|Club||Dorothy Krug||Pitt Aquatic Club||Pittsburgh||PA|
|High School||Vernon Yenick|
WPIAL 2016 - 135.5 for 5 dives (1m)
|Years diving||USA Diving||AAU|
13th place at WPIAL 2017
Began diving with aunt, Karen Walker (formerly Jacob), at Upper Dublin in Philadelphia, PA. Joined Pitt Aquatic Club in 2015 and trained under Dorothy and Julian Krug, Vernon Yenick, and Eric Becker. Currently trains under Katherine Hazelton.
Swimming: East Feature Athlete - Central Catholic's Nolan Jacob: http://sportstown.post-gazette.com/central-catholic/57620-swimming-east-feature-athlete-central-catholic-s-nolan-jacob
Jacob achieves unprecedented feat at Central Catholic: http://tribhssn.triblive.com/jacob-achieves-unprecedented-feat-at-central-catholic/
For my team, I am both the swimming and diving captain. For diving, our coach only coached at practices once a week, so for the rest of the practice times as the eldest and most experienced diver, I had to take the helm. Being without a coach I had to practice humility by accepting constructive criticism from my teammates and encouraging them to work hard even without a coach. I had to dedicate myself to fostering a team dynamic in which we could both compete with and support each other at the same time.
Part of my role was also helping them mentally, as diving is a sport that takes a lot of focus and determination. I encouraged them to get back up and try again even when they were struggling.
I learned that you not only have to support your teammates by intentionally investing in them, but you also have to demonstrate the perseverance and passion that is necessary for success – because no one desires to follow someone who doesn't live out his own mantras.
Off the field, I participate in an a cappella group at my high school. For this group, I am a co-director. My duties in this leadership position are to schedule practices, get people to attend them, work with them as a group on blend and as individuals with their parts, and keep them determined to perform the best that they can. A cappella requires an immense amount of teamwork, and as one of the groups leaders it's my duty to help the group get along and mediate any arguments that may arise.
I have learned from my Catholic upbringing that humans find their worth through their ability to make free choices. However, some are deprived of this basic right through inequalities that exist in society. I went on a mission trip to Guatemala and helped tutor children at an orphanage where, for the first time, I witnessed extreme poverty – children were impoverished of parents, meals, education, and love. Since then, I have participated in service to help others gain freedom from societal constraints and uphold their inherent dignity.
I participate in service through my high school at the Shady Side Boys and Girls Club in Pittsburgh. I was able to meet people in the very city that I live and go to school in that are often times forgotten. Whether that was through tutoring them with their math homework or playing games and sports with them, I got to see these kids grow throughout the year. They learn and laugh just the same way that we do, so long as they have the equitable support that they deserve.
I have volunteered with a church organization known as Friday Nite Kids (FNK) for 2 years. FNK offers children with special needs a haven where they are not treated as outcasts but as equals. With FNK I shadowed children with Down Syndrome, Aspergers, and physical disabilities on Friday nights while their parents took a few hours to themselves. I formed incredible bonds with the children during my time that I was lucky enough to have with them. Even though they are treated as less by society, they are just as loving and caring as any other person, and just being able to sit with them and experience this makes the time spent all worth it. Through this experience, I was able to offer some of our society's most socially impoverished children with a haven where they were not treated as outcasts, but as equals. Toward the same end, I will also be participating, as a counselor, in the Muscular Dystrophy Association camp this summer.
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