Who do you get when you combine a talented athlete, dedicated scholar, creative filmmaker and positive role model for fellow students?
Arjun Vorster, son of Tom and Tanja Jones and graduate of Mendon High School, made sparks fly when he answered our scholarship video essay question “What is your super power?” with a creative homage to 1970s action/super-hero films. He also demonstrated a strong commitment to academics, community work and extracurricular activities, all of which made him one of our $1,000 scholarship winners.
An honor roll student for four years and President of the National Honor Society during his senior year, Arjun proved that hard work pays off. He also earned recognition from Glen Oaks Community College for his academic achievements and earned an athletic scholar award his sophomore and senior years.
In addition to dedication to his studies, he also demonstrated true community spirit. Each year, he and his family carry on a tradition started by his grandfather of placing American flags in honor of Memorial Day near the gravestones of veterans at the Mendon Cemetery where his grandfather is buried. “It’s always an emotional experience, especially when we see my grandfather’s headstone. I didn’t know him for very long but he was a major inspiration to me. It’s an honor to get to do this kind of tribute every year.”
The Daughters of the American Revolution also honored him with the Good Citizen Award for Mendon High School and he got to meet Representative Aaron Miller during the program ceremony. He described the experience as motivating. “It was great to meet him and see that you can be successful at a young age. I hope to be as well.”
His athletics included football, basketball and track and field. “My favorite part about playing sports was the teamwork involved, even with competitors. Oftentimes I’d talk with members of the opposing team and we’d share tips on improving techniques,” noted Arjun. “Playing sports taught me that life will always have obstacles and the more you practice at something, the better you become.”
He also worked as a vacation bible school leader where he taught younger children lessons from the bible and served as a role model. The rest of his summers were spent detasseling corn, which he says taught him the value of hard work and “was a lot of fun although I did end up having many dreams about corn,” he chuckled.
Arjun will continue track and field at the Milwaukee School of Engineering where he hopes to eventually go into the renewable energy industry. He is excited about this next chapter and is interested to see what life in an urban setting brings.
We certainly know he is poised for success in engineering, possibly even filmmaking, and are happy to make a contribution to his future.