Allen McDuffee -
Public school systems are increasingly opening their doors to military academies -- primarily in poor urban areas.
Matthew Hartman had every intention of enlisting in the Army directly after his graduation in two years. But it was Col. Sterling Stokes and his military staff who convinced Hartman that college, not the battlefield, was a better option. At least for now.
"They persuaded me that there is always time to serve my country and that maybe I would be able to serve even better if I went to college first," Hartman, 16, says.The Richmond, Va., native is a junior at the Franklin Military Academy in Richmond, where Stokes is principal. He earned the highest score on the 2008 National Chemistry Olympiad in his school, and is the type of student college admissions counselors would like to see among their applicants.