Within just three months of arriving in the United States, Jakob already feels at home in his host family, school, and community. Jakob has built a strong relationship with his host family, particularly his five-year-old host brother, Ethan. The two love building Legos together and frequently discuss how great it would be if Ethan applied for the CBYX scholarship when he is older to spend a year at Jakob’s house in Germany. While Jakob participated in the Civic Education Workshop in Washington, D.C. in November, Ethan asked his mom constantly when Jakob would be home.
At school, Jakob makes the most of every opportunity to get involved. A lifelong soccer player, Jakob stepped outside his comfort zone and joined the football team. Although he had never played American football before, Jakob’s hard work and determination earned him a starting position as a wide receiver. He has earned the respect of his coaches and teammates both on and off the field. He earned the Senior Award at the team banquet where he gave an inspiring speech focused on “being a better family.” Jakob’s coach noted, “His unmatched character and commitment to his teammates made him an easy choice for a top senior award.”
It is not all sport for Jakob. At his school’s homecoming assembly, Jakob helped lead his class to a Lip Sync battle victory with his dancing and enthusiasm. An excellent student, Jakob has a great relationship with his teachers and can often be found deepening his understanding of U.S. history and culture through conversation with his U.S. History teacher, Mr. Booher.
Jakob’s character and commitment to being a cultural ambassador make him December’s Participant of the Month.