CHARACTER COUNTS

High school senior serves community, autistic children through Eagle Scouts

Oct 18, 2020, 5:05 PM
(Mason Kaminski Photo)...
(Mason Kaminski Photo)
(Mason Kaminski Photo)

In the midst of an unprecedented year, the entire world has had to makeshift new ways of running everyday life.

And for Veritas Preparatory Academy senior Mason Kaminski, he’s had to manage the change in the educational landscape while maintaining his GPA and competing in three different sports.

“Just because it’s senior year, it’s been very stressful because I have to do my senior thesis, which is a 20-page paper that’s based on three books,” Kaminski explained.

“So between that and college applications and just dealing with the school situation because we’re transitioning to in-person — all that is a lot of work and it’s kind of stressful to manage the busy schedule.”

The football, tennis and soccer player boasts a GPA above 4.7 at Veritas Preparatory Academy in an all-honors curriculum. He received the school’s ironman award, which is only given to three-sport athletes with qualifying grades.

But even with the busy schedule, the senior still takes the time to lend a hand in his community.

Kaminski is an eagle scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow, which is the National Honor Society for scouts. The teenager has been in the scouts since he was in first grade and said his favorite part of the Order of the Arrow is how service-based it is.

“I really love the service that we get to do in scouts,” he said. “(Not) because it’s difficult to find your own service opportunities, but you have to do a lot of research and set things up. Whereas in scouts, more opportunities are readily available where your troop helps you get there and all we have to do is show up and help.”

A few of those service projects were for the likes of St. Mary’s Food Bank and St. Vincent de Paul. At the Center for Autism, Kaminski helped decorate and build structures for an outdoor playground area.

“That’s really nice because it’s giving kids who don’t have the same opportunities as other people the ability to have fun and enjoy their lives as much as we can and I think that’s really important,” he said. “I love working with people and being in an environment where we can have fun together while we’re serving other people and that was just great.”

When Kaminski isn’t at school, working as a lifeguard, serving the community or on the court, field or pitch, the teenager can be found backpacking, dancing, scratchboarding or playing guitar, which he taught himself four years ago. His favorite band is Guns N’ Roses.

Kaminski doesn’t plan on continuing his sports career at the collegiate level, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have big intentions post high school graduation. Instead, he plans to attend either the University of San Diego, Vanderbilt or Johns Hopkins to study neuroscience or perhaps maybe even physical therapy.

“I’m interested in neurology, specifically with people who have problems with either their brain or nervous system,” he said. “Another field that kind of relates to that is physical therapy. I’ve played a lot of sports so I’ve always been interested in that because you see a lot of injuries, you get injured and physical therapy is really helpful.

“I plan on getting a doctorate and going into something in the medical field relating to the nervous system and the brain. After having taken physics and calculus classes in high school, I decided I wanted to go into something that was directly related to science. I like the idea of helping people, so medicine to me was the obvious path to go. And like I said, physical therapy has been part of my life for a while, so I was kind of predisposed to something toward that.”

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