LINCOLN – The oldest of seven children, Domani Occansey is ready for his next adventure.
The grandson of Eugene and the late Betty Tvrdy of rural Ceresco, Occansey is a senior at Pius X High School in Lincoln.
Occansey said he received a Letter of Assurance (LOA) from the United States Naval Academy in October.
A LOA states that on the condition that a candidate receives a nomination and passes the Department of Defense medical exam, they would immediately be appointed to the academy.
According to Occansey, LOAs are very rarely given out.
“Statistically, one’s odds of getting a nomination are vastly greater than receiving a LOA,” he said. “So that big moment when I found out I would have the opportunity to attend the Naval Academy really came back in October, I was overjoyed.”
Ocassansey said it felt good knowing that all his hard work, especially the work he did over the summer, had paid off.
“Attending a Service Academy has been a goal of mine since freshman year and to see it become real has been a blessing,” he said.
Occansey stays busy with a never-ending number of extra-curricular activities.
He is a member of the Civil Air Patrol, Pius X Rolling Thunder Marching Band, the Pius X Jazz Ensemble and the National Honor Society. He also is a member of the Pius X cross country and track teams where he competes as a long distance runner in the two-mile, one mile and occasionally an 800 meter race.
“I’m definitely passionate about every activity I’m involved in,” he said. “I’ve pursued leadership roles in every activity I involve myself with so I can grow as an individual, but more importantly give back to the groups who have made positive impacts on my life.”
In marching band and concert band, Occansey said he loves being able to be part of something greater than himself.
“Having the opportunity to create music with so many people has been an amazing experience that has shaped me in so many ways,” he said. “My music involvements have allowed me to grow in my teamwork and leadership skills in numerous ways.”
Occansey said he’s been able to take the lessons he’s learned in band and apply them in numerous domains of his life.
“Jazz band is my favorite activity,” he said. “Jazz is a really fun American art. It has the ability to express so many ideas in so many ways. Particularly, I love having improvised solos in pieces and having the ability to make music on my own within the context of a piece.”
Occansey also holds a student pilot’s license and has logged 9.2 hours of instruction time. He also runs marathons and produces animation videos.
“I achieved my first solo flight flying out of the Wahoo Airport on June 21, 2019 at a Civil Air Patrol Flight Academy,” he said. “
He has completed three full marathons. His first race was in May of 2017 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Occansey said the most recent one was January 2018 in Gulf Shores, Ala.
From 2011 to 2018 Occansey said he produced Lego stop-motion animation videos on YouTube under the name of “Lego Man.”
“Over the course of those eight years, the channel received a little under 20,000,000 views,” he said. “Most of my productions were Lego Star Wars animations.”
Since preschool Occansey has always had a fascination with anything and everything that flies high and fast.
“From a young age I knew that I wanted to do something related to aerospace technology,” he said. “I plan on majoring in aerospace engineering. After graduation and commissioning, I plan on entering Navy pilot school. My goal is to become a Navy fighter pilot.”