In the late 90s, a man named Jeff Ruhlen founded a program called the Alaska Career Academy in Anchorage, Alaska.
The program offered a variety of career paths and was intended to give young men a leg up in the job market.
Ruhl and his students helped students like Zachary White, a freshman at the time, learn about careers that would later help them earn a full-time job in the military.
As White, who was only 17 at the point, said in an interview with NPR, the program helped him realize he had a potential to be a productive member of the military: “The biggest thing I learned was that I have a bright future.”
Ruhln told NPR that he was shocked when he found out that White was accepted into the program.
“He was not on a waiting list,” Ruhls father said.
“It was just a surprise to me that my son was accepted.”
But Ruhlin says that White eventually went on to become a Navy SEAL, earning a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.
Ruyas father, who works as an aircraft mechanic in the same city as White, is not as surprised as Ruhs father.
“I’m shocked that he ended up being accepted,” Ruyases father said, “but it’s a great thing for my son to be able to see what I’ve gone through.
He can look back and see where he went wrong, and learn from me.”
Ruyams father also has a message for his son.
“The next time you hear him say that you know what I’m saying, because it’s true,” he said.