Marshall makes most of Midlo senior moments

Midlo Seniors Shine Despite COVID-19 Setback

Photo by: Jakob Marshall
Jakob Marshall tours colleges in preparation for his senior year.

On Monday, March 23, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam announced that schools will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year due to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this decision, Midlothian High School students have expressed immense sadness due to the premature end of their school year. This virus has resulted in the loss of their ability to complete their courses in person and say goodbye to their favorite classmates and teachers. However, Midlothian seniors have been affected the heaviest by this outbreak, as they will no longer complete their final year of high school at school. For them, this means no prom, senior spirit week, senior awards ceremony, final pep rally, and most importantly, the possibility of an in-person graduation has diminished. The loss of these important memories has saddened many seniors, and numerous have taken to social media, such as Instagram, to express their heartbreak with the early end of their long-awaited senior year. However, hundreds of Midlo seniors have spent years dedicating their time to academics, clubs, sports, volunteer work, and more, and these accomplishments deserve recognition despite the current negative state in the world.

Among these accomplished students, Jakob Marshall never fails to stand out. Marshall has left his mark on Midlothian High School in numerous ways that stem from academics into clubs, honor societies, outside activities, and many more different outlets. Not only is Marshall revered by his peers, but he also well respected by his teachers. Classmate Adrian Cox comments, “Jakob Marshall is a hard worker; he is a person who you could give a challenging problem to, and he would solve it without a degree of problem. Jakob is a quiet individual; however, he always knew how to have his voice aired, and that’s why many respected and looked up to him, including myself.” In addition, IB Business teacher Mrs. Carolyn Manheim taught Marshall his junior year and took him to Orlando, Florida, for the DECA International Career and Development Conference, just one of Marshall’s many honors. She reflects on her experience teaching and knowing Marshall, sharing, “Jakob is one of the hardest working students I have ever had the privilege of teaching. He is the epitome of the expression ‘still waters run deep.’ Jakob is a quiet and very multi-layered person with a good sense of humor. His work ethic is absolutely exceptional. He works tirelessly in every class to give 110%. He is well rounded and has played in the band and been part of numerous clubs and activities. Jakob will take the business world by storm, and I consider it a true joy and pleasure to have taught him last year. I cannot wait to see how he changes and benefits the world, just as he did Midlothian High School.”

Beginning his journey at Midlothian High School, Marshall joined FBLA as a freshman after the club sparked his interest at the annual fair for new students. As he excelled in his Principles of Business class, teacher Mrs. Yvonne Mullins placed him in the Introduction to Business event, where he achieved first place in the region as a freshman, sparking his passion for the business realm. He attended the state level competition, an event which only furthered his determination; he shares, “I didn’t win anything there, and I sat alone in the Panera Bread for 6 hours because almost no other freshmen went, but I still decided to go again sophomore year.” This determination blossomed into fruition his second year as he placed 2nd in the region, 1st in the state, and later attended the national competition in Baltimore. The PTSO paid for his trip expenses, including over $100 for food, and his family also decided to attend because no other Midlo students had taken on the opportunity that year. Junior year, he competed in a team event with IB Business classmates Adrian Cox and Ben Wrobel. They achieved first place in the region and came in the top 10 finalists at states. For his final year in one of his most beloved parts of Midlothian, he tried something new, competing in the Political Science test event, as he had excelled in AP Government throughout the year. FBLA awarded him first place in the region, but he was unable to compete at states due to Coronavirus cancellations.

Following his love of FBLA, Manheim convinced him to join DECA after witnessing Jakob’s talent for business in her IB Business class. He competed in the Accounting Applications event, achieving first place in the district, and later attended the state competition at Virginia Beach, where he reached 2nd in the state and the top test score in his event, an impressive feat for a first year competitor. This success landed him a spot at the international competition in Orlando, which he describes as “the experience of a lifetime, getting to go to Disney parks, waiting for an hour in a line for a bus to take us back to the hotel, sitting outside in 85 degree weather while it was 65 in Midlo. I will never forget that trip.” Unfortunately, he could not continue his success in DECA his senior year because he did not take a marketing class, but he joined as a social member to continue to partake in the group as much as he could.

The summer of his junior year, Marshall participated in a paid internship at the Cochrane Summer Economic Institute alongside fellow classmate Vic Lin. During this time, he worked for EAB, a college marketing company, helping the business formulate ways to better connect with students. Following this activity, they broke into different groups and focused on determining ways to attract younger generations to a certain city. For his city, Raleigh, NC, his group used virtual reality to essentially “fly” around the city, and then chose to modernize the area by renovating one of the multitude of parking garages into a nightclub, which featured different floors to cater to various demographics, named “The Lot.” Marshall reflects on the internship: “The experience opened my mind into an entirely new way of approaching problems, and definitely put me ahead of other students applying to similar colleges as I.”

Not only does Marshall have a strong business mind, but he also offers a considerable talent in the arts as the Drum Major in the Trojan Marching Band for the 2019-2020 season, alongside fellow band members Ben Wrobel and Andrew Parsons. During his junior year, he served as the Trumpet Section Leader, earning the group a ‘superior’ marking at the State Marching Assessment. Marshall is the Historian of Midlothian Tri-M Music Honor Society chapter, as well as the Vice President of the National Honor Society. Outside of school, he has had two jobs in the Midlothian community, including Your Pie and Panera Bread, both in Westchester. Marshall has taken Midlothian by storm through business, leadership, music, and much more.

Marshall put his dedicated high school experience to the test once he started filling out the Common App in July of 2019. As he explored the lengthy list of college possibilities, he questioned his previous beliefs about where he wished to attend school, and gained the idea to push his hard work to the limits and apply to schools across the country. Through his eligibility for an application fee waiver, there was no stopping him from applying to as many schools as possible and seeing what each college had in store for him. In the end, Marshall applied to 16 of America’s most prestigious schools, a large undertaking due to the various application requirements for each individual institution, and his top choices consisted of University of Southern California, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Virginia. He received acceptances from 2/3 of those schools, making the business schools of USC and UVA his top two choices for the next four years.

After four long and difficult years of dedication to Midlothian, Marshall comments on his inability to complete this time of his life, sharing, “The part I’m going to miss is not going to school, but the people that also attended, and taught at Midlo. It’s unfortunate to think that every senior walked the halls for the last time ever on March 12 without knowing it, and I too was concerned about receiving proper closure of 13 years of routine education, but it seems that everything will be just fine in the end, and worrying now will only make things worse.”