For one young Throggs Neck man, success is the residue of hard work.
John Calhoun, 23, who grew up in Silver Beach and is a recent graduate of the University of Richmond, was awarded prestigious Marshall Scholarship. The scholarship pays for two years of graduate study abroad in England. He recently left to study at the University of York where he should be completing a Masters in Education Policy within the year. From there, it will be on to Oxford University for a second Masters Degree in Comparative Social Policy.
The young man is a product of community public schools, going to P.S. 72 for kindergarten through the 5th grade, and I.S. 192 for 6th grade through 8th grade. He then went onto the all-boys Regis High School in Manhattan.
He has studied abroad before at Oxford University and in Taiwan before while working on his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. He someday wants to be in policy making, and complete a law degree when he returns to the United States. He considers the opportunity to study abroad a chance to expand his imagination and understanding of different cultures.
“In the United States, we don’t have a monopoly on wisdom,” Calhoun said. “Every day I learn a lot from my friends from other countries around the world, and I teach them a lot as well.Since I eventually want to get into policy-making, it’s very useful for me to be able to draw on a wide range of policy ideas and examples. Oftentimes when the United States is considering reforming a key area of policy, there are a host of examples from other countries that could inform our judgment had we only known about them or thought to consult them.”
Calhoun said that he is enormously proud to come from the Bronx. He praised the public schools that he attended in the Bronx as providing a solid education, as well as making him more tolerant and open to diversity through everyday interactions with his friends and peers.
“The Bronx is very diverse: socioeconomically, ethnically, religiously, racially,” Calhoun said. “I received an excellent textbook education from the schools in the Bronx I attended: P.S. 72 and I.S. 192.The social education I received from growing up in the Bronx has been every bit as valuable.”
Before leaving for England, Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who Calhoun has known for many years, met with him to discuss his future. Vacca said that Calhoun is a great example of public school success.
“This is a young man who attended public schools in the Bronx and is doing great things,” Vacca said. “I knew him when he was growing up. He was always a gentleman, and very patient. He also attends many patriotic events in our community.”
Calhoun, who grew up on the same block as where Vacca lived, said that he is very grateful to be recognized in his own community. He said he was humbled that someone like Councilman Vacca holds him up as a reflection and representative of opportunity. He said his advice for younger students is simple.
“If you put your head down, do the work, stay out of fights, lay off drugs, you can succeed,” Calhoun said. “In fact, coming from the Bronx gives you a sort of social education that equally hard-working students from elsewhere in the United States don’t have.”