PCDS Senior, Jacob, Balances School, Sports and Non­-Profit

Jacob’s ability to balance his stellar GPA, sports obligations and social responsibility all while maintaining a healthy social life with friends and family make him uniquely well­-balanced. In addition to all this Jacob and a few of his classmates started a non­-profit, Ink4Kidz, when they were in eighth grade, which has helped many under privileged schools and students.

Q. Tell us about INK 4 Kidz.

A. I started Ink 4 Kidz in eighth grade with a few classmates. We started by recycling ink cartridges and making small profit off that. With the money we’d buy school supplies for underprivileged children in the PHX area. After doing that for two years and donating over $10,000 to local schools, we ran a back to school supply drive called Packs 4 Kidz. We raised over $25,000 and donated backpacks filled with school necessities, along with 15 kindles, to Children First Academy of Tempe. Now we are working on the Ink Concert Series, which is a country music concert serving as the centerpiece for the PCDS “homecoming” night on October 23. The event will raise over $20,000 in pure sponsorship help. Admission is free. It features food trucks, carnival games, and two country performances. With the proceeds, we are renovating the gym at a local school, Griffith Elementary. See our websites for more info. www.ink4kidz.org and www.inkconcerts.org

Q. What do you hope to accomplish with the charity in the future?

A. I hope to take what I’ve learned from Ink 4 Kidz and apply it to larger communities. Improving education for underprivileged children is the most important aspect in changing their lives. Without a strong sense of knowledge, kids lack the confidence to succeed. For these kids, all they need is to know that they are just as smart as all the “privileged” kids. And they are. Ink 4 Kidz simply tries to improve their means to a better education.

Q. You also play sports?

A. I play basketball and swim for PCDS. I’ve been a varsity basketball starting center for 4 years. We’ve gone to the state playoffs all four years and lost in the quarterfinals last year. I began swimming my junior year and qualified for the state meet. I broke two school records last year in the 50 and 100 yd freestyle, and this year I broke both of those. Also, I’m the anchor for the 200 Medley Relay and 200 Freestyle Relay (both state qualified last year, will be competing this year). Last year I also joined the varsity baseball team. Skiing and surfing are hobbies of mine outside of school sports.

Q. How do you manage your time between school, sports and everything else?

A. It’s hard to manage my time between sports and school. The difficult PCDS curriculum and workload makes it tough on me, my teammates, and even coaches. Whenever I have a free moment during the school day, I make sure to try and get as much homework done as possible. Practices are everyday for swimming and basketball. I’ll admit, there are many nights where I stay up late doing homework or studying for a test, but that is the sacrifice I make being a student-
athlete. For me, the greatest feeling in the world is being on a team and participating in something larger than myself.

Q. What’s next for you?

A. College is still undecided for me. I hope to swim in college. For swim I’m looking at high-
academic D­3 schools such as Pomona, Babson, Wash U St. Louis. But if swimming doesn’t work out I hope to go to a larger college. I’ll be applying to ASU Barrett and will keep that as a top option in my college process. I’m also looking at UPENN, USC, Northwestern, and other top business programs. I plan on studying business management or entrepreneurship in college. Personally, I love Phoenix and everything it has to offer so it will be hard for me to leave the place I call home.

Jacob is a senior at Phoenix Country Day School.

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