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Saints on the Hill: A Lot to Live Up To

Saints on the Hill: A Lot to Live Up To

A majority of Saints on the Hill presentations at Canterbury feature students speaking primarily about themselves and sharing their personal experiences. However, Jared ’26 took a slightly different approach during his recent talk before the campus community—his main focus was his family.

“I want to share a little bit about how family has influenced my life and driven my decisions,” he said. “Their stories about the pursuit of excellence is something that should be heard.”

Jared’s family did not just pursue excellence; they achieved it. His mother was an exceptional athlete and an even better student. She was the fifth-ranked high school track and field heptathlete, became a two-time state champion and multi-year high school All-American, and was co-valedictorian before committing to Stanford University. “She is practically a superhero,” Jared said. “But somehow, she is just one of many remarkable people in my family.”

Jared’s dad was equally talented. “My dad was a generational athlete, which helped him secure a spot at a prep school,” Jared recalled. “Every day, he would travel an hour to school and balance his demanding football, basketball, and track schedule with his rigorous course load.” On top of that, Jared’s father had severe dyslexia, but he met all those challenges to become salutatorian of his class and one of the top linebacker recruits in the country. He earned a scholarship to play at Stanford, but a series of concussions and knee injuries cut his football career short. Undaunted, he joined the track and field team to keep his scholarship and became a three-time All-American in the hammer throw. 

Jared told other such family stories—an uncle who was the number one high school track and field decathlete in the entire country, an aunt who was a high school state champion and star athlete at Stanford. And yes, they each were named co-valedictorians of their classes. Then there was another uncle who played major league baseball for 12 years and was a two-time All-Star following a legendary career at Stanford. He went on to earn his MBA and build an extensive real estate portfolio.

Finally, Jared turned his presentation inward. “Why am I telling you all this? I want you to understand the amount of pressure my two brothers and I have faced since we were born,” he shared. “I do not just have the pressure of measuring up to my family's otherworldly athletic standards but also their academic accomplishments.”

Jared spent much of his life trying to find his purpose and wanting to be great at something so he could follow in his parents’ footsteps. Ultimately, he came to realize that there was another reason to push himself to be his best. “I try to achieve perfection to know that I made it because of me and not my parents. I want my success to be based upon my hard work,” he explained. “My parents had none of the resources I do. All they had was their talent and dedication.”

The pressure eased a bit when Jared began to change his perspective. “I strive to give 100 percent in everything I do. Anything less would be a disservice to my parents, who sacrificed so I could have the life they had to fight for,” he told his audience. “The pressure of living up to someone’s legacy is something you place upon yourself, but it is entirely different trying to make the most of an opportunity someone else has worked their entire life to give you.” 

Jared is clearly doing that, finding success both in the classroom and athletics—and, he said, he has already received a Division I basketball scholarship offer! Perhaps most importantly, Jared has come to terms with following his extraordinary family legacy. “Even if I do not reach the levels of excellence that my parents did, I can say that I chased my goals with everything I had and that I tried as hard as possible, every single day, to achieve something truly great.”