Caleb Tvrdy

Caleb Tvrdy, right, gives a speech at the Pusch Ridge Christian Academy graduation.

Travis Williams/Special to the Explorer

It’s not too often someone like Caleb Tvrdy comes around. That’s the consensus of those who know the recent Pusch Ridge Christian Academy graduate, and who wish him the best of luck as he begins his new career endeavors.  

But, where some call it luck, Tvrdy credits his faith, family, teachers, and friends as the ingredients to what he has, and will accomplish.

As Tvrdy will soon depart for the scholar program in the United States Coast Guard Academy, his leadership skills and positive influence over those he encountered at Pusch Ridge will remain, and will no doubt be a tough act to follow.   

Pusch Ridge student leadership sponsor Jason Clapero was one of Tvrdy’s teachers.

“He is one of the most gifted leaders I have ever been around,” said Clapero. “Even when he was a freshman, you just knew there was something different about him. He is deeply, deeply respected and highly thought of by teachers, fellow students, and parents.”

As a freshman, Tvrdy was named freshman class president, a feat he topped his senior year by becoming student body president. Tvrdy was also a team leader and captain on the basketball, football, and tennis teams, and well known around campus as a positive motivator.

“Being student body president, being a leader of the school, those were some of the things I am proud of doing while at Pusch Ridge,” said Tvrdy. “I like to help people and be around people. That’s just my personality.”

Tvrdy will be helping people plenty after he graduates from the Coast Guard Academy scholar program in about a year’s time. Tvrdy was one of 200 to be selected out of 4,500 applicants.

“It was a big-time blessing to be accepted,” said Tvrdy.

Tvrdy departs for the academy on July 22, and following graduation, hopes to become a member of the Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue team.

Following his term with the Coast Guard, Tvrdy said he is planning on a career where the primary focus is to deliver food, supplies, and Bibles to South America.

Clapero said he isn’t surprised Tvrdy chose the line of work he has.

“When you look at his character, and you look at the job of the Coast Guard in being responsible, helping others in need, it fits Caleb well,” he said.

Tvrdy said his parents and faith have been influencing factors in his personal life.

“My parents have done an amazing job raising me and instilling truths in my life,” he said. “They’ve given me a good work ethic and desire to do what is right. Second is the grace of God. Sometimes I think about what life would I be like if I wasn’t Christian. My life has been radically changed because of God, and that’s where my passion and desire comes from.”

Tvrdy added that while the move will be a big change for him, he is confident his trust in God will get him through any challenge.

“He’s gotten me this far,” he said. “There’s no real reason to have any fear, because I know this is what God wants me to do.”

When asked what advice he would give to high school students, Tvrdy shared a few tips that have worked for him.

“Listen to your parents, and love your parents and family,” he said. “Live day to day. Don’t look too far forward. Enjoy- even if it stinks- third period English. You don’t realize how much you take for granted until it’s gone. Don’t stick to one group of friends. Get to know people, because when you do, you will find out that people are awesome.”

Clapero said he is one of many who will remember Tvrdy’s unique character.

“It’s always a neat thing when as a teacher you see a student will surpass you, will touch more lives than you could ever do as a teacher, and that is who Caleb will be.”

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