Buchanan High School student flooded with college acceptance letters

Published 9:04 am Tuesday, April 9, 2019

BUCHANAN — For college-bound seniors, picking a university to kick start their academic career can be a tough choice. For Buchanan High School junior Kennan Janowski, it is going to be a particularly difficult call.

Janowski, 17, applied to a host of colleges, including some in the Ivy League, and has been accepted or wait listed to all of them. Janowski was accepted into the University of Notre Dame, Northwestern University, Columbia University, Stanford University and potentially Harvard, where he has been wait listed.

Janowski said this was not the response he expected.

“It was definitely exciting,” Janowski said. “Especially for me, I was a bit nervous just being a year behind on all the extracurriculars. I knew there was a little bit of a chance [to get into] some of these schools, but I had no idea that they would be so welcoming.”

Janowski is the son of Amber and Braden Janowski. While he remains humble about his achievements, the teen has a host of accolades sure to impress most college admissions personnel.

Dual-enrolled at Lake Michigan College, his weighted GPA is 4.37. Through his dual-enrollment, he has accrued enough credits to put him on track to graduate with this year’s senior class, though he is only a junior.

Columbia University has offered him a Kluge Scholarship, which recognizes a person for their “intellectual pursuits, extracurricular achievements, and promise for future growth and exploration,” according to the school’s website. 

In addition to his academic success, Janowski’s involvement in his community is undeniable — a quality he believes helped him to stand out as a college candidate.

For the past two years, he has been a volunteer at Lakeland Hospital in Niles, where he assists with a variety of tasks from helping to restock medical supply cabinets, guiding patients out of outpatient surgery, preparing patient beds and supporting where needed. 

“By doing the hospital volunteering, I think they saw that I was interested in the medical field,” Janowski said.

Janowski has yet to decide which school to attend. However, he has taken several factors into consideration to determine the best fit. One factor is proximity to his Michiana home. The other is which will bolster his path to medical school and his overall dream to become a cardiac surgeon.

His inspiration to be a doctor was spurred by a hunting trip on his family farm, in Niles, when he was 11 or 12 years old. During that trip, Janowski saw the heart of a deer.

“It was just fascinating to me,” Janowski said. “After that, I was really fascinated with biology.”

When he is not in school or volunteering, Janowski plays varsity baseball. This summer, he will help to pass his passion for the sport on to others. Every summer, Old School Baseball, a travel baseball organization, hosts a three-day camp for inner-city children from Chicago. Janowski is among those who serve as a coach.

“When they come out here, they have so much fun, it’s a really great time,” Janowski said. “I am one of the coaches and assistants for that camp.”

In the days to come, Janowski will be weighing his options and selecting a college. As he prepares to graduate and start the next chapter of his academic career, Janowski said he looks forward to forging a path.

“It’s kind of like a fresh start, in some sense, because I will meet lots of new people, and it could be a completely different experience, so I don’t know how it is going to go,” Janowski said.