JA Senior One of Portico’s “25 Students Who Will Change the World”

September 15, 2020 / Upper School/All News
Thomas Arnold plays Crutchy opposite Don Waller in Jackson Academy Performing Arts’ fall 2019 production of Newsies.

Portico Magazine recently named JA senior Thomas Arnold one of the “25 Students Who Will Change the World,” featured in their fall issue. The application process requires an essay, where each student reflects on their greatest accomplishment or experience. In his entry, Thomas described how his interest in sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices led him to volunteer with a local nonprofit. At Sow Reap Feed, staff and volunteers cultivate crops to donate to individuals who experience food insecurity. The United States Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as “household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.”

“Ever since I started learning more about the world around me, I have been concerned about finding ways that we as a society can treat the earth better and adopt more sustainable practices,” Thomas wrote in his essay. In describing his volunteer work at Sow Reap Feed as one of his most significant experiences, Thomas shared how interacting with the people served by the organization impacted him. “I get to see and talk to the families that Sow Reap Feed is helping. Those interactions validate my belief that we can help the people around us by adapting more environmentally-conscious habits. To this end, I look forward to pursuing a career in environmental engineering.”

At Jackson Academy, Thomas founded the Environmental Activism Club in 2020 as another avenue to share his passion for stewardship with others. He is on the Academy Honor Roll and has been inducted to the National Honor Society and Cum Laude and honor societies for English, French, math, science, and social studies. His extracurricular involvement includes show choir, lead roles with JA’s theatre, and membership in the International Thespian Society. This fall, you can see Thomas cheering the school on as a Rowdy and performing as a lead in the fall production of Mamma Mia!

The “25 Students Who Will Change the World” is an annual honor given to students who embrace excellence and impact their communities, inside and outside the classroom. Four college presidents judge the entries. Read more about this outstanding Jackson Academy student in the September/October issue of Portico.