Jackson Hickman Looks Forward To Cadet Life Following High School
CEDAR HILL, TX- In an uncertain time, Jackson Hickman is sure of one thing.
“I like securing things,” said the Cedar Hill High School senior “I like to be secure, and I want other people to be secure as well.”
Hickman plans to study Computer Science with a career goal of Cybersecurity. He has selected one of the premier places in the world to study it -the United States Military Academy West Point in West Point, New York.
This summer, Hickman will enroll at the West Point Preparatory School (located next to West Point) with plans of becoming a West Point Cadet in 2021.
“Jackson is a well-rounded scholar who is academically accomplished, highly-motivated and has a strong work ethic,” Cedar Hill High School Principal Jason Miller said. “He’s so humble and has such a servant’s heart in that other scholars don’t even realize that he’s leading them.”
Academically, Hickman ranks 17th out of 502 seniors. He first became interested in Computer Science when he took an interest in coding two years ago.
“I started coding as a sophomore,” Hickman said. “It’s hard, but it’s fun. It helps you develop persistence, and it makes life easier because you know you’re working on fixing a problem.”
Hickman took seven Advanced Placement (AP) courses this year, and has utilized his time at CHHS to take courses such as Principles of Technology, computer programming and networking classes.
More Than Academics
But academics don’t begin to tell Hickman’s story.
He could have selected several colleges or universities where he would balance his courses and enjoy plenty of free time.
The regimented lifestyle of West Point was more appealing to Hickman than a conventional college experience.
Last summer, Hickman applied to West Point’s Summer Leadership Experience, which gave him insight into the reality of cadet life at West Point.
“They treated us like West Point students,” Hickman said. “We woke up at 5 a.m. and had a curfew. We had physical training and did real army things. We had squad names and group activities. That’s when I became fully committed – I love this school.”
Cadets do not pay tuition at West Point. They graduate from the academy as Second Lieutenants in the United States Army with a five-year Army commitment.
Recommended By U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson
All cadets must receive a recommendation from a current member of the United States Congress. Hickman received his recommendation from U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson.
Hickman was part of the Computer Club and Theater Arts at CHHS and was a key leader on the Longhorns’ varsity baseball team as the starting first baseman who was Academic All-District as a sophomore.
“I love baseball – I absolutely love the game,” Hickman said. “I was really sad to miss my senior season (due to COVID-19).”
In addition to academics and military training, Hickman plans to play NCAA Division I Baseball for Army, beginning in 2021. If he does, he’ll join former CHHS teammate Kyland Richey (Jackson State) as a former Longhorn playing D-I Baseball.
“Jackson has meant so much to our program,” CHHS Head Baseball Coach Travis Collins said. “He is the epitome of what coaches like to call the ‘Glue Guys.’ That is a guy that keeps our team together both on and off the field. Jackson always made sure to include each and every member of our team in all activities. He was no doubt our team leader.”
Hickman arrived at CHISD in the sixth grade and attended West Intermediate and Bessie Coleman Middle School before enrolling at CHHS.
“I’m going to miss my senior class – it’s been really difficult,” Hickman said. “Through this challenging situation, I have found myself, and I know more about who I am.”
Even throughout the quarantine, Hickman has made it a point to exercise regularly, so that he will be ready for West Point Prep this summer.
“I have to keep up with the exercise regiment,” Hickman said.