Student Spotlight: Jacob Meyer
As a student at Glenbard West High School, Jacob Meyer focused more on sports and outside activities.
“Academically, I wasn’t as good, and I was always putting my studies off to go out with friends,” he said. “I didn’t think I would succeed in college.”
He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2010 while a senior in high school and reported to recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego that December.
After completing Marine Combat Training in San Diego and Military Occupational Specialty School at Camp Johnson in North Carolina, he reported to 3rd Battalion 10th Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C. in June. He became a Maintenance Management Specialist and was deployed to the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal as part of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS New York and then the USS Iwo Jima, participating in joint operations training with other military forces.
After four years, he returned to civilian life and immediately began taking classes at College of DuPage. It helped that he was already familiar with the College through his late father, Mark Meyer, who had retired after more than 30 years as a professor of Manufacturing Technology.
“COD was a great way to get back into school,” Meyer said. “I knew the school and some of the instructors, and I could take the skills that I learned in the Marine Corps and apply them here.”
He started with his general education requirements and completed his Associate in Science degree at the end of 2016. During his final semester, Meyer enrolled in an accounting class that changed his career path.
“When I was in the Marine Corps, one of my duties was to manage equipment. Once I got into that accounting class, it all started to click,” he said.
In 2017, Meyer was accepted into the Posse Foundation’s Veterans Program and will receive a full-ride scholarship to Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He found out about the program through the College’s Veterans Services office.
“They were hosting an event called ‘Mission to Succeed.’ I went to speak with the Posse Foundation representatives and met Lance Williams, last year’s recipient from COD,” Meyer said. “It still hasn’t hit me yet that I was selected. This is the first scholarship I’ve ever received, and it’s blowing my mind. Once I get to Wesleyan and interact with the other recipients, then it will be real.”
Founded in 1989, the nonprofit Posse Foundation Inc. provides full-tuition scholarships to public high school students with academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. The Posse Foundation also created three additional initiatives, including the Posse Veterans Program, which identifies veterans interested in pursuing bachelor’s degrees at top colleges and universities. Meyer will transfer in the fall as part of a cohort consisting of eight other veterans receiving ongoing support, including weekly meetings with a faculty member that will continue through graduation.
After finishing his four-year program at Wesleyan, Meyer plans to become a CPA and then earn an MBA. His goal is to work in a large office setting as an accountant.
Meyer is glad that he chose College of DuPage to start his higher education journey.
“COD helped me immensely to build a strong foundation academically,” he said. “I work in the Veterans Services office, and I tell students that I’ve never had a bad professor. This may be a community college, but it has far more to offer than people realize.”
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