Senior Justin Jasperse wanted to go to college after graduating from Burnsville High School but he wasn’t sure how that was going to happen.
Then he heard about scholarships offered through QuestBridge, which connects the nation's brightest students from low-income backgrounds with colleges and universities. By facilitating these exchanges, QuestBridge aims to increase the percentage of talented low-income students attending the nation's best universities and the ranks of national leadership itself, according to the organization’s website www.questbridge.org
Justin received a full-ride scholarship, valued at $300,000 or more, to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill, in fall 2018. He said the school is a good fit for him. It has a familiar midwestern feel, yet is near Chicago, the third largest city in the country. “I didn’t want to separate from my community,” he said. “I want to stay connected.” Justin, who lives with his parents Rose and Jean Paul Jasperse and his grandmother Milagros, is very proud of his Filipino heritage.
Unlike many of his friends who are interested in STEM careers, Justin is drawn to history, philosophy and political science. He said that a Human Geography Advanced Placement (AP) class he took as a 9th grader at Metcalf Middle School was influential and so were history classes at Burnsville High School. Justin is fascinated by events that shape our current world. He envisions a future career as a lawyer, diplomat or other related field.
Justin has taken many AP, College in the Schools (CIS) and Honors courses. He’s involved with the Firefly Credit Union branch at Burnsville High School, working as a finance education representative for eight hours a week and also serving on its advisory board. He’s a leader with the academic Quiz Bowl team, which he joined after a friend talked him into trying it his sophomore year. “I loved it right away,” said Justin, who now serves as captain. “It’s an incentive to hold on to knowledge and bring it everywhere.”
“Justin’s intellectual curiosity is unparalleled,” according to his social studies teacher Kristina Aars. “Some of my favorite teaching moments this year came when Justin asked some deeper questions about the information we were covering that week. His curiosity led us to grapple with some tough questions, which expanded the learning for all of us.”
She said that Justin's zest for learning complements his innate intelligence, making him an individual who really has no limits, in terms of what he can achieve in life. Aars said, “I look forward to seeing what his future holds.”