Freshman sets sights on Air Force Academy


Faith Collins visits the beach ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Basketball player, state science fair champion, and overachieving student, Faith Collins (9), is determined to get where she wants to be. Accomplishments such as getting perfect scores on all of her end of course exams, being president of National Junior Honor Society and becoming an intermediate photographer all serve to help her accomplish her goal: to become a student at the United States Air Force Academy.

“I want to have a solid foundation, that way I will succeed later in life and continue to be true to myself,” she said.

That solid foundation has remained important to Faith as well as to her dad, Steve.

“It’s a combination of all of her talent and dedication tied together with her determination, which leads to her academic excellence,” he said.

Collins won first in state in her science fair category in 2018, a remarkable accomplishment, considering it was only her second year in the class.

“I’ve done it every year, and I feel like it’s a good way to prepare for the future because you have to interview with judges and it helps you learn how to manage your time wisely since you only have a period a day to work on your project,” she said.

Science teacher Maggie Molledo has helped guide Collins.

“She was my teacher both years, and she really helped stay on track and get everything done on time,” she said. “All in all, it was an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to see what happens this year.” 

A straight-A student, Collins said her biggest struggle is time-management. She plays basketball, presides over a club, faithfully completes her homework each night and dabbles in photography.

“Over the years, I’ve struggled a lot with time-management,” she said. “But by organizing my schedule and laying it out, it helps me look at how much time I have for each thing and in the end, it just all comes together.”

Fellow JV basketball player Luz Houck said Collins’ attitude helps drive her success.

“Faith has great enthusiasm, and she was a great member on the team,” Houck said. “She always came to practice in a happy mood and always had a smile on her face.”

Basketball helped Faith a lot since she needs to be sure that she is physically sound to get accepted in the Air force academy.

“Basketball is helping me get to the Academy since I need to meet certain physical requirements to enroll, and basketball keeps me in shape and moving,” Collins said.

And so does her role as president of the National Junior Honor Society. 

“I’m in charge of organizing meetings and setting up events for our club that help the community and it’s great to see all of the members of NJHS wanting to help those in need,” Collins said.

And her work in that capacity has not gone unnoticed.

 “Faith is an excellent leader, and she’s the best person to be our president,” NJHS Treasurer Reily Stein (9) said. “She attends all of the meetings and always has a positive attitude.” 

Collins said she knows she will face obstacles along her road to success, but she’ll be ready for them.

“I feel like from an academic standpoint, West Shore is preparing me for the rigorous path I am going to have to take to get to the Air Force Academy,” she said. “And with the support from my friends and family, I know I can do it.” 

By Josh Dexter