Amanda Gallo said she has been dreaming of a military career since she played with "little green Army men" as a child.
The Riverhead High School senior is one of six tri-state area students to receive a four-year college scholarship -- worth $180,000 -- from the U.S. Navy.
To get selected, she submitted an application this fall that included a resume, two essays, three letters of recommendation and two interviews. More than 500 tri-state area pupils -- and some 5,000 nationally -- entered applications this year.
"I knew I had a good application, but there were so many people going for this," said Gallo, 17. "Having everything all laid out for me is a big weight off my shoulders."
Gallo is executive officer of her school's Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, which she joined as a freshman. She previously held positions of freshman drill team commander, public affairs officer and platoon commander.
She is also editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, president of the chamber orchestra, goalie of the girls soccer team and a member of the Girl Scouts and National Honor Society.
She hopes to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy and aspires to become a naval engineering officer.