for graduating from the United States Coast Guard Academy with the highest honors. We are proud of her dedication and service.”

Citing Rappler’s report, Victoria’s mother expressed her gratitude and said, “We are deeply thankful to the Philippine Coast Guard and the USCG for giving our daughter the chance to complete her college degree at a prestigious US academy. We wish her all the best as she returns to serve with the Philippine Coast Guard.”

Reflecting on her time at the academy, Victoria shared, “ The individuals I have met not only introduced me to their culture, but they also made my time here truly enjoyable. The friends I made transformed the Academy into my home away from home, opening their homes and families to me and allowing me to explore various states and even foreign countries during our breaks. I have also been fortunate to have a supportive sponsor family throughout my four-year journey. Furthermore, the experiences offered by the Academy were extraordinary and enriching.”

She also offered advice to future cadets, “If you’re thinking of applying to the Academy, you’ll find it’s not going to be easy at first, but don’t give up. The challenge of juggling your academic and military responsibilities, not to mention experiencing culture shock and some homesickness, will be tough. Just maintain your resilience, seek support from others, embrace diversity across campus, remain open-minded to new experiences, and always stay optimistic. Also, don’t forget to enjoy yourself and have fun!”

Victoria will now serve as an ensign with the Philippine Coast Guard for at least eight years. Her groundbreaking achievements at the USCGA mark a significant milestone for Filipinas in the maritime field and inspire future generations to pursue their dreams with resilience and dedication.

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