Character, leadership help earn McConnell Scholarship for Weston

This year’s 2022 John H. McConnell Scholarship seemed to be created for Keller Weston, as he exemplifies exactly what type of student this fund seeks to recognize.

The CBJ players in partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation established the scholarship in 2008 to honor the life and legacy of the team’s late founder, John H. McConnell. Mr. Mac had a deep-rooted belief in the importance of giving back to the community, and this fund was created to recognize a high-school senior who closely personifies the character and leadership that Mr. Mac valued.

Weston is a Columbus native and a senior at Groveport Madison High School, but there are many more layers to him that prove he is more than qualified to receive this award, which includes a $10,000 scholarship.

Weston is a well-rounded, hard-working and passionate student, participating in two varsity sports during his high school years and serving as captain of the Cruisers’ football team during his senior season. At Groveport Madison, he also served on the school’s student council and was a member of the National Honor Society.

Outside of school, Weston participated in Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts, where he volunteered more than 700 hours in his community. He also plays guitar and is a member of a rock band that performs here in Columbus.

Tweet from @BlueJacketsNHL: The #CBJ Foundation is proud to award Keller Weston the 2022 John H. McConnell Scholarship. Thanks for all of your hard work in the community, Keller! 👏👏👏@WorthingtonInds | @CBJGivesBack

“Last summer we played three shows around Columbus,” Weston said. “We play rock music like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and we try to play a lot of our own music too.”

Weston recently committed to attend college at the University of Cincinnati, where he will be studying Biomedical Engineering. He also plans to continue staying involved while at UC this fall.

“When I get to college I will get involved in the student body,” he said. “I might try to play an intramural sport, but I will definitely continue to play for my band even though most of my bandmates will be staying in Columbus.”

With Weston’s hectic schedule, it only makes sense that he would receive news of receiving the scholarship while at baseball practice.

“Oh, it was such a great feeling. I did the interview and I ended up hearing back from them the next day while I was at baseball practice,” Weston said. “The second I got the news I went up to my coach and I gave him a big hug and we took a picture right there on the field to remember that moment. He posted it on Twitter saying he was proud of me. He’s a big Twitter guy.”

Weston’s high school accomplishments haven’t ended just yet, however. He will be giving a speech during graduation as his class’ valedictorian. A very humble valedictorian, that is.

“Because I am such a hard worker, it allows me to stand out,” Weston said. “Everybody thinks that it’s because I’m smart and study 24/7, but it’s really just about hard work. You don’t have to be smart, you just have to put the time in.”

Weston’s long list of accomplishments and extracurriculars weren’t the only things that made his scholarship application stand out. Weston describes himself as charismatic, personable, hard-working and involved, and these traits definitely show based on his track record.

With the help of the John H. McConnell Scholarship, Weston will be able to pay for the entirety of his first year of college, as he heads toward the five-year Biomedical Engineering program at Cincinnati.

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