Fishers High School senior inspires teens to help others
By Sarah Stoesz
A Fishers High School senior is helping to feed Fishers’ hungry while inspiring his peers to become passionate about community service.
Brad Jacobs is a Fishers High School varsity athlete and also swims for Fishers Area Swimming Tigers. Two years ago, he was elected the senior athlete representative on the board of directors for Indiana Swimming. Through his position at Indiana Swimming, Jacobs was able to attend the U.S. Aquatic Sports convention in Anaheim, California.
At the convention, Jacobs did a service event with the organization Feeding Children Everywhere. He helped create 10,000 meals for elementary schools in the Los Angeles area. Brad was moved by the experience.
“Shortly after the convention at home, I realized that there are people that are still hungry in Indiana even Fishers and Hamilton County,” he said. “So I made a goal to host an event myself.”
Jacobs raised money to create the meals and sought out corporate sponsors. He received five sponsors. They were Fishers Area Swimming Tigers, Curran Architecture, Rocore, Moser Consulting Inc., Fishers Pediatric Dentistry, and DJake’s DJ Services.
“Originally, I wanted to create 40,000 meals to raise $10,000 and that original date was supposed to be in mid-April but I fell short of that and the date also had to be extended,” he said. Jacobs ended up raising $4,000 to create 12,000 meals for people in the Fishers area.
The meals went to St. Louis De Montfort’s food bank and the Good Samaritan Network.
“I am not one to have very much free time,” Jacobs said. “With swimming, I spend six hours a day in the summers so I find it a challenge to myself almost to see how much I can do with what little free time I have. I thought it was a testament to what kids can do. I don’t think that if you could’ve told me I could create 12,000 meals for Hamilton County I don’t think I could’ve done it.”
An event was held on July 15 at Fishers High School and approximately 60 people volunteered for it. The majority of them were students with about 50 swimmers in attendance.
Brad wanted the event to be fun so people would enjoy community service.
“Brad set it up so it was a very festive atmosphere,” said Tony Young, sport development director for Indiana Swimming. “He had music playing, every time one of the groups of kids that were working on this project would fill a box of meals, they would all do a cheer. It didn’t seem like something where you were donating your time, it was almost like it was helping us grow.”
Brad has strong leadership skills that extend beyond swim practice, which helped the event to be successfully planned, his teammates said.
“Brad is definitely a great leader,” said 16-year-old Jacob Reichert. “He helps me personally through everything I do so for him to do this, it’s not a surprise that he put it all together and it worked very smoothly.”
“All the swimmers and some of the cross-country teams were there and it went by so fast because Brad knew how to run these events and he is an energized person,” said 17-year-old Glen Brown.
Jacobs’ event impacted students and left them with positive feelings towards community service.
“It’s good to know that when we were filling boxes, we knew that we were feeding over a thousand children around Fishers, Indiana,” Brown said. “When all the swimmers left the building we were all talking and said that we knew we did something great for Fishers. We knew that we helped those people and everybody was saying how they were blessed and they would love to do the event again.”
The event also left students with feelings of gratitude and a desire to help others less fortunate than themselves.
“Coming out of it, I felt very blessed that I have a house that I can go to and have all the food that I want basically and knowing that I helped out a lot of people,” said Fishers High School junior Luke Ingram.
Jacobs hopes to hold another event for Feeding Children Everywhere.
“Going into next year, I would like to do the event again, but with the goal of reaching $10,000 and 40,000 meals,” Jacobs said.
People who volunteered at the event also share Jacobs’ dreams to raise the goal for the next event.
“The last thing I heard when I walked away that day was I hope we can team with Brad next year and do it again and make it even bigger so that is how he inspired people,” said Tony Young.
Jacobs will graduate from Fishers High School in 2015. He hopes to attend college to become an engineer. His goal is to swim in college.
“What I am hoping he is going to do is mentor some of our younger athletes to continue in his legacy,” said Young.
Jacobs’ peers think that has a bright future ahead of him and can make a difference in his community.
“Brad is the type of guy that if he puts his mind to it, he can get whatever he wants done,” said Ingram.
To learn more about Feeding Children Everywhere, visit http://www.feedingchildreneverywhere.com.