Noah Thompson QuestBridge Scholar

KHS Senior Noah Thompson National QuestBridge Scholar
Posted on 04/14/2023
KHS Noah Thompson

Kokomo High School senior Noah Thompson has earned a National QuestBridge Scholarship to the University of Notre Dame.

“That moment when I was opening the letter from Notre Dame was surreal,” Noah recalled, “Attending Notre Dame always has been a dream of mine!  ‘But even if I was accepted,’ I thought, ‘How am I going to pay for it?’ “Then when I opened the letter, and learned Notre Dame had accepted the QuestBridge Scholarship Match, I knew our family had been blessed.”

Through the QuestBridge Scholarship Match, Noah’s undergraduate expenses at Notre Dame, including a study-abroad experience, will be fully funded. The QuestBridge scholarship, valued at approximately $300,000, provides tuition, room and board, books, and some other living expenses, which means Noah can focus totally on his academic pursuits.

While awaiting word from University of Notre Dame officials concerning whether he had been approved as a QuestBridge match, Noah was selected as one of the two 2023 Indiana Lilly Endowment Scholars in Howard County. Once he received final confirmation from Notre Dame, Noah declined the prestigious Lilly Scholar honor to accept the National QuestBridge Scholarship.

“I am truly grateful for being honored as a Lilly Scholar, but I decided to accept the QuestBridge Scholarship since it offers a complete full-ride, while the Lilly is a tuition-only scholarship,” Noah expressed.

Connecting the nation’s brightest students from qualifying families with the leading institutions of higher education in the United States, QuestBridge offers a pathway to a top college through its National College Match program. Ranking colleges is what makes the QuestBridge program so unique. From a list 50 of the top-rated academic College Partners, QuestBridge applicants are allowed to rank – in order of preference - up to 15 colleges. By ranking colleges, students then can be “matched” (admitted early) with a full-ride, four-year QuestBridge Scholarship – to the college that appears highest on applicant’s list; but only IF that university approves the match.

For Noah to be “matched”, the KHS senior had to be on Notre Dame’s QuestBridge list, too.

When describing the application process and ranking procedures, Noah noted that the application process was quite intense. “Days on days, and hours on hours, of completing informational forms and writing essays,” Noah explained, “QuestBridge really wants to know their applicants. I think they knew more about me than I knew about me after I finished the application process for the QuestBridge Scholarship. Then, I still had to rank my top college choices. Mine – in this order -were the University of Notre Dame, Vanderbilt University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). I did conduct a ZOOM interview with MIT officials, which was a really great experience; but Notre Dame remained my number one choice.”

Thompson Notre Dame

Opening that QuestBridge letter from Notre Dame to learn if he was a match, was a very emotional experience.

“I still remember sitting next to my mom and opening the QuestBridge letter,” Noah recalled, “When I read that I was a match, I threw my phone in the air and started running around the room screaming and yelling and cheering … all at the same time. Since my dad graduated from Notre Dame, I become a legacy. So many emotions flooded that room for a while.”

Understand that Noah’s dad, Jeremey Thompson, who graduated from Kokomo High School in 1995, earned his bachelor’s degree in business finance from the University of Notre Dame in 1999. But then, after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Jeremey Thompson passed away January 5th, 2021.

Noah’s mom, Angela Thompson, shared: “Jeremey would be beyond proud of Noah for how Noah has continued to stay focused; even though every day without his Dad is a challenge. Life isn’t fair, but we continue to try and stay grateful for the good days. And we are so grateful for the QuestBridge Scholarship! Now, Noah will continue his dad’s legacy. Here we go with another generation of the Fighting Irish!”

Kokomo High School Principal Angela Blessing also felt Noah was deserving of this recognition.

“I am incredibly proud of Noah,” Mrs. Blessing noted. “This QuestBridge Scholarship recognizes that Noah challenged himself academically. Noah also served as a role model for his fellow Kokomo students. Noah is one more example of what it means to a Wildkat. And Legacy truly does matter to Noah!”

Noah noted that he has taken full advantage of the multiple AP (Advanced Placement) courses available to all KHS students. At the end of his junior year, Noah believed he had earned more than 21 college credits through AP courses – AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, AP US Government, AP Economics, AP Spanish, AP US History, AP Calculus, and AP Computer Science – as well as dual-credit classes and IB Diploma Programme (DP) courses.

When asked if he had any advice for younger KHS students, Noah advised, “The number one thing is: Do not procrastinate. Have accountability!”

When explaining how Kokomo Schools helped prepare him for the next level, Noah remarked, “Kokomo High School has helped me build an outstanding college resume while preparing me for the rigors of college.”

But, Noah added, that resume building started at the elementary level.

“The Kokomo School Corporation offers students so many unique opportunities,” Noah explained. “At Wallace (Elementary School of Integrated Arts), I was exposed to violin, keyboard, viola, and cello, as well as a very different learning style; then at Central (Middle International School), I experienced the international mindedness that came with the IB (International Baccalaureate) program while we learned globally with students from other countries; Thompson Parks Departmentand now at KHS, I have had so many extra-curricular choices – a few I chose were Student Council, Varsity Club (soccer, cross country, track & field), Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board – and with our International program, I have developed relationships with students from around the world. Kokomo High School has something for everyone. Compared to other schools, KHS offers many more course options, athletics, and a diversity of clubs. That variety and depth sets Kokomo Schools apart.”

Noah hesitated when asked which particular teacher he will remember at KHS because he has had so many outstanding teachers from kindergarten until now; but noted, that his most inspiring teacher has been Mr. (Vincente) Lorenz at KHS.Thompson AP Geology

“I have had so many outstanding and caring teachers through the years, but Mr. Lorenz stands out because he inspires me to be the best person I can be every single day,” Noah explained. “Mr. Lorenz has a passion for the environment, while he is incredibly approachable and down-to-earth. I will be forever grateful for his support, but his laid-back caring attitude, alongside his determined mentality, makes Mr. Lorenz my most inspiring teacher.”

Mr. Lorenz, Noah’s teacher for ACP (Advanced College Project) Historical Geology, has equal respect for young Mr. Thompson.

“Noah is such an outstanding young man who will no doubt change the world and make it better place,” Mr. Lorenz noted. “I am so incredibly proud of Noah for earning the QuestBridge!”

Noah made it very clear, though that his mom and dad have been the most influential people in his young life.

“My Mother, Angela, has been by my side throughout my life helping me be the best I can be at everything I do,” Noah explained. “My father, Jeremey valued my academic success immensely, so I always made academics a priority and made sure to perform to the best of my ability within the classroom. Countless hours of support from my parents have helped me reach this point in my life … about to attend a very prestigious university.”

Continuing his dad’s legacy also is dear to Noah’s heart.

“At Notre Dame I plan to major in computer science, and maybe minor in finance,” Noah shared. “My goal is to work for a dominant company in the information technology industry like Apple or Google. I like the idea of working remotely, too; maybe from a beach sometimes.”

Whether in the classrooms at Kokomo High School, in the halls of the Hesburgh Library, or on a beach working remotely, Noah Thompson believes that legacy will continue to matter.

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