Ram of the Week: Jakob Schulman


Josh Markowitz, Staff Writer


Due to school taking up an immense amount of time and brainpower in the day, finding a student who can balance academics, extracurricular activities, and run a basketball league all at the same time is tough. That is why I chose to interview Jakob Schulman, a current senior at Harriton, who is the treasurer for the school and the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club. Outside of school, he runs a nonprofit basketball league called J-Ball; a recreational league for Jewish high school students within the area. I decided to sit down and ask him questions about his life outside of school, his experiences at Harriton, and his goals for the future of J-Ball.


Jake aspires to complete four years at college, along with four extra years at medical school. When asked where he sees himself in twenty years, Jake responded with, “I see myself living in a suburban area with a family and a medical practice. By then, I would have hopefully completed undergraduate and medical school and started my practice. I do not know what specific area of medicine but I am interested in becoming a physician.” 


After speaking about his future, I started to ask Jake about his main motivations and role models. Most people would answer this with a family member or famous motivational figure. Jake decided to take another route and went with his favorite rapper; “My role model would probably be DeMario DeWayne White Jr, otherwise known as Moneybagg Yo. Although our preferred careers are different, I find Mr. White to be an influential person in my life. His wise words such as ‘struggle builds character’ and ‘gotta invest in yourself’ have resonated with me throughout the years. He is a very successful rapper and I hope to one day be successful like him.” Jake says he sees a lot of himself in DeMario DeWayne, and that DeWayne has motivated him to keep persevering, both in the classroom and on the basketball court. Jake also incorporates his love for Moneybagg Yo in one of his clubs, FBLA. He makes sure to share daily quotes by the rapper and uses him as motivation at several meetings.


We transitioned this conversation into academics and focused on Schulman’s job as the FBLA club treasurer, as well as the school treasurer. I asked Jake his favorite part about being in this role, which led to a short yet sweet response. “My favorite part of being the school treasurer is watching all of our hard work add up. All of the work we do is to fundraise for charity, and seeing the cash box fill up reassures me that we are doing good work. For example, we raised over a thousand dollars at Made On The Main Line a few weeks ago. Seeing all the students coming out to participate and donate to a good cause was very inspiring.” 


While staying on top of the academics conversation, we talked more about his life as a Harriton student. Jake enjoys Harriton, and he will miss it when he goes off to college next year. After he said this, I asked him what his favorite experience as a Harriton student was. “My favorite memory of Harriton High School is when we took down Lower Merion in basketball my sophomore year.” This response was popular among many upper-classmen at Harriton. He continues, “It was undoubtedly the most electric Harriton sporting event that I can remember, and I have been going to games ever since my brother was a freshman six years ago. BleacherReport posted us and other huge sports social media accounts, and it was so exciting.” Jake proceeded to talk about how all the students rushed the court after the win. He felt a close bond with all of his classmates, and he truly cherishes the moment.


After talking about his academics and personal life, I decided to ask him about J-Ball — the nonprofit Jewish basketball league that over sixty Harriton students participate in every Sunday.


I talked with Jakob about what he sees for J-Ball in the foreseeable future. He, unfortunately, is not re-classing and therefore is leaving after the 5th annual season of J-Ball. This move will mark the end of a Schulman brother as commissioner of the league. “To ensure its continuation, I have created a group of other high school students who have been shadowing and helping me put together a successful J-Ball season. They are Zach Bookbinder, Jack Lesser, Sam Littman, and Kayla Schulman. Each has their own designated roles but work together when necessary. With its popularity higher than ever, I do not doubt that the four of them will continue J-Ball’s legacy.”


I was shocked and impressed by how Jake manages to keep on top of J-Ball, maintain both his treasurer positions, and excel in school at the same time. Therefore, I asked how he recommends students stay balanced and keep an organized schedule. He shared that students should create a plan that works for them and then stick to it; “It is important to have organization, but also built-in free time for mental health and for making sure you do not get overwhelmed.” This quote is important because when most high school students study or do homework, they do not leave time for breaks. These breaks are crucial so that you do not overwork yourself; they can be any amount of time needed to refresh your brain and regain energy. 


Jake will continue to lead his class, his basketball team, and his peers to be the best version of themselves, leaving a legacy on the people and places around him. He also wanted to admit to his biggest fear: the dark. 


Schulman wanted to shout out Mr. Scullin and Ms. Marcelli, the teachers that he appreciates for helping him in his years at Harriton, and the teachers he will miss most at college. Although the interview ended here, the school year has not, and we look forward to meeting with Jake at the end of the year once again!