Vice Adm. Ted Carter joined Rear Adm. Stephen Evans, commander of the Naval Service Training Command, in meeting the students and administrators of the school.
Carter was in the area in advance of Saturday's football game between Navy and Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. Carter also met with alumni at the Chicago Yacht club, but the opportunity to visit fellow educators and students was the priority.
"This is about learning service above yourself," said Carter to an assembled group of students. "I am encouraged to see so many students embracing the importance of education. That tells me a lot about your character."
The Rickover Naval Academy was created in 2005 with 120 students. The high school program now has a student body of 582 and boasts a 100 percent college acceptance rate for all graduating seniors.
The school provides a unique public school opportunity for students from underprivileged neighborhoods and backgrounds. A majority of the Rickover students travel over 90 minutes to attend the program because of the benefits and discipline.
Carter addressed many of those students, toured the classrooms and facilities and talked about the opportunities available to the students at the Naval Academy, as well as its summer seminar and summer STEM camps.
The Rickover Naval Academy motto is "Learning to lead in order to serve." Carter discussed those basics of leadership and service in his discussion with students.
"I'm appreciative of the exposure you're getting to the military lifestyle," Carter told the students. "This school is all about opportunity. Embrace that opportunity to lead and make a difference."
Carter also discussed the changing demographic of the Naval Academy, the rising number of female applicants and the growing diversity of each incoming class.
"The talent of the Naval Academy is on display with a growing cross section of young people, just like there is in this school today," said Carter. "I see a lot of what I have at the Naval Academy in Annapolis mirrored in the faces I see here in front of me in Chicago."