Jackson Melendy Submitted photo

Jackson Melendy of Winthrop, a senior at Kents Hill School in Readfield, was awarded a Mainely Character Scholarship for $5,000.

These are awarded annually to Maine high school seniors who demonstrate exemplary concern for others, responsibility, integrity and courage. Jackson was selected from 375 scholarship applicants statewide; his scholarship is sponsored by Market Decisions in Portland.

“As student body president, Jackson has been an exemplary leader. Jackson’s love for Kents Hill and the community is so evident in his leadership. He is always thinking of ways to engage students, to bring up morale and make this campus fun and an inclusive place,” said Erica Chute, dean of students and Student Council advisor at Kents Hill, according to a news release from Mainely Character, based out of Portland.

As a freshman at Kents Hill, Jackson noticed that students didn’t seem to have a voice in decisions affecting their on-campus life. While the school described itself as inclusive and welcoming, he did not feel that student input was encouraged. Students would often discuss great ideas but rarely take any action to make changes happen.

Initially Jackson allowed himself to get caught up in the loop of complaining and waiting for others to fix things. He would frequently share his frustrations with his advisor.

Towards the end of his freshman year this led to a meeting with the assistant head of school. Jackson left that meeting with the long-term goal of getting student representation and voices in as many groups and decisions as possible.


Other the next three years, students have accomplished much under Jackson’s leadership. They created a dress code and are now represented on the Student Experience Team, the Academic Programming Team and the COVID-19 Task Force. The latest accomplishment is PEAK 2.0, a character-building program that has been recreated with students and administrators working together for the best student experience.

Jackson didn’t always imagine himself as a leader. Going into high school he struggled with anxiety and stress but worked to find ways to help himself manage. At the end of junior year, he decided to run for student body president. In that role he presides over school wide meetings on a weekly basis and is the voice of the students.

Jackson plans to attend Bowdoin College in the fall.

Mainely Character has been awarding scholarships to students of character since 2001. Ten scholarships are being awarded in 2022.

For more information, visit mainelycharacter.org.

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