Nathan Douglas Whitlow, son of Laura and Doug Whitlow, received an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy, located in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Nathan currently attends Van Buren High School.

His Air Force Academy appointment is equivalent to being offered a full four-year scholarship to a top tier university. The value of this appointment, based on the cost per graduate, is estimated to be $403,000.

At VBHS, Nathan is a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Beta Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He received the best overall science award, participated in variety football and track and attended the summer seminar at the Air Force Academy in June 2013.

Nathan established and maintains a recycling program at Summit Medical Center for patients, associates and visitors to recycle aluminum cans and plastic bottles. It was so successful that he later expanded to include newspapers and magazines. The items are collected twice a month. Money raised goes to the hospital employee assistance program. Established in March 2012, the recycling program has raised more than $500 for employee assistance fund and collected approximately 24,000 plastic bottles.

Nathan attended First Baptist Church in Van Buren and participates in the church’s youth ministry.

He also has helped monthly since 2008 with the church’s Open Hands Ministry, which provides groceries for underprivileged families in community. The program serves about 1,000 families a year.

When Nathan graduates from the Air Force Academy, he will receive a bachelor of science degree and be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. The Air Force Academy, through rigorous course work and discipline, will prepare him to take up the challenge of leadership in defense of the country.