Senior Jack Frain is the only wando student to recieve the National Merit scholarship

Audrey Kelly, Staff Writer

Jack Frain drives across town with the answer to his future burning in his back pocket. The email sits there unopened on his phone per his mother’s request. She wanted to be there when he found out, so onward he drives.

When he gets to her, they hold their breath together. He clicks the message, and they look.

He is the only student at Wando to receive the National Merit Scholarship.

This is an honor a mere 1,000 high school seniors were given across the country. On top of this, his school of choice, Vanderbilt, also offered him scholarships that will follow him through his four years of college.

“You have to get nominated to get the scholarship and then you go through multiple steps to receive it,” Frain said. “The money is going to be really helpful, and my family can’t be more grateful.”

But he didn’t just receive this honor by SAT scores and teacher recommendations — Frain is dedicated to spreading kindness and motivation everywhere he goes.

“Every saturday at 8:00 a.m., I go to the rec center and play basketball with kids with Down’s syndrome,” he said.

What started as a way to connect with his family friend who has Down’s syndrome when he was merely eight years old is now a part of his weekly life where he meets incredible people and teaches them to keep fighting for their goals.

“I’m there to coach them and give them all the support they need, and I’ve met some of the best human beings from doing it,” Frain said. “They’ve taught me as much as I’ve taught them.”

He entered high school with 11 credits already completed due to his schooling at the University School of the Lowcountry from 8-11 grade. At the end of this year, he will have completed 20 AP and dual credit courses through his time at Wando.

He also will have served as a member at; Beta Club, National Honors Society, Wando Ambassadors, the We the People Team, and Chop House Leaders. This doesn’t stop Frain however — it fuels him.

“Wando has given me so much and I want to feel like I made a difference while I was here. I want to leave knowing I did some good and was a part of the school,” he said.

He doesn’t see all that he does as a struggle because he’s doing what he loves to do most, and that’s obtaining knowledge and experience in every aspect possible. He wants to better himself as a person and make himself more prepared for success.

This has always been the case for him, according to his mother, Amy Frain.

“When he was a kid he would spend hours finishing jigsaw puzzles and would look at license plates on cars and figure out patterns in each of them using math,” she said.

His brain has and always will look for ways to solve whatever’s in front of him, using new techniques and skills he has learned throughout his years of learning.

As for the future, going forward with the scholarships and achievements also made possible with his award sponsor, South Carolina Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center, Frain is dedicated to Vanderbilt, a place where all of his needs can be fulfilled, academically and socially.

“I am currently undecided for my major, but I definitely want to go into the math field somehow. I took courses at College of Charleston to test it out and I think that path works well for me,” Frain said.

He is excited for what else is waiting out there for him to discover, whether it be more jigsaw puzzles or becoming a famous mathematician.

“I don’t know what is in store for me next, but I’m ready to find out,” he said.