A soon-to-be high school graduate, Jacob Thomas has set his sights on the presidency.
Q: You were recently named Male Athlete of the Year at East Wake Academy, and you also received a scholarship to Pfeiffer University for track. As you are about to graduate , you must feel on top of the world.
“Yes, this is a very exciting time for me. Most of my four years in college are paid for, since I also received an academic scholarship. I had the opportunity to go to other schools but I liked Pfeiffer because it was small. I just like small schools, prefer small towns because there are less distractions. My family moved here from the Lansing, Michigan area when I was 11. My twin brother will probably go back to Michigan and stay with family after we graduate but I like North Carolina – this is my home now.”
Q: What was the highlight of your high school athletic career?
“Well, being named the Male Athlete of the Year meant a lot but I would also have to say senior night when we were playing St. Thomas More in basketball. I hit a three-pointer at the buzzer and we won the game. I had been in that position a couple of times before and taken a shot at the buzzer to win the game but I didn’t make it so I could see the look on my team members’ faces when I had the ball with only a couple of seconds left. I know they were thinking, ‘What is Jacob doing with the ball?’ But I made the shot on senior night and that was a great feeling. Some on the team called it luck, I told them it was skill (laughing).”
Q: So did athletics dominate most of your extra-curricular activities?
“I have tried to be a bit more well-rounded. I am a member of our school’s Green Club (concerned with environmental issues such as recycling), and I am president of the History Club. I was also in our school’s play this year. I was Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing. I am much more focused now and wanted to get involved with more things as opposed to my freshman year. I think I have grown a lot.”
Q: What will be your focus of studies at Pfeffier?
“I want to major in criminal justice and political science. I would like to work in law enforcement and then eventually, move to politics. I would like to be president one day.”
Q: Wow, president? That is quite a lofty goal.
“I am really interested in being a leader. I want to be effective in this world. Even if I don’t make it as president, I want to do something that is worth remembering.”
Q: What interests you about the political process? Did you vote in the recent presidential election?
“I did vote in the presidential election. I think what concerns me the most in politics is all the bipartisan fighting. Too many people are wrapped up in “Democrat” or “Republican” that they are not addressing the main issues at hand.”
Q: Looking into the future, what concerns do you think you will have for your kids?
“The things we idolize and glorify – the images that are everywhere, such as TV and in the movies, of killing and raping – it is just too much. We also glorify athletes who get paid a lot of money. I think we lose sight of what hard work is and the jobs that matter.”
Q: You have a sister in the fifth grade. What advice would you give her when she enters high school?
“To not get caught up in the drama that can be high school. There can be a lot of distractions and too many in high school think it is all about being social but you need to stay focused. I had to learn that. I would also tell her to listen to our mom. She has been a great influence for me. Parents can give helpful advice – you just have to listen to it and take it to heart.”
Correspondent Dena Coward