Jacob Perks '21, '23 MSL Headshot

Jacob Perks '21, '23 MSL

Master of Strategic Leadership, Criminal Justice

Making a Team

Jacob Perks ’21, ’23 MSL wanted to make the most of his time at Mount Mercy University. He found opportunities to give back to his community on the Hill, and to the larger community of Cedar Rapids.

 “Being a McAuley Scholar gave me an opportunity I didn’t think I would ever have—going to college,” said Jacob.

When Jacob received the Catherine McAuley Scholarship, college suddenly felt like a realistic goal. Through the McAuley Scholarship and being a member of Project Connect, Jacob was able to make meaningful connections on campus early.

For Jacob—who was a member of the men’s basketball team—both of these organizations gave him an opportunity to connect with students outside of athletics.

 “Being a McAuley Scholar, I got to talk to students in other organizations,” said Jacob. “Now if I ever need a networking opportunity, we have each other’s backs.”

Being a McAuley Scholar gave me an opportunity I didn’t think I would ever have—going to college.

Jacob Perks '21, '23 MSL

Though the McAuley Scholarship gave Jacob a chance to build connections outside of his teammates, basketball was still a big part of his time on the Hill.

“Being on the basketball team at Mount Mercy was kind of like my first real job,” shared Jacob. “It taught me how to be accountable and to hold others accountable. Being a good teammate translates to any other job.”

One of Jacob’s favorite memories from his time on the Hill was the men’s basketball team winning the Service and Character Award. The award recognized the work that the team did for the community, including the Alzheimer’s Walk, cleaning up the neighborhood, and working with JumpStart.

Jacob was involved in the creation of JumpStart, a free sports program for Cedar Rapids children to learn about leadership and academics.

“JumpStart started off as just a typical camp with 25 students from the local neighborhood,” said Jacob. “The second year, I think we had about 50 to 60 kids.”

 

Everyone worked hard to improve camp for its second year. They reached out to area restaurants to donate food, and made connections with off-campus speakers. Jacob started as an assistant, and then became head coach.

Jacob discovered a passion for coaching through his work with JumpStart and being on the basketball team. He is now the Graduate Assistant for the men’s basketball team.

“If you apply yourself and get out of your comfort zone, Mount Mercy will be your next home.”
– Jacob Perks '21, '23 MSL

He knew he wanted to expand his leadership skills to further his coaching ability. To build those skills, Jacob decided to pursue his Master of Strategic Leadership at Mount Mercy.

“The program has done a good job of acknowledging my weaknesses and strengths,” said Jacob.

When Jacob first came to Mount Mercy, his main focus was basketball. The connections he made through the McAuley Scholarship and Project Connect inspired him to pursue leadership opportunities inside and outside of athletics. Jacob encourages current students to push their own boundaries.

“If you apply yourself and get out of your comfort zone, Mount Mercy will be your next home,” said Jacob.

Start your story.

Apply today Visit campus