SARASOTA (FOX 13) - Just the mention of West Point conjures up images of famous generals and presidents. It has been one of the nation's most prestigious military academies since 1802.
Soon, three cadets from Sarasota Military Academy will join those lofty ranks.
As they prepare to head off this summer, their families and classmates reflect on their time at the school that helped shape their futures.
Lauren McMahan and Anastasia Osborne had nearly the same reaction to the news they'd been accepted to West Point.
"I screamed and I called my mom right away and I told her," said McMahan.
"I freaked out because I had no idea I was getting into West Point. My mom cried, I was telling everyone," said Osborne.
McMahan, 17, and 18-year-old Osborne should be very proud of their accomplishments. The process to get into West Point is rigorous and one that requires a Congressional nomination.
"It takes a family, it takes their family members supporting them along the way, their hard work and dedication throughout the four years they've been through here," said Christina Bowman.
Osborne has felt a calling to serve since she was in middle school.
"It's just the aspect of giving back to the community and giving back to the country that has allowed myself and everyone around me to get an education and prosper the best I can," she said.
For McMahan, there was no question about her choice.
"You don't have to necessarily end up going to this school and go into the military, but it's a great way to start your life and have many opportunities to help you along the way," she said.
They'll join another classmate, Davis Ullrich as the newest West Point cadets.
Christina Bowman is the executive director of Sarasota Military Academy. For the first time in the history of SMA, three students have been accepted into West Point at the same time.
"It's a smaller percentage, just as any school, with having three go to West Point this year is just unheard of," said Bowman.
It's an honor that few will experience and a privilege to enter the doors of West Point together.
"Having those other three that are going in with me will be a huge help," said McMahan.
Osborne agrees, "I know they will be there with you to help you and encourage you through the whole process."
Osborne tells FOX 13 once she graduates she hopes to become a pilot and one day an astronaut for NASA.
McMahan is considering a career in engineering. She was recruited to the West Point rifle team and will be participating in the USA Shooting Junior Olympics in a few weeks.
A fundraising website has been set up to help McMahan go to the USA Shooting Junior Olympics.