The adjustment from high school to college is an enormous challenge for almost every high school senior, but for Shadle Park’s Mason Hawk, it will only be his second most difficult academic transition.
He remembers very well the beginning of his freshman year at Shadle, which he attended after graduating from St. Thomas More School, a parochial school with about 200 students.
“It was the scariest time of my whole life,” he said. “I only knew two kids at Shadle, and neither of them very well. After knowing almost everybody at STM, I didn’t know who anybody was. But it turned out to be a great experience, and I’m glad that I had it.”
As Hawk sees it, that experience taught him how to handle himself in any social situation, and he certainly has made the most of that lesson during his years at Shadle Park, where he has distinguished himself by the variety of his activities and his excellence in performing them.
“What sets Mason apart is his willingness to try anything and the effort he puts forth when he engages in any activity,” said counselor Megan Decker. “Whether it’s cross country, youth group, percussion, Eagle Scouts or as a volunteer, Mason’s ability to accomplish tasks and his engaging personality always raise him to the top of the group.”
Much of Hawks’s volunteer work began at St. Thomas More, where his involvement with Scouts helped him learn the value of community service. He did yard work, cleaned trails and helped other Scouts with their own projects, and eventually was honored by his school for his outstanding service.
His high school experience has been more of the same, where he has honed his leadership skills in all his endeavors.
“I really have learned a lot from Boy Scouts,” he said, “and one of the most important things is that I like being the guy who makes the decisions. I’m not a screamer, and I was never in any big leadership roles in high school, because I like to lead by example more than by telling others what to do. That’s just not my style.”
One of Hawk’s most noteworthy achievements as an Eagle Scout has been the construction of an awning at St. Thomas More, a large permanent covering which protects students waiting after school for parents to pick them up.
“It’s like a house without walls,” he said. “I had a $7,000 budget that came from donations from the parish community, and had to get permits and work with engineers and Bouten Construction to make sure that everything was done right. I worked all summer between my freshman and sophomore years at least eight hours a day.”
Hawk is anxious for the next steps in his life.
“I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing,” he said, “but whatever it is, I want to effect change.”