Graduation season sheds light on the inspirational individuals who manage to achieve academic goals despite the challenges.
That was the case this week when a photograph went viral showing a Haitian immigrant, tears rolling down his face, graduating from West Point, Huffington Post reports.
According to the Post, Second Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache explained what he was feeling in an Instagram post:
“At this moment, I was overwhelmed with emotions. Three things came to mind and led to those tears. The first is where I started … The second is where I am … The third is my future.”
The Maryland National Guard said, “Alix had a reason to be emotional.”
Idrache, a member of the Maryland National Guard, entered West Point in 2012. His unit said the Haitian native, in just seven years, went from speaking basic English in Port-au-Prince to graduating at the top of his class in physics at West Point.
As a youth in Haiti, Idrache was inspired to become a pilot when he saw U.S. troops conducting humanitarian missions. He was especially fascinated by the high-tech Chinook helicopters.
The newly minted Army officer told his unit’s public affairs office that his homeland offered little hope of achieving his dream:
“People where I’m from don’t grow up to be pilots right? Like they don’t dream of flying a helicopter, that’s not something you do. You don’t just say I’m going to be a pilot and make it happen. There’re no aviation, there’re no helicopters, no flight schools. There’re none of that.”
Idrache credits his father, who always encouraged him to work hard, with his success. The elder Idrache migrated to the United States, and brought his son to America in 2009.
The new officer is ready to take the next step in his journey. In July, Idrache will enter the Army Aviation Center for Excellence at Fort Rucker, Ala.