Scottsdale Prep senior Jay Robertson combines nature and nurture

Nov 30, 2021, 5:00 AM
Scottsdale Prep senior Jay Robertson. (Jay Robertson Photo)...
Scottsdale Prep senior Jay Robertson. (Jay Robertson Photo)
(Jay Robertson Photo)

There are two things Jay Robertson loves most in this world: nature and helping people.

The 17-year-old Scottsdale Prep senior has spent the last few years both working up the ranks as a scout, as well as aiding medical professionals in a hospital.

Robertson has climbed from Boy Scout to Eagle Scout – the highest rank a scout can receive – and has helped be a peer mentor for younger scouts to follow in his footsteps as a leading example.

“A big part of it is not only helping yourself to achieve Eagle, but also helping younger scouts achieve that as well and kind of just leading them,” he said. “I definitely plan on becoming more active in the troop later on (in life).”

He may not be legally old enough to vote, but the 17-year-old has already learned some valuable life skills in his short time.

Robertson has identified how vastly different his roles are when he’s the liaison between doctors and the family during surgery or leading Scout Troop 818 to install a bench at marker No. 79 on the Pinnacle Peak Trail of the McDowell Mountain Preserve.

“Helping and leading is way different,” he said. “A big part of leading and a big part of mentoring – I’ve learned – is you can’t just tell the person what to do.

“You kind of have to work with them and I think that’s definitely my leadership style is that I really enjoy getting in there and working with them rather than just telling them what to do. And I feel like that’s also how you can lead younger scouts. Instead of showing them what to do, you have to work through it with them (through the EDGE method: educate, demonstrate, guide, enable).”

The Scottsdale Prep senior isn’t exactly sure what he wants to do professionally just yet, but his 3.9 GPA – 4.76 weighted honors – has given him some ideas to pursue a career in the medical field.

Robertson had a little interest in a couple out of state schools, but Northern Arizona University is where he will be studying environmental sustainability and completing his premed coursework to possibly become a doctor.

His focus will be on environmental medicine, which is a multidisciplinary field that overlaps with environmental pathology and includes medicine, environmental science and chemistry.

And as the current president of the Medical Explorers Club at HonorHealth, Robertson has already volunteered over 250 hours of his time to the hospital over the last two years.

“It’s kind of a lot of work. Part of me is like, ‘Why did you do this?’” he said. “But then part of me is like, ‘It’s so worth it.’ Because I feel like it’s real-life skills.

“I have to reach out to doctors, plan meetings, talk to my board members, talk to my club members. So it is a lot of work but I feel like it’s real-life experience that I’ll definitely use in the future.”

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