On this edition of Stormin' the Nest with AD Hall, Oglethorpe women's track and field athlete Hannah Jacobs, a senior from Newborn, talks about her desire to make a difference in the community through teaching and being a positive influence on the lives of children, as well as her most memorable sports moment.
Hall: Who is your favorite professor or what has been your favorite class experience here at Oglethorpe University?
Jacobs: My favorite class experience has been my experiential learning opportunities. I took a class centered around the Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial in which we were required to spend 15 hours volunteering in the community somewhere, focusing on education. I volunteered at Literacy Action, an Atlanta-based non-profit that focuses on providing literacy classes for adults who either never learned to read or have a low-level of literacy. They also provide GED classes and ESL [English as a second language] classes. I worked as a classroom assistant and actually got to help teach. It was very rewarding, and an experience that has piqued my interest in teaching after graduation.
Hall: What does it mean to you to “Give ‘Em the Bird”?
Jacobs: Aside from the obvious colloquialism, I always think of it as showing our opponents what Oglethorpe is about. We are the smallest school in our conference, and more often than not, underestimated because of that. When I think “Give ‘Em the Bird,” I think “Let’s show them what we can do,” or “Give ‘em the competition they weren’t expecting.” It is also just a point of pride and a rallying call. I love this university and I love representing it through my sport.
Hall: What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned through sport that is applicable to life?
Jacobs: Hard work and dedication make all the difference. Even though I came into track never having done it before, it quickly became something that I loved and wanted to be better at. I am learning every day how to be a better thrower, and that revolves around the work put in both in the on- and off-season.
Hall: How will you go out and Make a Life, Make a Living, and Make a Difference in the world?
Jacobs: I think my path for after graduation will be teaching, specifically in lower-income and Title I schools [schools with high numbers of children from low-income families]. My experience at Literacy Action and my research on the APS cheating trial really reaffirmed for me what a difference a teacher can make in the classroom. I want to be a positive impact in children’s lives, not just teaching them how to pass a standardized test, but preparing them for the future. I want to help make sure they are receiving a quality education, a dedicated teaching staff, and help navigating the path to secondary education.
Hall: What is your most memorable sports moment?
Jacobs: My sophomore year conference meet is still something I look back on. I had decided to only compete in discus that year, in hopes of increasing my personal record. Each competitor gets three throws. My first two were pretty consistent with what I had been hitting all year. But the third was over a meter further than I’d ever thrown. It wasn’t until I looked up the final results from the meet that I knew the actual distance. Mainly because all my coach and I heard was 18 (meters) and both freaked out. We were both jumping for joy and happy to have ended the season on such a high. Plus, a ton of my teammates were there to cheer me on. My final throw ended up being 18.96 meters.
Hall: How did you first get involved in your sport?
Jacobs: I joined as a walk-on my freshman year. All of my roommates were on the track team already, and convinced me to join. We were all inseparable and that was the one thing we didn’t totally have in common. It took some convincing, mainly because they were all runners. Something I have never been—I’m way too clumsy. So they introduced me to a thrower on the team, and it just progressed from there. I’ve been a member ever since.
Hall: What is your favorite place on campus to socialize or hangout?
Jacobs: It definitely has to be Starbucks. It is just where everyone tends to congregate. There’s always homework being done, as well as plenty of socialization.
Be sure to come back each Monday for a new edition of Stormin' the Nest with AD Hall. For a list of entries in the series, click here.