WOODROW WILSON HIGH SCHOOL Alumni
2005 WILSON GRAD NAMED PRESTIGIOUS MARSHALL SCHOLAR
According to Pat Vaughan Tremmel from Northwestern University, Jacob White a 2005 Wilson graduate and a 2009 Northwestern University graduate known for his robust intellectualism and strong humanitarian impulses, has been named a Marshall Scholar and soon will head off to the University of Oxford to do graduate work in development studies. Among the most sought after honors for undergraduates, Marshall Scholarships provide students with at least two fully funded years of study at universities in the United Kingdom.
Jacob attended Mary Rieke Elementary, Robert Gray Middle, and Wilson High School. He graduated from Northwestern University magna cum laude in 2009 with a BA in History. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a Junior and was voted best history student by Northwestern faculty. Jacob has studied in Greece, worked with children in Uganda and currently is working as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, teaching English and tutoring in basic math and literacy. He was also a Rhodes Scholarship finalist. Jacob's ultimate goal is to increase opportunities for children in developing countries. Click here to read more about Jacob from an article in The Oregonian: http://www.pps.k12.or.us/schools/wilson/files/school-wilson/2005_Marshall_Scholar.pdf.
Jacob's twin brother, Nick '05, also a Northwestern University graduate, now teaches in Spain, and their older brother Mark '02, attends the University of Portland. Jacob's family is very proud of him for being selected as a Marshal Scholar. His mother, Becky, tells us that he is persistent in meeting his goals. "He wants to help youth in developing countries have more access to educational and life opportunities." When at Wilson Jacob was involved in academics, extracurricular activities including co-captain for varsity football. He served on the constitution team, wrote for the school newspaper, counseled for outdoor school, summer immersion in Mexico, and many other clubs and activities too numerous to name here. Becky believes that, "the key for current Wilson students is to BE INVOLVED in everything and find a 'passion' after sampling it all. Wilson High School provides a niche for everyone, but students have to seek it out!"
When we asked Jacob about his time at Wilson, he said there were too many good teachers to list. But a few stick out in his mind: Mr. Murphy, Mr. Marchese, Mr. Olsen, Mr. Boly, Ms. Kvitka, and Ms. Wood. "In particular, I don't think I would have ended up at Northwestern had it not been for Mr. Boly. I had always loved to read, but he taught me how to really understand a work. He also taught me how to write a coherent essay. Mr. Murphy was a great teacher. His class on American history was excellent. It not only deepened my understanding of our great country, but also how to logically order a historical argument. As I became a history major in undergrad, this was a huge advantage. Mr. Murphy always held us to high standards, and I thank him for that."
Being awarded the Marshall Scholarship means a great deal to Jacob. He said that, "First and foremost, it will give me the opportunity to study for an MPhil in Development Studies at Oxford. I will focus on studying economics and social anthropology. I am particularly interested in exploring how to create economic and opportunities for youth. Second, the scholarship will give me the opportunity to live in the UK. Seeing the world has always been a dream of mine and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to explore the UK. Third, the Marshall also places a responsibility on its recipients to become leaders. I hope to do so, though I am still not sure about what profession I want to enter. Eventually though, I do hope to come back and live in Oregon! I miss it."
When asked about any words of wisdom for current Wilson students, Jacob states that students should, "Enjoy it and take advantage of all the great opportunities. It's a rare thing in life to have people who genuinely care about you and your future, and Wilson is full of people who do." He said that in eighth grade Mr. Powell, his science teacher at Robert Gray, gave them great advice - 'the worst thing you can do in high school is go straight home at the end of the day. Get involved with what interests you.' "I think that's true, I would say it's true in college too."
Congratulations to Jacob and to his parents, Becky and Chuck White and the dedicated teachers in our community that he encountered along the way!