Q & A with T3 Leader Jacob VanOoyen


Emma Zankoul, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Who first told you about becoming a T3 Leader? 

I first was told by some friends who also were interested in doing it, and I was super happy they did because it gave me an opportunity to come back in the summer and see others I typically wouldn’t.

Why did you first want to become a leader?

I wanted to become a T3 leader because I could remember how much fun and useful it was for me when I was an incoming freshman. 

What qualities do you have that you think got you accepted?

My leadership qualities. I have always been a leader and loved helping others, and I think that definitely played a role in me being accepted.

What do you think are qualities a leader should have? 

I think T3 leaders need to be natural leaders; people who are caring and outgoing. The hardest part of T3 is getting the students to interact with each other. The best T3 leaders are the ones who can not only ask them questions about themselves, but get them to ask each other questions.

What has been your favorite memory as a T3 Leader? 

Getting to come back to the building in the summer.

What is a lesson you learned since you started this journey? 

I have learned how to become more empathetic towards others and use our differences to bring us closer together. 

How do T3 leaders help? 

T3 leaders make a huge impact on our school’s community. Without them, incoming freshmen would not know where they are going or have familiar faces in the building.

What are some hardships you have faced as a leader? 

Some hardships as a leader are all of the backlash on everything. People tend to talk before thinking about how that affects the others around them. 

If you could describe your experience in one word, what would it be and why? 

Insightful. I had a sister here at NDA before I came, and she had shared with me so much about the school that a lot of others didn’t, so it was very insightful to see what some of the biggest concerns were coming into high school. Also because of all the information you will learn about the school and its faculty.

What is a tip you would tell people who are going to apply or are already in? 

Just go for it. That’s something I wish I started right away as a freshman. Not only will it make high school so enjoyable, but it will open up various opportunities.

Is it very time consuming? How do you manage it with other things? 

The time commitment is very minimal. It typically is about 2 ½ hours, and it’s about 1-2 a month through summer.

What are the meetings about and how often are they? 

You will first start with a training meeting, and then after that is all summer meeting where you will be doing anything from asking ice breaker questions to playing volleyball with them.

Why do you think people should apply to be one; how is it beneficial? 

It helps you become a more outgoing person with good problem solving skills. It also allows you to meet peers from different grade levels.