Rebecca Bogert headed off to Gainesville and the University of Florida this month on an Army ROTC scholarship. Her goal is to become a doctor and have a career in the Army.
That’s not quite the path you would expect from someone who attended the New World School of the Arts in the Music Theater strand. In high school, Bogert was singing, dancing and acting. She also volunteered as a Disney princess.
The idea of going into the military and possibly attending West Point was sparked by Bogert’s eighth-grade teacher.
“I come from a military background,” she says. “But I didn’t know there was a school for it until I asked my teacher about West Point. Then I researched it on the Internet.”
Bogert informed her parents during her sophomore year that she wanted to serve in the military and that she wanted to make an application to West Point.
“My dad was overjoyed, but my mom was nervous,” Bogert says.
“My parents had never mentioned anything about the military to me.” Bogert found out that on her father’s side she has family that attended West Point and that her father had applied for the Naval Academy, but was denied entrance because of a color blind condition.
At the UF, Bogert plans to major in history. She considered taking biology with the idea of going on to medical school, but she realized that she wanted to study history. She settled that dilemma after waking up in the middle of the night and with the conviction that she must pursue history.
“I even said it out loud,” she says. “I woke up my parents and they said I should do whatever makes me happy.”
Talking it over with her advisors confirmed that she did not have to major in biology to go to medical school. They helped devise a schedule that will allow her to study history, yet still be on track for med school.
Bogert knows how to keep on track in order to succeed. At New World, she had to complete 75 hours of crew work to be eligible for casting in plays. She not only earned the 75 hours, but earned many additional hours by working as a stage manager.
Although Girl Scout Gold Awards usually are awarded in a scout’s junior year, Bogert was only a sophomore when she received her Gold Award. She was in a troop where the rest of the girls were a year older. She earned her Gold Award when she and a fellow Girl Scout developed a project called Pigeons for Patients. The girls dressed as Disney princesses and entertained children at Miami Children’s Hospital.
“It was so amazing,” she said. “The initial term was for six months, but I ended up doing it for two years. We had to raise money and buy our own costumes. We also had to develop a long-term plan. Once the Gold Award requirements were met, we stayed on because we enjoyed what we were doing. I’m still so grateful for that opportunity, it was one of the best experiences I have ever had.”
During those two years, Bogert worked with several partners in the event. Her first partner was a year ahead of her in school and graduated, so she had to find new partners.
Those partners kept the project alive this summer because Bogert was making preparations to go away to school and unable to participate.
Bogert graduated from New World on May 28 with Special Community Service Honors.
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld