Aiming High

Douglas Lorcan Jamal  |  Senior  |  Mount Michael Benedictine

What’s in a name? In the story of Mount Michael senior Douglas Lorcan Jamal, known by his middle name — an Irish surname that loosely translates to “determined little one” — it is a name that defines who he is and provides a glimpse of what he may someday become. His determination has been an ongoing theme. Born three months prematurely — underdeveloped and weighing less than 2 pounds — he faced an uphill battle for survival from the start.

Lorcan grew into boyhood but never felt he was where he belonged until he found Mount Michael, the Elkhorn-based boarding school that he claims became his saving grace. Jamal might be the school’s best ambassador. “He wanted to go to school at Mount Michael, and he’s very happy there,” said his mother, Malia Jamal. “If your child is happy, you’re happy.”

Now, as he ponders his next chapter in life— Lorcan has already been accepted with a scholarship to SMU’s school of business and is awaiting acceptance at the prestigious University of Notre Dame — the straight-A student credits Mount Michael with preparing him for his next step. As a freshman, Lorcan looked forward to playing basketball for the Knights. He quickly found himself competing successfully in tennis and golf as well. But more important than being a varsity athlete was the camaraderie that was opened to him through sports.

“The juniors and seniors were saying, ‘you’re one of us now,’ rather than treating me as a freshman,” he said. “That meant a lot. It was nice that they brought me in. That shows you how you’re supposed to act as a senior. It’s an understood rule at Mount Michael that you embrace everybody.”

Mount Michael’s pay-it-forward mentality continues to be etched in stone. Lorcan comes off the bench for a basketball team that starts four underclassmen and a senior, but he couldn’t be happier with the team’s success or his role in embracing his younger teammates. Being a part of a team, something bigger than himself, and representing his school, he believes, is more important than personal glory or accolades. It’s a selfless attitude that speaks volumes about Lorcan and will carry him far even after his high school years.

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