Exeter High student receives national honor for academics

High schooler Jake Ranney receives a lifelong membership with the National Society of High School Scholars for his involvement in the community and academic achievements

Exeter student studies his way to national honor

EXETER –  After years of AP classes and hours of community involvement, high school student Jake Ranney’s hard work finally paid off, as he was honored by a worldwide academic society.

Just a few months before the school year began, amid a blistering summer vacation, high school student Ranney received a letter in the mail from the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). As he opened the envelope, he realized he had just become a recipient of a national honor and was now a member of a lifelong society for honorary scholars throughout the world. 

“[When I got the letter] I was reassured that what I’m doing is actually going to help me in the long run, instead of just doing [schoolwork] and wasting my time,” Ranney said.

The NSHSS honors students for their academic excellence, leadership and community involvement. This explains Ranney well, as he not only achieved great things academically, but is also heavily involved in his community through the Special Olympics, which is a program for special needs individuals. To top it all off, Ranney is graduating a year early, and is also already taking classes at the College of the Sequoias.

“On behalf of NSHSS and our co-founder Claes Nobel, a member of the family that established the Nobel Prizes, I am honored to recognize the hard work, passion and commitment that Jake has demonstrated to achieve this exceptional level of academic excellence,” said NSHSS co-founder and president James Lewis. “Jake is now a member of a unique community of scholars, a community that represents our very best hope for the future.”

The NSHSS was formed in 2002 by Lewis and Claes Nobel, a member of the family that established the Nobel Prizes. It seeks to recognize high achieving academic students at the high school level. They also help to advance the goals and aspirations of high-achieving students through various learning experiences, scholarships, internships, international study and peer networks. Currently there are more than 1,700,000 members in over 170 countries.

Ranney will reap the benefits of his hard work, as the society was founded to support students’ futures through various learning experiences and resources that will prepare them for meaningful careers. For Ranney, his future career goal is to become a psychologist. As a high school student who is already taking college courses, he wants to apply to his dream school soon, Pepperdine University, among other choice schools.

Photo by Rigo Moran

Ranney’s dream to become a psychologist came from his own experiences. Ranney had struggled with health issues in his high school career, and was admitted into Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he met Dr. Heather. It was not long before she inspired Ranney to follow in her footsteps.

“When I was in the hospital I had a wonderful psychologist, her name was Dr. Heather. She helped me with everything, really,” Ranney said. “She opened my eyes to that [career], and I want to be able to help people the way she helped me.”

Ranney’s involvement within the special needs community is extensive. This Friday, he is taking part in hosting a Night to Shine Event with the Tim Tebow Foundation, which is a prom night for special needs individuals 14 years and older.

“[The prom night] is to shine a light on those with special needs and just kind of help them come together and be celebrated in the eyes of the community, and just let them know they’re actually valued and not forgotten,” Ranney said. 

But Ranney’s legacy with special needs outreach doesn’t stop with him. His family is also heavily involved, starting with his grandmother, who is the president for the Special Olympics chapter in Tulare County. Jenny Ranney, Jake’s aunt, is the treasurer and mother of Special Olympics player, Lisa Ranney. Jake and his grandfather are also coaches for the events.

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