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    Jake Hitchcock: Wise beyond his years

    At some point in his college career, Jake Hitchcock probably will get in a principled and civil debate with one of his professors, challenging the instructor and his collegiate classmates.

    Whether Hitchcock is on the right or wrong side of the debate isn't necessarily important - it's that he'll be willing to stand up for his views and has the self assurance to do so.

    “I'm someone who is very driven,” he said. “I have a very high standard for myself in terms my quality of work. But, also, I'm someone who understands there needs to be a constant balance between your professional or educational work and social interaction.”

    Hitchcock speaks as though he's a decade older than he actually is. He credits that to numerous relocations that came with being part of a military family. Duty stations included Japan, California and Rhode Island.

    “I've had a lot of time to be able to hash out who I am, in terms of having to re-introduce myself every time I move,” Hitchcock said. “Looking back on it now, I see a different side of moving. I thought I was losing everything and yet I thrived in my new environment.

    “I thrived socially, with a set of close, similarly ambitious friends that used each other for motivation. I might not have liked moving, but it defined for me one of my strongest traits, a trait that I value greatly - resilience.”

    An Eagle Scout with a 4.51 GPA, Hitchcock is currently ranked first in his class of 270 students at Loudoun Valley High School.

    His poised demeanor and wise outlook made a strong impression on Heather Olis, Hitchcock's English instructor at Loudoun Valley.

    “Jake Hitchcock is an outgoing and well-mannered young man whose startling intelligence and staunch confidence will lead him down a path of many successes and achievements,” Olis wrote in a letter of recommendation. “Jake's sense of self coupled with academic acumen and leadership skills will be the keys to opening endless doors of opportunity.”

    Hitchcock has been accepted to the University of Virginia, but he hasn't settled on the Cavaliers just yet. He has applied to several other schools, including the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

    At this point, Hitchcock just wants to keep the doors of opportunity open.

    “I just don't want to be in a situation where I'm living with regret. I don't want to ever look back and say 'I really shouldn't have done this' or 'I really should have done this'.”

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