A story of success

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By Natalie C. McGovern, News Editor

Going through the daily motions of school and becoming adjusted to grueling routines, students often don’t stop long enough to appreciate what’s at their disposal: the chance to earn a valuable education that in the long run will be beneficial to their future and serve as a catalyst for furthering their careers.

Student Jacob Thacker is as dedicated to his studies as he is any other passion in life.    Recently being inducted into Lambda Pi Eta and Kappa Tau Alpha, the highest honor in the school of Communication’s chapter of the National Honor Society, Thacker has proved his academic standing and earned recognition in his area of study.  Working a job and being a full-time may sound like the average student at UNO, but Thacker has achieved more than scholarly success. Thacker has braved the obstacles he has faced within the last couple of years and has come out strong.  He has made a comeback in the biggest way, achieving his academic goals and moving forward from tough times he endured.

Thacker, 21, started out college on a difficult path that personally affected his family. He began his freshman year at UNL majoring in advertising and French.  Thacker held an internship at a local clothing company called Robot Luv, where he wrote blog posts, called clients and helped work on a fashion show.  At the end of his second semester, Thacker did an inter-campus transfer to the University of Nebraska at Omaha because his father was experiencing health complications and had to have his gallbladder removed.  Thacker attended school as a part-time student and spent nearly 18 days and nights with his father when he was in the hospital for 20 days.

In 2010 Thacker enrolled as a full-time student at UNO and picked up a job at Three Dog Bakery as the executive pastry chef.  His father’s health began declining, but at his request, Thacker decided to take the opportunity to study abroad in France over the summer.  In the fall of 2010 Thacker’s father’s health declined rapidly, and Thacker became consumed with his family life at home, juggling school on the side.

During the tribulations he faced at home, at school his French class often reflected the personal experiences he was going through.  Thacker read in his French contemporary novel class about a boy whose caretaker was dying.  He said reading the book was one of the hardest yet most rewarding experiences he could have.  The book served as a cathartic vehicle for him, and he realized how incredibly important an education truly is.

On Dec. 4, Thacker’s father passed away.  Thacker said that he thanks his professors for helping him through that the hardest of times, for their support through the sad and trying time for his family.   He misses his father daily, but remembers that even he didn’t give up in the battle he fought.

Starting anew with an optimistic outlook, Thacker is eager to begin the fall being more involved on campus.  He was elected as the secretary for Lambda Pi Eta for the 2012-2013 school year, and looks to join more campus organizations.  Despite the fact Thacker will be going for five years to earn his degree, he does not let this deter him. “When I think about what I’ve dealt with on top of general transferring problems and issues, I can’t be upset. Anyway, I love school so why hurry and finish!”

 Thacker attributes his motivated and tenacious drive for earning him numerous awards from the UNO and UNL departments, as well as the Martha Page study abroad scholarship.  Earning the highest honor of Kappa Tau Alpha is an accolade Thacker can be proud of.  A student with a touching comeback, his academic honors are more than “badges of courage” or consolation for surviving the crises he has encountered in life.  They are a symbol of his comeback and overall success.

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