Hello again. My son Matt Rhodes was one of your students who went on to earn his 1st Degree Black Belt in 1997 just before we moved to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. My wife and I are now preparing for yet another military move and in the process of going through family things we found Matts ATA belts and trophies. This made me think of writing you to let you know how ATA further helped Matt.
Unfortunately Matt did not continue with ATA after we left Camp Pendleton but did decide to apply for a Navy Reserve Officer Training (ROTC) scholarship program while he was a senior in high school in 1999. After his ROTC interview board met, one of the board members told me that despite the fact that Matt did not have the most competitive GPA overall compared to the other applicants, the fact that he was a Black Belt in Taekwondo, an Eagle Scout, and had strong math and science skills, led to his selection. He further stated that the board felt that his ability to start a multi-year Taekwondo training and scouting program simultaneously, and have the motivation and determination to see both through to such high levels of achievement, spoke very highly to his future ability and success as a Navy Officer.
Taking advantage of the ROTC program Matt graduated from the University of Colorado in May 2003 with a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering and then went on to earn his Navy Aviator Wings of Gold in April 2006. He is now flying the F-18 Hornet out of Naval Air Station Oceana and is married as well.
So as a proud father I just wanted to thank you for the role you played in helping him become successful and realize his dreams to fly. I hope too that his story will help other young students you have find their way to Black Belt and beyond.
Continued good luck with your school and thanks again.
Captain, United States Navy
Karen and I would like to thank you for providing a wonderful learning and mentoring environment for our kids. The Black Belt ceremony was magical! My Mom kept saying, I have never seen anything like it!
I have never seen Mckinsey so proud as she was that night. She has accomplished a goal that will be with her forever. Plus EJ sat and watched thinking that one day (long in the future) she too can achieve a Black Belt.
Thank you again for a magical evening that has touched our lives.
Jud and Karen