From SVHS To Yale: Keeping Up with the Jones'

Keeping up with the Jones’ brothers over the last eight years has not been an easy feat. 

Zac ’17 came to Saint Viator from Our Lady of Destiny in Des Plaines and Austin ’21 from Saint Emily in Mount Prospect, and throughout their time here, both made their names and faces known to faculty, staff, and classmates by participating in the fine arts, student council, and more. Soon, Austin will graduate, and just like his brother four years ago, will be off to Yale University in the fall.

“As an incoming freshman, I felt like his acceptance really opened doors of what I even imagined being possible,” said Austin. “Going to an Ivy League school was previously just a dream.”

Serving as more than just inspiration, Zac advised Austin throughout his college search and reviewed his essays multiple times.

“It's difficult to know what admission counselors are looking for, and while I have little idea myself, I think I was still able to provide important feedback.”

Similar to Zac’s participation in Saint Viator’s student council and the Justice League, Austin hopes to stay involved in activities connected with government and social justice throughout college. 

“Saint Viator has certainly instilled in me the importance of getting involved and making positive contributions to those around me,” he said. “I’ve learned and adopted the mindset that being active beyond just going to class is crucial to being well-rounded and a good member of the community.”

Just as both brothers remained active in the Saint Viator community by acting in the annual musical and participating in the Querbes Scholar program, for example, their passion for service is mutual. 

“My continued involvement in service organizations [at Yale] can be directly traced to Saint Viator's tradition of service,” said Zac, who plans to graduate this month with a Bachelor of Arts, Ethics, Politics, and Economics degree. “One way that has manifested is that I received a Domestic Summer Award from Yale to serve as a volunteer with the Viator House of Hospitality, run in part by Fr. Corey Brost, whom I met while he was president of Saint Viator.”

“Furthermore, I had plenty of excellent teachers at Saint Viator, especially in the Social Studies department. Mrs. Martin, Mr. Jensen, and former teacher Mrs. Braun all come to mind.” 

Zac also spent a good portion of college working for the Equal Justice Center for the Roosevelt Institute at Yale, an experience he says was instrumental for his current position of Branch Director for the Sycamore Institute at Yale, a student-run think tank focused on security issues.

“Presently, my plans for post-graduation are to serve with an AmeriCorps VISTA or AmeriCorps State and National program, probably in Connecticut or perhaps closer to home in Illinois. I ultimately want to return to school, likely in the form of law school or graduate school for a master's in public policy, but I have a strong affinity for service, definitely cultivated in part by my experience with service at Saint Viator.”

Saint Viator High School

Located in Arlington Heights, IL, Saint Viator High School is a private, co-ed, Catholic school for grades 9-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.