• Nigel Jacobs

      Nigel Jacobs '16

Noteworthy Achievements

YEARS AT PARK: September 2012- 2016

ACTIVITIES AT PARK: Park Players (Grease, Cinderella), Boys Varsity Bowling, USSG (Vice President of Junior Class), Judicial Board, Untitled Album, Equity and Justice Club, Orchestra, Chorus, Sino- American Fusion Club

COLLEGE: Applied to Yale University, Alleghany College, Tuskegee University, St. Bonaventure University and others

INTERESTS: Engineering, Computer Science, Social Justice, International Relations

ACTIVITIES: Student Board Rep for the NFJC (National Federation for Just Communities) of WNY; Certified Lifeguard; Buffalo Prep; Middle School Prep Teaching Assistant

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION: John R. Oishei Scholarship; Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award (University of Rochester); Innovation and Creativity Award (R.I.T); 3rd Place National History Day (2014); U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad Contestant (2015); Alpha Phi Alpha Leadership Institute; Dr. Catherine Collins Award (Beautillion Extraordinaire); People to People Ambassador Program (European Discovery 2012: traveled to France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Italy); Yale Young Global Scholars Program (Politics, Law, and Economics 2014); Tuskegee University MITE (Mentoring In To Engineering) Program 2015; Buffalo Prep; Community Builder and Peer Mentor (NFJC of WNY); National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS)
HOBBIES: Acting, Rowing, Reading, Video games, Japanese Anime

Nigel Jacobs '16

Anyone who thinks of today’s high school students as unmotivated or apathetic has not met Nigel Jacobs. The senior was president of his the junior class, plays violin in the orchestra, is a member of the chorus, competes on the bowling team and in crew for West Side Rowing Club, and has performed in several Park Players productions. He has served on the School’s Judicial Board.

Outside of school, Nigel is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Federation of Just Communities of Western New York. He serves in the Community Builders program and Jack and Jill of America’s Buffalo Chapter, Teen Executives. He participated in Jack and Jill’s Beautillion program, a six-month leadership development curriculum.

Nigel’s potential as a student and community leader was evident when he first entered Park as a ninth grader. Buffalo’s Education Collaborative (EdCo) each year awards full-tuition scholarships to “talented, dedicated students of color who want to attend one of 15 participating EdCo high schools,” according to the John R. Oishei Foundation, which funds the scholarships. He won the Oishei Scholarship his freshman year and has not looked back.

“Park is smaller than most schools, and I really like having small classes,” Nigel said. “It’s a friendly community, and because it’s smaller people know each other.”

Nigel mentioned a few Park teachers who have been particularly meaningful to him.

“My adviser, Mrs. (Marnie) Cerrato, has helped me out a lot and encouraged me to do things I might not try. Mr. (Matt) Johnson, my history teacher, was very kind to me when I came here. I have a huge interest in history, so we have that connection.

“My English class with Mrs. (Kerry) Reynolds was another one that stands out. Because she made us do journals and reflect on ourselves it helped me to really figure out what I think about things.”

Nigel’s involvement in community activities plays a large role in his life.

“Through NFJC, I participate in the Community Builders Program where I have had the benefit of volunteering in such efforts as anti-bullying conferences, program and law enforcement retreats, and Dash for Diversity.”
For two summers, Nigel worked as a teaching assistant for Buffalo Prep’s summer program for middle school, was a lifeguard for the Neumann Catholic swim league, and served an assistant counselor for Park’s Summer Scholars program.

“I have also traveled the world,” he adds. He has visited Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Rome, Florence, and Venice, among other cities, on a People to People Ambassador program. Through Park’s Immersion program, he has been to Cuzco, Peru, and to northern China.

Nigel had a particularly memorable academic experience in the summer of 2014, when he attended Yale University’s Young Global Scholars Program on Politics, Law, and Economics.  “It was an amazing program,” he said. “I got to meet people from around the world, people from other states and from other countries who talked about their cultures. That was a really memorable experience.

“I studied politics, law, and economics in the United States ... delving deeper into those things, learning how our country was founded. I got to understand history a little bit better by learning how people were thinking during that time period about what was going on.”

The tug of history is strong for Nigel. He is particularly drawn to the story of the United States from the American Revolution through the Civil War.

“There were a lot of problems and it was hard to unite the country,” he said about the Civil War. “And the American Revolution… people said, ‘We are the United States of America, we are all together,’ but that’s not actually how it happened. It took a long time to get everybody together.”

As he looks ahead to college, Nigel thinks he might major in history, media studies, international relations, computer science, or engineering.

“I participated in MITE, an engineering program at Tuskegee University, in the summer of 2015 that really impressed me,” he said.  “I am not sure what I want to do as a future career,” he said. “But I do know that whatever I do, I want to make an impact on how we live together as world citizens.”
Founded in 1912, The Park School of Buffalo has the distinction of being one of the oldest Progressive schools in the country. Park is an independent, co-educational school serving approximately 300 students enrolled in prekindergarten (3 and 4 year olds), lower school (kindergarten through grade 4), middle school (grades 5 through 8), and upper school (grades 9 through 12). Park is uniquely situated on 34 beautiful acres in Amherst, New York. The School’s campus – formerly a farm – includes a pond, marsh, gardens, and a greenhouse while being located just minutes from downtown Buffalo and easily accessible from many communities throughout Western New York. Park’s educational philosophy embraces active, student-centered learning, delivered by exceptional teachers who design and continuously update a robust curriculum. Faculty members approach each student as an individual within the context of a kind and respectful community. From the preschool years through college preparation, The Park School of Buffalo helps learners realize their own unique potentials and prepares them to be confident, successful, life-long learners.

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