Northwestern senior lands Yale on a whimWhen a person is popular, the modern reaction is to milk it for all it’s worth, to exploit popularity for some goal or gain. People will wield popularity, when they have it, as one might a sword, to take what they want.
By: By Earl Stoll, Northwestern High School, Superior Telegram
When a person is popular, the modern reaction is to milk it for all it’s worth, to exploit popularity for some goal or gain. People will wield popularity, when they have it, as one might a sword, to take what they want.
Sometimes, you’ll have a person who won’t use the popularity for gain. Jacob Stai, to anyone who knows him, is the latter. He takes it one-step further. Whenever a person converses with him, as I often do, it becomes clear that this fixture of the senior class is almost completely unaware of his popularity.
He’s humble, he’s quiet, and he’s brilliant. He’s a creative thinker. He’s a solution finder. He’s a Bulldog — not the rough-and-tough type of bulldog or a UMD Bulldog. He’s a Yale Bulldog, part of the incoming class at one of the world’s most prestigious colleges.
When asked if he could prove his Bulldog spirit by reciting Yale’s fight song, “Boola Boola,” Jacob denied. However, his excitement about attending college was palpable.
Jacob sent an application to Yale on “a whim” after receiving mailings from the college. He said that it “looked awesome.” In his usual humble manner, he admitted that he never expected to be accepted. This is understandable, as Yale only accepts 9 percent of applicants. After he was deferred in the first round of admissions, he concentrated on other schooling options. This changed when he was contacted by a Yale graduate living on Madeline Island. The graduate had been contacted by Yale and asked to meet with Jacob in Bayfield. He was informed that a second round of acceptances was still forthcoming.
On March 31, Jacob received notification that he had indeed been accepted into his dream college. He instantly planned a journey to Connecticut to see Yale in person for the first time. According to him, it was “amazing. The resources that they have are amazing.” Jacob was particularly impressed by the recent billion-dollar improvement to the science program. He locked in Yale as his final choice soon after.
This isn’t the first time Jacob has been recognized for his exceptional academic performance. He has earned a Mead Witter Foundation, Inc. Scholarship through the National Merit Scholarship program. This is a prestigious distinction, and Jacob is one of only 10 students in the state to receive it.
Jacob says he won’t mind leaving northern Wisconsin for his education. He’s excited about his college plans. By this time next year, my guess is that he’ll be singing “Boola Boola” along with the best of them.
Earl Stoll is a senior at Northwestern High School