St. Augustine Prep Blog

Moving On: Next Steps for Graduates John Farinelli and Arjun Mathur

Posted June 13th, 2018

It’s never easy to transition from one school to another. When St. Augustine seniors John Farinelli and Arjun Mathur look back on themselves as freshmen at the Prep, they recall the challenges of adjusting to a new environment. Fresh out of middle school, they were both admittedly a little shy, wondering if they’d make friends and find their place in a new community.


Arjun Mathur

Now, four years later, the two would have a great deal of advice for the young men they once were. From trying new activities to forging meaningful relationships, they’ve learned enough about themselves to head into life’s next chapter with confidence.


For John, the next step is a political science program at the University of Tampa, with an ultimate goal of someday working for the FBI.


“I chose the University of Tampa because the city and campus are beautiful, the curriculum matched my academic needs, and it’s HOT down there,” he said.


Arjun is heading to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. to study chemistry, and plans to attend medical school afterward. With a passion for science and medicine, he looks forward to fulfilling a lifelong dream, as well as pursuing a range of other interests.


“My experience at the Prep encouraged me to explore my interests beyond the sciences and medicine,” he explained. As a result, I am really interested in continuing my study of Spanish at Georgetown and gaining exposure to a wide range of other subjects.”


In addition to founding the Prep’s medical club, Arjun was a member of student government, and involved in the Model United Nations, Pep Band, and the Hermit Service Ambassadors Club.

John Farinelli


Like Arjun, John had no shortage of extracurricular activities on his plate. As Head Student Photographer, Head Yearbook Advisor, a bowler in the winter, and golfer in the spring, he discovered his creativity and benefited immensely from being a part of several teams. John’s on-campus experiences were certainly rewarding, but he says it was time outside the classroom that helped him gain the most.

“The most memorable part of my time at the Prep was the opportunity to travel around the country and around the world to learn in a very unique setting with some of my closest friends, creating memories that will last a lifetime.”


While John and Arjun’s high school journeys were unique, there was a common theme: the impact their teachers had on their lives.

“During my time at the Prep, teachers were not just there to teach me, they were there to be a friend,” John said. “I feel Profe Marshall has invested in my life the most because she was always there to proofread a paper for me, talk about anything I was having issues with, or talk through future decisions that I may have been nervous about.”


Arjun expanded, “One of the most impactful aspects of my Prep experience was the relationships I shared with all of my teachers. I really appreciated how they took the time to get to know me in and outside the classroom and were always looking to help me succeed.”


The St. Augustine Prep faculty takes great pride in seeing their students grow from young freshmen to mature and wise seniors with so much opportunity ahead.


“The most rewarding moment I had at the Prep was actually during the last week of senior year,” John explained. “Mr. Boody was walking around with some freshmen and he pointed to me and said, ‘Men, in four years, this is the kind of guy you want to be like.’ I am proud to have made an impact like that on my teachers and fellow students at the Prep.”


Arjun also reflected back on his last days of high school.


“My favorite part of our final days was being able to see the culmination of all the hard work each of my classmates put into the past four years,” he said. “For me, it was exciting on college shirt day to see the pride that each of my classmates had for their future schools.”


While the seniors are all headed in different directions, they’ll remain united as members of the Hermit Brotherhood long after graduation.