Over this past summer, several recent graduates have stayed directly connected with Farragut by participating as counselors at the variety of camps being run by faculty and staff. While most of these alumni members hail from the Class of 2015, a notable exception is Howie Font ‘12, who has been working with the Summer@Farragut Boarding Camp.
“This is the place that changed my life,” said Howie, who is double-majoring in International Affairs, Traditional Economics, and Homeland Security & Emergency Management. “I would be a completely different person had I not attended Farragut.”
For Howie, who will begin his senior year at Florida State University this upcoming semester, giving back to his high school alma mater is a given. Before finishing his secondary education at Farragut for the 11th and 12th grade years, Howie had moved 19 times for a variety of family reasons. At Farragut, he discovered what the meaning of “home” was.
“I learned the sense of community, the balance between a rigid setting and a place of togetherness,” said Howie, who lived at Farragut as a five-day boarder. “It is a place where if you want to be pushed to your potential, you can make incredible strides.”
Howie dove right in from day one, serving as a Middle School Officer in the dormitories, competing on the wrestling team and joining the Drill Team, all in the first semester on campus. Despite being a five-day boarder, Howie would often stick around on the weekends to help with the NJROTC.
His growth and development at Farragut has propelled him to do important things at FSU. In the fall of 2014, Howie and others created the Vitality Party, a political party created by members of the FSU student body to oppose the Ignite Party. Upset with the stagnation of the Ignite Party, the Vitality Party raised close to $6,000 and won the elections, overtaking the incumbent Vitality Party.
Howie, who hopes to secure a job in the Central Intelligence Agency, has been an integral part in changing the way student government is run at FSU and he believes his time at Farragut prepared him for such an opportunity.
“Many students weren’t happy with the way the Ignite Party were using platforms simply to get elected,” said Howie, who is the Vice-Chair. “Since we’ve been elected to the student body government, we have enacted change first by opening up the channels of communication. Instead of just having the leaders propose ideas, we’ve created a website where students make suggestions and we follow through. FSU is obviously a big place and one could get lost in the mix and end up doing the party thing, but Farragut prepares you for a variety of situations,” said Howie, who takes pride on having visited the USS Farragut three times. “Like-minded individuals ultimately end up gravitating towards each other, but it takes a special place to set the connection in motion. Farragut did that for me.”
Now, being back for a month or so, Howie believes the role of the alumni is always to remember where the foundation was formed.
“This is the place that helped make me who I am today,” said Howie, whose sister, Samantha ‘13, attends Smith College now. “It’s nice to come back and relive the memories. The most important part is understanding the difference Farragut made and continues to make in people’s lives.”