Featured Alumnus: Jared Hunter '19
In some ways, not much has changed for Jared Hunter ’19 since he graduated from Avon Old Farms and went on to attend Brown University. At Brown he serves as a community coordinator or RA, which is similar to his former role as head dorm monitor of Diogenes; he plays on the Brown club hockey team, utilizing the skills he improved in the John T. Gardner Ice Rink; and he is studying biology and education, building on the foundation of knowledge that began in science classes on Mrs. Riddle’s campus.
In other ways, Jared’s life is changing fast. He is set to graduate with his undergrad degree this spring, and is in the process of deciding his next steps. He plans to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), but even if he takes it as soon as possible, it will be two to three years before he can enroll in medical school, and there is a plethora of options for what he should do during those gap years.
The current leading option is graduate school. He has already been accepted to Harvard University for a master’s program, an opportunity he says wouldn’t have been possible if not for his time at Avon. “Before coming to Avon, I was a good student, but I wasn’t really pushed to work harder. Avon really pushed me to improve, and provided me with teachers who really served as mentors.”
He says that the close, supportive relationship between teachers and students is what sets the school apart, and helped set him up for success. “They really helped shape me into who I wanted to be as a person, not just as a student.”
His time at Avon, specifically the relationships he built with peers and teachers, was so influential, it has inspired him to want to do the same for future students. “In my own development, especially at Avon, there were a lot of people I interacted with that shaped who I became. I just want to provide others with the same opportunity.”
This lines up with his aspirations to become a pediatrician, hence his plans to attend medical school. He says being a pediatrician would be a perfect way to merge his passion for science and desire to help kids.
While becoming a pediatrician was his initial goal when he left Avon, Jared says he has been increasingly intrigued by the possibility of teaching. He says he wants to be able to inspire kids, and admits this would be more feasible as a teacher. In fact, he says he has been talking heavily with Dean of Faculty Trevor Stern about the potential of spending his gap years teaching science classes at Avon, or doing so while he carries out his graduate school program.
Of course, Jared has time to decide his next steps. In the meantime, he will continue to be active at Brown. He is currently the co-president of the Black Pre-Med Society on campus, and has a job working in a biology lab focusing on mitigating the negative effects of incubators used for premature babies.
He also has been spending some time back at Avon, primarily to watch some of his brother Josh’s soccer games. Much to Jared’s dismay, his college graduation ceremony is the same day as Josh’s Avon Old Farms commencement. “I kind of want to go to his graduation more than mine,” he admits.
For Josh and the rest of the senior class, Jared offered some advice about how to spend these last few months. “Try to enjoy it. Really focus on spending time with your brothers and strengthening those connections with teachers. You’ll never be as close to all of them again, and you really do miss it.”