PIQUA — Every now and then, a student comes along who makes teachers long for “a room full of kids like him/her.”
Cameron Brown is one such student.
At 17, the Piqua High School senior already has the wonder stuff — an unwavering drive and determination to turn his dreams into reality.
He’s been class president for four years, he’s a member of student council and the National Honor Society, he participates in Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and most recently, he was named a National Merit Commended Scholar.
“I got a letter of commendation, saying that Cameron was selected,” Piqua High School Principal Rob Messick said, noting that 1.6 million students take the PSAT each year to vie for National Merit Scholarship status. Of those students, 50,000 are chosen as Commended Scholars.
“Of that number, he was in the top 34,000,” Messick continued. “That’s pretty impressive. He’s the only one in the recent history of the school to do this, I believe. We were very, very excited about this. Obviously, he’s a top performer at our school.”
“Cameron takes high-level courses. He challenges himself and he’s a hard worker. It’s more than just an innate talent.”
Though still in high school — where he’s in the running for valedictorian — Brown has already had a taste of college, having spent last summer in a program at prestigious Stanford University in California.
“I took economics and Math 19, which is basically calculus,” Brown said. “I got to stay on campus in a dorm room with no A/C, ate dorm food and everything. It was very different from high school, especially having to do things for myself. But it was a very good experience and I learned a lot from it.”
Brown said the experience will help him be better prepared when he goes to college in real life.
“There’s a lot of trial and error I won’t have to go through when I go to college for real, like learning to budget time,” he said.
And speaking of college, the son of Clayton and Kim Brown hasn’t yet settled on an institution of higher learning, but he’s considering the University of Pennsylvania, as well as England’s Oxford University — the latter because, “It has one of the top programs for mathematics,” he said, explaining that the “analytical nature” of math is what makes it appealing to him.
“That’s how my mind works; I like to break things down,” said Brown, who also enjoys running and sci-fi movies. “I’m not sure where I want to go to college, but I do know that I want to go into mathematics and be a professor.”
Where does his drive come from?
Brown admitted, with a laugh, that more than a little sibling rivalry — the quest to best his older brother, a student at New York University — plays a part in his tendency to strive for success.
“My brother got straight A’s and 32 on the SAT … I have to beat that!” declared Brown, who also has a twin sister who goes to Lehman Catholic High School.
On a more serious note, he said, “I know that doing well now will translate into the future.”
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341