Brian Joseph, Valedictorian, Class of 2021

The honor of being St. John’s Class of 2021 valedictorian was awarded to Brian Joseph. Despite the unexpected challenges that the COVID pandemic threw, he faced it head on with dedication and perseverance, all the while attaining the highest level of academic achievement.

Brian Joseph, Valedictorian, Class of 2021

What colleges were you accepted into?

University of Notre Dame, Emory, UNC Chapel Hill, Northeastern, UW Madison, and Baylor

Which college will you choose and why?

University of Notre Dame. The primary reason I’m attending Notre Dame is that I received scholarships amounting to full tuition.

What is your planned college major? minor?

My planned major is Biological Sciences with a focus on the Biomedical track. I also plan on minoring in mathematics.

Why do you wish to pursue this major or career? How does this align with what you would like to achieve in your life after college?

I want to major in bio-sciences because I hope to become a doctor. After college, I plan to go to medical school.

What about college life are you most excited for?

I’m most excited to live in a new environment and meet new people.

What advice would you give to a high school student starting college applications?

I would advise high school students starting college applications to be willing to be vulnerable.

What advice would you give to a new St. John’s freshman?

Get out of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to try new things.

What will your lasting memories of St. John’s be?

I will always remember St. John’s as the homework loaded school that always kept me on my toes academically. It’s also the place where I made many lifelong friends.

How well has St. John’s prepared you for a successful college future? 

I think St. John’s has prepared me well for future success in college because I learned to keep balance between my loaded academic schedule and personal relaxation.

Who has been the most influential person in your time at St. John’s School?

My parents have been the most influential for sure. They’ve consistently supported me throughout high school and kept me going even when I felt like quitting. I wouldn’t have achieved anything without them.

What clubs/activities/organizations were you involved with on/off campus?

Cross country (XC)

I ran for the SJS XC team for the past three years. I really enjoyed the team camaraderie and found cross country as an excellent way of staying fit.

Mock Trial

I was involved in Mock Trial for all four years of high school. I was a witness for my entire time on the team. My favorite tactic I used against opposing teams’ attorneys  was to waste their time by rambling about loosely relevant details rather than answering their questions head on.

Mu Alpha Theta

I started this math honor club in junior year. We encourage members to sign up for local math competitions (like the Math Kangaroo and AMC) and research opportunities and are applying for a chapter charter. We’re also involved in helping lower school students understand difficult mathematical concepts through educational videos or tutoring.

YSREM (Young Scholars Research Experience in Mathematics) at UOG

We were given a crash course into topics such as game-theory, differential equations, linear algebra, Matlab, Latex Overleaf, and Cocalc and mentored with college professors at the University of Guam. My group and I conducted intensive research on vaccination game theory, presented our findings at islandwide colloquiums, and are working on publishing our research to an academic journal.

Science Fairs

I joined the Islandwide Science Fair twice and also competed in and won a few other international fairs such as the IYSIE and APCYS science fairs.

How were you able to balance your extracurricular activities and academic life so well?

One thing I find very helpful is to write down on a list of every responsibility I have whether or not it is school related. Then, I construct a schedule for the day where I allocate time to finish such responsibilities in accordance with anything else I have planned for the day. I make sure to include time during the day to relax and unwind, and I never sacrifice my eight hour sleep in the night.

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