Kirker Davis is pleased to announce our 2019 Scholarship Award winner, Mr. Mathews Sajan. After carefully reviewing over 200 submissions, Mr. Sajan, an incoming Freshman at Arizona State University, was awarded this scholarship for his excellent essay, which can be read below. Mr. Sajan’s essay, his dedication to his studies, and his involvement in his community all contributed to his earning this award and we are proud to be able to support his future goals.
Mr. Sajan, who recently graduated second in his class from Centennial High School in Peoria, AR, is working towards a Pre-Business degree as well as a Pre-Health Thematic minor. He has been actively involved in many organizations such as FBLA, HOSA, and DECA, where he served as the Arizona State Secretary last year. Aside from his studies, Mathews is a 4th degree Black Belt in Taekwondo, a 5-time District Spelling Bee Champion, and very active in his church community through acting, basketball, writing, signing, and playing the piano.
Mr. Sajan hopes to attend medical school to become a psychiatrist and would love to one day open his own clinic to help those dealing with mental health issues. The future is bright for Mr. Sajan and we are excited to play a small part in his continued success!
As a child, I remember staring out the car window during long drives and musing about all sorts of oddities. Some days, I wondered how humans came up with language. Did some guy point at a puddle on the ground and say “water” until other people caught on and started saying it too? And how did babies learn the language without being told what words mean? How do I know I wasn’t abducted at birth and that my parents aren’t secretly aliens in disguise? Was everyone else even real, or was this all just a really long, detailed dream? I soon discovered that my odd amalgamation of ideas, disjointed and underdeveloped as they were, fit roughly under the single body of knowledge known as philosophy.
Philosophy has always been my passion, long before I knew what it was called. As it divulged its secrets to me, my voracious appetite to answer the queries of the universe grew ever stronger. I gorged on philosophy texts, hearing from within them the brilliance of philosophers through the millennia. Yet for all its beauty, philosophy is too often forgotten in the modern world, despite both a wealth of evidence pointing to its benefits and our instinctual craving to respond to that part of us which to every answer asks another question.
Philosophy to me is far more than a rabbit hole of thought experiments. Its greatest strength is that it makes us more open-minded; The more I learned, the more I found myself considering ideas that I had once simply dismissed. A greater understanding of philosophy helps us to put our problems in perspective, give due consideration to new ideas, and look at the bigger picture. In a more concrete sense, my interest in this field has given me the ability to critique ideas and find their flaws, but also to see others’ points of view. Whether the topic is healthcare funding or the ethics of self-driving cars, and whether I’m having a friendly discussion over lunch or prepping for my debate competition, it is the philosophy that serves as a guide. I love listening to podcasts like “The Partially Examined Life”, and debates from “Intelligence Squared U.S.”, where the power of philosophy can be seen, not in the form of some old Greek manuscript, but in all its vibrancy as a tool for shaping our lives and determining the course our society ought to take. So what is philosophy? It’s our inherent capacity for curiosity. It’s the part of us that looks up at the immensity of the universe and wonders how we got here. It’s the child and the scholar in all of us that, filled with awestruck wonder at the world around us, simply asks “Why?”.