In an (Ivy) League of his own: Senior Lawrence gains prestigious Yale admission

Josef Lawrence (2)
Senior Josef Lawrence was recently accepted into the prestigious Yale University and it is easy to see why. Photo by Garrett Sorrels.

You know that feeling when you are on Naviance and you go to one of your reach schools only to see that no one has gotten in? It is pretty depressing, but those days are slowly, but surely, going away.

On December 15, senior Josef Lawrence received his Yale University acceptance letter. Finally, the daunting cluster of red X’s is accompanied by a green dot on the Yale page. This is truly a huge leap for our community.

Although St. Thomas has a prestigious name, in recent years it does not feel like it has shown through our college admissions. For instance, our last student to attend Yale, graduated in 2008. That is an 8 year difference.

Lawrence is not your average student. Along with a stellar academic performance, Lawrence is most recognized for being an EBN Anchor, but he has a multitude of other school extracurricular activities such as a founder and team captain of Quiz Bowl, president of the French Club, French horn player, and a member of the NHS.

He also participates in activities outside of the STH community like being a 7 year member of the Houston Youth Symphony, a 6 year member of the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition, and works at an athletic store. What these schools are looking for is individuality. What can you bring to the community that no one else can?

If you’re an underclassman reading this and looking at the immense amount of extracurricular activities that Lawrence has in his repertoire, and thinking to yourself “I need lots of activities, and fast.” Slow your roll. If you see, Lawrence’s activities are things he enjoys and is passionate about. Schools would rather see quality rather than quantity.

For juniors and sophomores keep your options open, don’t think they will never accept you, because that’s what I thought. For freshman, you still have four years ahead of you. The Ivy League and other top schools are looking for students that are specialized and dedicated. You have a vast majority of your time left, so use it wisely and push yourself, and I guarantee it will be an amazing experience

-Josef Lawrence, yale acceptee

What type of curriculum do you prefer? Do want a big school of 40,000 or a school of 1500 students? Do you want to stay in Texas or leave to Maine? But besides independent research, the Counseling office is a great tool to utilize, and all counselors are more than happy to sit down with you and go over anything your heart desires.

Counselors are always on the go, retrieving and visiting conferences and college fly-ins in order to gain information to bring back to the students. When it comes time to apply to schools, make sure all of your bases are covered. You can do this by forming good relationships between your teachers and counselor, finding the type of school that you want to attend, keep up your grades, and most importantly, just be you.

Will, or as most people refer to him as "that kid who drives the Prius." Once in the second grade, Will wrote to the Houston Zoo about the Okapi exhibit to complain how the tree stump in the middle of the exhibit was disrupting the Okapi's daily life. Needless to say, the zookeeper had no idea what Will was talking about.