Federal Way Rotary announces Student of the Year for Thomas Jefferson

Rotary International - Contributed
Rotary International
— image credit: Contributed

Andrew Min, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School (TJ), was awarded the Rotary Student of the Year award for TJ, during the Federal Way Public Schools board meeting on April 22.

Rotary’s Jack Stanford shared some of the reasons why Min was chosen for the award, saying the student is exceptional in a number of ways.

“Andrew is quite an extraordinary kid,” Stanford shared. “He’s involved in way too many things. I cannot imagine being able to do all the things he’s done, and with enjoyment too.”

Stanford noted that Min is the school treasurer for TJ, and is also the president of the math club. Min gives his time as a mentor for King County Library mentoring programs. In addition to those activities, Min is part of Advancing Leadership and a National Merit Scholar. Min has maintained a 3.99 GPA throughout his high school career, and that .01 difference makes for something of a humorous story, Stanford said.

“In our interview, one of us asked, where’d you get the B?” Stanford recalled. “Well, the B came from taking a high school class in eighth grade. For the four years of high school, it’s been pretty much perfect.”

“We have the name of the teacher, but I won’t say it publicly,” Stanford added with a smile.

Perhaps the most interesting program Min is involved in deals with juvenile offenders in Pierce County. Min explained what it is he does for troubled youth in Pierce County.

“When juveniles commit misdemeanors, usually they’d be sent to a judge where they’d receive a more strict penalty, but in the program I’m involved in, they kind of get a second chance,” Min explained. “I’m on a committee where we sit down with the juvenile and the family, and we come up with a solution to the incident that occurred.”

Most often juveniles get in trouble for relatively minor crimes, such as possession of marijuana or alcohol.

“We come up with a solution to prevent something like that from happening again. If the juvenile completes the assignment, which is usually x numbers of community service hours, or going to seminars. If they complete all that, then their record will be expunged by the time they’re 18.”

Min said that working with that program has been an “eye opening experience” and that oftentimes, the youth didn’t necessarily end up in the situation they were in because of bad intentions from the outset, but rather that they were “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“It’s changed my perspective on how I should work with others to make sure they’re on the right path,” he added.

Min said he’s tentatively planning on attending the University of Pennsylvania next year, where he may study economics or applied mathematics.

“We’ll see though, because I know high school seniors go into college thinking they’re going to do this but end up doing something completely different, so, I’m open to anything. We’ll have to see,” he said.


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