SAN ANTONIO — The 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl showcases the country’s best high school football players and marching band members at the Alamodome. During Bowl Week, these young men and women are mentored by the Army’s finest Soldiers.

Staff Sgt. Angelique Nuñez is one of those elite Soldiers handpicked to provide mentorship to America’s youngest and brightest.Nuñez is a civil affairs specialist with Company F, 98th Civil Affairs Battalion stationed at Fort Bragg. The 26-year-old Native American has served eight years in the Army, enlisting out of high school to follow in her father’s footsteps.

The Minneapolis native and other Soldier mentors have been accompanying the All-Americans to practices and other events leading up to game day and share one-on-one time.

“Being here in San Antonio as a Soldier mentor, I feel really honored to represent not only the Army and my fellow Soldiers, but the (Special Operation Command) community,” she said.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to talk to high school students one-on-one. We’ve been given so many opportunities to talk to the students, the high school football players, the band members, and I can see myself in some of the band members because I used to play the clarinet in junior high.”

She added, “Talking to some of the girls, I was really proud of them because they’re just so determined to achieve success and be successful in college and pursuing music. I’m just really proud of them for going after what they want.”

Nuñez was also able to relate to the students sacrifice of time away from their Families.

“These students are sacrificing their personal time on the weekends, during summer going to camps, and practicing for competitions,” she explained.

“So I can relate to that and definitely understand what it’s like to be away from family. They’re young and want to have fun, but they’re also determined and have goals. So that’s what they’re doing. They’re pursuing their goals.”

The Soldier mentor was humbled by the experience and honored to offer them advice about school and life. She had nothing but praise for them.

“This whole experience has just opened my eyes, and I’ve been very impressed with our youth,” she beamed. “I’m just very proud to be here and talk to the high school students and know that I did play a small part in shaping our future leaders.”