Jake Turner is simply put, a leader. ASB President at Damien, Football Captain, and he soon will be enrolling into West Point in the Fall. The Sky is the limit for this transformative scholar athlete.
As most high school students in the Inland Empire can relate, being a student athlete today is never easy. Juggling school, sports, family, friends, and other extracurriculars can be a very overbearing experience at times, but it’s all how you prioritize and approach each agenda.
My experience at Damien High School has certainly been challenging, but rewarding nonetheless. Going into high school, I already knew I wanted to apply myself to some type of leadership role; it just took some time for me to figure out how. When I heard the morning announcement for elections for class office my freshman year, I knew that it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Since then, I have been voted in as Class Vice President for my freshman and sophomore years, Class President for my junior year, and ASB President for my senior year.
This final year especially, my schedule has been packed. A day in my life includes 4 AP classes, one IB class, recording the school-wide daily announcements, meetings during lunch, planning events after school with ASB, and 2-3 hour long sport practices every single day between Football and Track. Plus extracurricular events like my participation in Congresswoman Norma Torres’ Youth Advisory Committee. As a member of ASB, you are held to a higher standard among faculty, parents, members of the school community, and even the student population. The responsibilities you take on are high and expectations of you are even higher.
My duties as ASB President are truly a widely-ranged spectrum. I often act as a middle man between the students and the faculty, engaging in the ideas of both. I communicate to the faculty whatever the students want to see get done, and vice versa. Day-to-day, I help coordinate and undertake the morning prayer and announcements and unexpected tasks as they arise.
Working with the faculty, I help plan events across campus, such as pizza sales, fundraisers, rallies, etc. Something new happens every single day, but whatever it is that I am doing, I take pride in what I do. As a result, my duties never feel like a chore or assignment, but as something fun or enjoyable in my life.
Being a representative of the student body has allowed me to make close relationships with all types of people at Damien, not just athletes. Over the years I have come to make strong connections with different classes, grade levels, clubs, sports, members of the faculty, and many more. The leadership roles I have taken on in the classroom and on campus also ultimately helped me transition into being a leader on the field, as I was elected Co-Captain of my Varsity Football Team, and received other athletic accolades such as one of the Baseline League’s Outstanding Scholar/Athletes. These parts of my life are closely connected–one often stemming off the other. I believe my leadership in high school helped me recently receive an offer of admission to the United States Military Academy Preparatory School at West Point.
With so much going on, you often feel as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Some might assume you’d buckle under the pressure of it all. Yes, I’ll admit it can be a lot of work, but as I look back at the experiences I have had and the memories I have made, it has been totally worth it. Being a student athlete and ASB president has prepared me for life itself, learning many lessons along the way.
Damien High School
Class of 2018