Alexander Tosi donned a sleek black and navy blue tuxedo Thursday evening during Oyster Bay High School’s prom at Wind Watch Golf and Country Club in Hauppauge.
But next week, Tosi will trade his sophisticated attire for boot camp fatigues as he heads off to the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. -- just one day after his high school graduation.
Committing to West Point’s rigorous academic, physical and mental demands — in addition to the required five years of military service post-graduation — is no small feat for any teenager to take on, but Tosi has never been one to shy away from a challenge.
Born in Russia, Tosi was adopted from an orphanage when he was just 19 months old. He has excelled ever since as a hardworking athlete, student and Eagle Scout. Tosi is captain of Oyster Bay’s track and field and cross-country teams. He is a three-time All-County runner and just last week, he won the New York State championship in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
“There’s nothing I love more than running,” he said.
Tosi has balanced his athletic success in the classroom, taking five Advanced Placement courses and maintaining a 97 average.
“He is the ultimate hard worker,” said Ben Fox, Tosi’s chemistry teacher at Oyster Bay. “He’s always either staying after school for extra help or out running on the track. It’s very impressive.”
With such an impressive resume, Tosi had his eye on several universities. But taking part in a summer leadership program at West Point, in which he had the chance to work with some of the most advanced science and technology equipment, helped solidify his decision. (Getting to shoot a potato out of a gun during one of the workshops didn’t hurt either).
Having a legacy of military men and women in his family, including his father, also helped him make up his mind.
“I’ve seen first hand the kind of character, leadership and integrity the military instills and the strong individuals it creates,” he said. “I want to continue that.”