Jay Maturi’s (’14) passions have led him to the unlikely connection between medicine and environmental science. As he heads to Stanford University in the fall of 2018, he wants to continue learning how we can be healthier through understanding how the environment affects our day-to-day lives.
Maturi, who graduated from University High School this spring, has already built an impressive resume. He’s a National Merit Finalist, and is only one of 40 students (joining fellow Sycamore grad Maya Mishra from Park Tudor) on the Indiana Academic All-Star list; he is an Eagle Scout; he participated in Quiz Bowl, debate, and soccer; he has traveled to learn about different cultures. “High school has really been an amazing experience,” Maturi says. “Because it's small, University High School has given me an opportunity to form a tight-knit community with my peers and strong relationships with my teachers. It’s also allowed me to experience a wide variety of activities. The school has a January term that has provided in-depth learning experiences in topics such as Race in America, the Cuban Revolution, and Hong Kong culture.”
Leaving Sycamore four years ago, Maturi found that the pieces put in place during his middle school years were invaluable to his success in high school. “Sycamore does a good job of fostering both peer-peer and peer-faculty interactions and prepared me well for University High School's philosophy of collaborative learning.” In 2017, Maturi returned to Sycamore to work with 4th graders on a project to recycle electronic components, and the results were, according to Maturi, well beyond his expectations.
“One of my favorite activities during high school has been my electronic waste initiative,” he says. “I completed my first e-waste drive as part of my Eagle Scout project, and I wanted to expand upon that through an education initiative. I developed an e-waste curriculum that is being implemented in various schools across the state. Sycamore gave me an opportunity to teach 4th graders about e-waste, and as part of that teaching unit, we launched a successful Sycamore drive that collected more than 5,000 pounds of electronics for proper disposal.” He has taken that initiative to additional schools to have an even greater reach for his recycling project.
Jay’s next adventure is out West, to start classes at Stanford University. Maturi targeted Stanford because of the curriculum that matches his career interests and allows him to focus on environmental studies.
“I'm particularly interested in Stanford's extensive environmental science and biology curriculum. I think the classes and opportunities will be a great match for my career interests. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s always sunny there.”
When he looks back at classes and teachers at Sycamore, he sees things that resonate with him and foster his desire to learn. “Sycamore provided such an exciting learning environment, with so many hands-on experiences,” he says. “Mummifying chickens, launching marble catapults, egg drops - these projects, and competitions like Science Olympiad, MATHCounts, and National History Day - prepared me well for high school and set up a habit of lifelong learning. One of the teachers whose efforts allowed me to succeed in high school was Mr. Tormoehlen,” he says. “He dedicates hundreds of hours, before and after school, to run math practices and competitions for his students. Mr. T helped me approach mathematics creatively and confidently. The skills I developed in middle school have helped me through high school math, and I know they will continue to serve me through college and my career,” he says. “I think Sycamore School provides a real leg up for high school.”
TWO SYCAMORE ALUM NAMED TO INDIANA ACADEMIC ALL-STARS
The 2018 Indiana Academic All-Stars were recognized April 27 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis. Of the 40 who earned the honor, two are Sycamore graduates. Jay Maturi, of University High School, and Maya Mishra, from Park Tudor, were honored at the event, earning awards that are given annually by the Indiana Association of School Principals. There were originally 275 nominees, in five regions of the state.
Both Mishra and Maturi are also National Merit Finalists. Mishra is a Presidential Scholar candidate, the Student Council President, and will attend Princeton to study Medicine. Maturi is an Academic All-State soccer player, has extensive (electronic recycling, soup kitchen, hospitals) volunteer coordination and experience, and will study Preventive Medicine at Stanford University.