The story of Anthony Sikorski, a Presidential Scholar who was accepted by Carroll University as a first-year student at age 14, has earned a Chicago/Midwest Emmy.
The segment, produced for TMJ4-TV’s “Positively Milwaukee” show by anchor/reporter Carole Meekins and photojournalists Mark Was, Mark Wirtz and editor Jeff Morris, can be viewed here
. The piece was honored at the awards Nov. 22, winning for Outstanding Achievement for News Specialty Report/Series – Education/Schools.
The extraordinary thing about Sikorski is not just his intelligence, but his demeanor. Although he has cystic fibrosis and other health challenges, he has no time for self-pity.
“No one should treat me differently in terms of academic or social affairs,” he said. “You have to maintain a positive outlook overall on life, in spite of these difficulties. If you find at least one thing that’s gone well for you in a day, then that’s a good day. There’s always somebody in that area who has a worse life than you do,” he said during his interview. “If you can take the things that come in turn and yet appreciate that you have a great number of blessings in your life, then that is the true key to being wise.”
“Anthony inspired me in a way I will never forget,” Meekins said. “He’s in a class all by himself. He is warm, inviting and overwhelmingly optimistic.” After interviewing him, she added: “I knew I was in the presence of greatness.”
Having skipped four grades, Sikorski is now enrolled in college-level calculus
and more. his mother, Jill, acknowledges her son’s academic abilities, but says he makes her proud is so many more ways. “He’s a Presidential Scholar and has an IQ of over 180. But that’s not what makes him special. He is a beautiful soul,” she said. “His gift is heart. His compassion. His empathy. His love. His ability to see the good in everyone.”
Jill also believes that Sikorski has found his place at Carroll. “I knew that, after meeting all the people at Carroll, this was the perfect choice for him,” she said. Carroll faculty and admission staff worked with the family so his schedule could accommodate necessary medical treatments.
Since the story originally aired in February and again in October, Sikorski has been thriving despite COVID, and has been able to attend some labs in person this semester. “He’s learning, and that makes him happy,” Jill said. “He has such a thirst for knowledge.”