University of Kansas
The Independent School, 2021
Activities and Interests:
Hayden Tyson of The Independent School is one of the 2021 Timothy P. O’Shaughnessy Scholars.
Hayden moved to Wichita in 2016 with his parents, Jonathan and Jennifer Tyson, and older brother, Henry. Having lived in Illinois, Georgia, Colorado and now Kansas, he has learned the valuable art of adapting to different environments, and is surprised how easy it’s been to consider Kansas his home.
Hayden is an avid reader, specifically books targeting young adults. “It’s kind of my guilty pleasure. Reading books that I would have loved as a teenager helps me to not take myself so seriously. It’s refreshing to take a step back and dive into a fantasy world.” Hayden also enjoys watching many sports, specifically Chicago Sports. He is a die-hard fan of the Chicago Bears.
“I think supporting a team, especially one that has had such little success in my lifetime, says a lot about my character. Even though I end every year disappointed in the Bears, I continue to have hope for the future.”
He graduated highschool from the Independent School 2021. While attending The Independent, Hayden has found meaning and value in many extracurricular endeavors, such as his membership with the National Honor Society. “Being a part of NHS is less about one’s ability to meet high academic standards and more about making a genuine effort to benefit others without compensation.” Leading other members as his school’s NHS President, by facilitating opportunities such as Red Cross blood drives, has been among his proudest achievements in high school.
Hayden has also made a point to challenge himself academically with the rigorous schedule of coursework needed to attain his AP Capstone Diploma upon graduation in the Spring of 2021. Hayden’s most enriching accomplishment was in the completion of his AP Research course, for which he received a final score of 5. To complete this year-long, original research project, he was tasked with developing novel measures to ensure more accurate results for dyslexic participants undergoing cognitive concussion testing. This research was unprecedented in nature, and deemed a valuable addition to current testing.
Hayden is currently enrolled at the University of Kansas and is seeking a double major in Psychology and Behavioral Analysis. “I’m interested in discoveries that can positively change perceptions of human behavior.” That’s his end game — to develop solutions that will inevitably enhance the life of anyone struggling with a full spectrum of cognitive limitations, ranging from occasional social anxiety to debilitating mental illness.
“Every human being has to navigate through their own set of mental obstacles. My internal conflicts are just as specific and personal, and they have helped me realize an intellectual interest in the human mind. More importantly, they have helped to fuel my empathy, patience and understanding for others. I’m driven to unlock solutions for an individual’s private circumstances, but I can’t begin to do that without first putting in the hard work of learning all I can to validate those solutions.”