Emma Jacobs Share

Apr 14, 2022  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

A Mar­i­on avi­a­tion graduate’s solar ener­gy ini­tia­tive is com­ing to life as she shapes a bright future.

Hart­ford City res­i­dent, Emma Jacobs, was a Black­ford High School stu­dent look­ing for more oppor­tu­ni­ties than her small school pro­vid­ed when she found the Avi­a­tion Acad­e­my through the Mar­i­on Region­al Career Cen­ter (MRCC). She enrolled in the two-year pro­gram in 2019. When she com­plet­ed the pro­gram and grad­u­at­ed from BHS in 2020, she received more expe­ri­ence, achieve­ment, and life-chang­ing lessons than she had anticipated.

Jacobs was select­ed as an intern both sum­mers for the Mar­i­on Munic­i­pal Air­port dur­ing her time in the Avi­a­tion Acad­e­my. When asked to find a way to ben­e­fit the air­port, she decid­ed with sup­port to research solar ener­gy and its poten­tial to save on costs while pro­vid­ing a viable clean ener­gy source. At the age of 18 at the time, Emma worked hard in all areas from research to con­tact­ing ener­gy com­pa­nies,” said Board of Avi­a­tion Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent, Jim McK­in­ney. From her ini­tia­tive and focused work, the air­port will begin a solar project with a ground­break­ing on April 21st, 2022. Under a 25-year plan with ener­gy com­pa­ny, Ver­e­gy, the air­port will receive a locked-in rate for the dura­tion to pow­er about 90% of the air­port includ­ing the run­way lights, ter­mi­nal build­ing fuel sys­tem, large hangar hous­ing the Avi­a­tion Acad­e­my, and more. Esti­mat­ed cost sav­ings over the project’s life is $178,000.

Before grad­u­at­ing, Jacobs received the McK­in­ney Aero­space Schol­ar­ship of $1,000, and the Stu­dent of Excel­lence Award for Career and Tech­ni­cal Edu­ca­tion through the State of Indi­ana, the only stu­dent from Mar­i­on to receive the award dur­ing the time.

While at Black­ford High School, she was a 4.0 stu­dent heav­i­ly involved in extracur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties includ­ing sports, served as Sec­re­tary of the Nation­al Hon­or Soci­ety, and assist­ed spe­cial needs stu­dents through a pro­gram called Best Buddies.

Jacobs said the Avi­a­tion Acad­e­my helped push her to be the best per­son she could be. I came out of my shell and built self-con­fi­dence. It’s an amaz­ing feel­ing to gain such a great expe­ri­ence at a young age while help­ing the air­port and the amaz­ing peo­ple there.”

Now a sopho­more at Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty, Jacobs is explor­ing a career in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. She is a top 1% leader in the Nation­al Res­i­dence Hall Hon­orary Soci­ety, rais­es mon­ey for the annu­al Christ­mas for Kids pro­gram, and is active with Grace Church in West Lafayette.

Jacobs is most pas­sion­ate about edu­cat­ing and help­ing stu­dents of the future. They are our future. If we teach them and push them to the best of our abil­i­ty, it ben­e­fits their future and ours.”

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