St. Augustine Prep Blog

The Brotherhood I Never Knew I Needed

Posted April 23rd, 2024

Special for by Jackson Maslanik (Class of 2024)

Let me tell you all about my brothers. While I am an only child and for as long as I can remember, I longed to have an older brother to be a role model, a teacher, and a protector, but with no siblings, I relied on my parents to fulfill these needs. My parents provided me with rich experiences as they were keenly aware of negative only-child labels. They told me to reach for the stars and stood by supportively as I dreamed to dream. In reflection, I appreciate the sacrifices they made to afford me countless adventures and opportunities.

Forbes Magazine highlights research about the pros and cons of being an only child.

Investigators report benefits like flexibility, novel thinking, innate skills in leadership, independence, being comfortable with solitude, and early exposure to adult conversations as well as unfavorable attributes like selfishness, introversion, and a decreased empathy for others. I possess a harmonious mix of these characteristics.


I was envious of my classmates during my elementary and middle school years. Whenever there was an event, their siblings would be there in the audience clapping and supporting their brother or sister, and I was jealous. In later years, I have been told, that attendance and clapping were considered mandatory directives set by their parents. Superficial cohesive brood, maybe – but I was envious of the perceived family leaving together happily recalling the events of the night.

On October 14, 2020, at the age of 14, I was given an incredible gift, I finally became a brother, and my family grew exponentially by hundreds the moment I officially signed the Book of Brotherhood at Saint Augustine Preparatory School. I share the legacy of the brotherhood with the class of 2024 and those in grades ahead of me along with the men who matriculated decades ago. I believe Muhammed Ali put it best when he said, “Brotherhood means laying down your life for somebody, really willing to sacrifice yourself for somebody else.” Ali emphasizes true brotherhood is beyond words: it involves a commitment to serve, protect, and put the needs of another first, stressing true brotherhood requires an act of selflessness and commitment. True brotherhood is a gift, a blessing, and an opportunity.

As a scholar-athlete, the spirit of the brotherhood, united in a common interest, continues outside of the classroom and onto the pitch. Over the past 4 years, the team has worked as a unit to encourage and support one another fostering a chemistry and positive culture unparalleled. Regardless of the outcome, there is no blame for mistakes or undeserved praise for a job well done. Additionally, all the players on this team play outside of high school, however, if you ask each one of them what makes the high school team special, they will tell you it is the camaraderie, it is the brotherhood.

Brotherhood is something that you need to experience to understand. I feel it every time I hear “Salve Regina” and the alma mater being sung after mass, or the rumble of the Rowdies, the campus “hype” organization, motivating the athletes and rallying the student section infusing pride in our younger brothers.

Often adults ask the reason I chose to attend an all-boys high school, and I believe it is the extraordinary connection of the brotherhood. There is a reason many “brothers” stand up at one another’s weddings or say the eulogy at their funeral, moments that began with signing a book, hanging out on a random Saturday night, and winning the championship game. I have forged lifelong deep connections and I am certain; my brothers will be there for me as I will be there for them.

As my chapter as a Hermit Brother closes, I look forward to the future brothers and sisters I will undoubtedly meet and the experiences we will share forever adding to my family.