SteinbronnerAfter 15 months of diligent work, Alex Steinbroner, a graduate of Ellicottville Central, learned he qualified but was not selected to enter West Point Military Academy this fall.

At this point, the application process was probably the most difficult task Alex had undertaken while not meeting his goal, but plan B was in place and has become his new route.

Last November, Alex was awarded an ROTC scholarship. His choice of schools included Niagara University, SUNY Brockport or St. Bonaventure University (SBU). Initially, Alex chose Brockport but then learned that, along with the ROTC scholarship, SBU offered him full room and board.

At last Friday’s graduation, Alex was presented the ROTC award package by Lt. Speta from the St. Bonaventure ROTC program. The package includes tuition and fees, a per semester stipend for books and a monthly paycheck (with an annual increase) from ROTC, and full room and board from St. Bonaventure totaling $41,500 per year. Alex must perform in an exemplary manner and will commit to five years’ service post graduation. His classes will include military science courses and labs, physical training and field operations.

Alex will be a psychology major and hopes his degree will enable him to help soldiers and their families who are going through the stresses of wartime. His father is a Vietnam veteran and, although never diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder, gave him the idea of going into psychology.

“I believe right now, in the Army, there is a need for people that deal with soldiers who are getting deployed and coming back from war zones. The need is even greater than that for nurses and doctors,” Steinbroner said. “I like helping people and it will be a great way to help others and still serve my country.”

At graduation from SBU, he will receive the rank of Second Lieutenant with a full commission.

His father Bill is a retired Natural Resources Program teacher at Ellicottville’s Career Tech Center. His mother Michelle teaches Early Childhood Education at the Tech Center. He has two sisters, Kristin and Jessica (Bird), and a brother Noah.

Alex plans to work and get into better shape this summer. He will work for his father’s construction contracting business, and will also be a camp counselor at the Ellicottville Town Youth Program.