Editor’s note: With the help of staff at our local high schools, we identified a few students who stand out for the challenges they faced in their school careers.
by KATIE CICCHETTO
InternFor seven years, Jonathan Wosen has been commuting 45 minutes from his Oak Park home to the Preuss UCSD campus, where he’s about to be valedictorian and the first in his family to attend college.
During his time at Preuss--a charter middle and high school--he has been challenged inside and outside the classroom.
Like most high school students, he finds it difficult to find “enough hours in the day to be involved in different activities and still keep up with work.”
Even though senior year is winding down, Jonathan said he is still diligent with his schoolwork so as to not be tempted by the thought of summer.
Teacher’s praisesEnglish teacher Janis Gabay wrote a recommendation for Jonathan for the QuestBridge program - through which he received a full scholarship to Williams College.
She wrote that Jonathan is “a student who is well-liked, respected, and yet held in awe by his classmates for his brilliant mind for science--these are the images that come to my mind as I think about Jonathan. While hard-working and persevering, Jonathan is not one to take himself too seriously--he is appreciated by classmates for his wit and droll humor.”
Like his classmates at Preuss, Jonathan will be the first in his family to go to college--one of the requirements for admission to the school. Coincidentally, Jonathan’s good friend since sixth grade, James Noraky, happens to be Preuss’ other valedictorian
Credit to ‘Mom’Jonathan’s parents are divorced, so he’s being raised by his mother. He wrote in an e-mail that “any recognition I get for my accomplishments is also a credit for her.”
Jonathan has taken “more than a few” Advanced Placement classes, ranging from European history to statistics and chemistry.
He wrote that he feels as if he has become a more well-rounded student by applying himself to these courses.
Since seventh grade, he has been a programmer on his school’s Botball Robotics team that placed second overall at the Southern California regional tournament.
The team is “by far my favorite extracurricular activity to be a part of,” he wrote.
“It’s a great challenge to have to build and program a robot with your teammates in a little more than six weeks.”
This year makes it the fourth straight year they’ve been placed as one of the top four teams in the region.
Active all aroundJonathan has been captain of the school’s science bowl team--which recently took first place at a national competition--since eighth grade. Throughout high school, he has participated in the school’s Model United Nations club, representing Turkey, South Korea, the U.S. and Iraq.
With a score of 2380 from his SAT and a weighted grade point average of 4.32, Jonathan will attend Williams, a small liberal arts college in Massachusetts, where Jonathan hopes to major in biology, “possibly with a concentration in biochemistry.”
He said he hopes to work as a medical research scientist for a government or pharmaceutical company.
“I hope that one day I’ll be able to make major contributions in immunology, cancer or whatever specific field I choose. “