SEBASTIAN — Sebatsian River High School Class of 2009 graduate Dennis Vorobyov, 18, of Sebastian, will will take his place at the United States Air Force Preparatory Academy in Colorado Springs on July 15. The Ukrainian native is one of 17 Sebastian River High students to gain appointments to military academies in 14 years. Vorobyov moved to the U.S. from Kiev, Ukraine, in 2000 when he was 8 years old, speaking only Russian when he arrived. He learned English while being immersed in regular classes. Despite this obstacle, he took rigorous honors classes and graduated high school with a 4.05 grade point average. He also ran track and cross country and captained the wrestling team. These attributes helped him gain a commission to the academy from the office of Congressman Bill Posey. Vorobyov will spend three weeks in basic training and then one year at the preparatory academy, then four years at the U.S. Air Force Academy preparing for a career as a pilot and special operations officer. “I think my knowledge of the Russian language definitely helped a lot, I have a different story than others do,” Vorobyov said. “I never quit anything, I do my best to finish.” Sebastian River High School Athletic Director E. Michael Stutzke encouraged Vorobyov to apply to the academy and hand-delivered his paperwork to officials in Colorado Springs in November.
“Dennis is one of those American success stories. He came here, got his secondary education and now he has the opportunity of a lifetime,” Stutzke said. “An academy education is worth more than $300,000 and graduating from one of the academies is like giving you the keys to the city. When applying for a job, having one of our country’s military academies on your resume, you’ll definitely get an interview.” Sebastian River High School had sent more of its graduates matriculate to a military academy or academy preparatory school than any other high school on the Space or Treasure Coast. Vorobyov is the son of Lyada Saks of Sebastian and Alex Vorobyov of Virginia. he works part-time as a runner and busboy at Squid Lips restaurant in Sebastian. Vorobyov said he’s looking forward to the challenge of academy life, and that his conditioning as an athlete should help him succeed.
“I definitely think wrestling will help me a lot, I’ve learned how to push through,” he said.