College Decisions…you don’t have to go far!
Jacob Moeller. He might be the friendly guy who hands you your sweet tea over the counter at McCalisters. He might be sitting next to you taking notes in your Event Management class. He might be the guy working out in the Gordon Health and Wellness Center.
But do you know his story?
Jacob walked into the MOCC for Welcome Weekend 2019, just like any other student, but you probably don’t know that just days before moving on to campus for his freshman year, Jacob was in Chicago Shriners hospital for two weeks after surgery for in-patient rehab. You probably don’t know that his “first day” at Grace felt more like coming home to a place he knew and loved.
Rewind to 2005. Jacob was 4 ½ years old and living in Bangkok Thailand, and unable to walk when he was adopted by a Christian family living in Noblesville, Indiana. At the age of 6, Jacob was admitted into the Chicago Shriner’s hospital, a nonprofit hospital that provides free services for children. Prior to this surgery, Jacob was only able to crawl. But after surgery and a long stint of physical therapy with walkers and crutches, Jacob could walk independently.
In 2011, the Moellers adopted another child, Lily, from Bangkok, allowing Jacob to go back and see the place he was born. Two years later, the Moellers moved their four kids, Laurel, Jacob, Jack and Lily to Warsaw, Indiana, home of Grace College.
Jacob first heard of Grace College from his youth pastors. They were Grace alumni, and would always give the youth group free Grace t-shirts. The summer before his junior year, Jacob even worked in the Grace Marketing Office, but contrary to his dresser full of Grace shirts, he had no intention to come to college here someday. “My goal was always to go to a Christian college, but I didn’t want to live 20 minutes away from school, so I ruled out Grace early on,” said Jacob.
But his time in the Marketing Office rattled that perspective, “While I was working there, I loved the atmosphere. Everyone was extremely friendly, and Grace began to feel like home. To my surprise, this ended up being the only school I applied to. I knew after my summer internship in the Marketing Office that Grace was my college of choice.” And by the time Jacob was a senior in high school, he had visited, applied, deposited, and enrolled.
Summer of 2019, Jacob was gearing up to start college in the fall, when the doctors made a decision to perform one more surgery. After years of gate analysis and taking x-rays of his bones, they decided to cut his rectus femoris, a muscle in the thigh that controls 10% of one’s ability to walk. This would help prevent Jacob’s left leg from dragging. After the surgery, Jacob had two weeks of in-patient rehab, and now he is able to step rather than swing his leg out which prevents tripping and back/hip problems. Jacob arrived back home to Warsaw just in time for Welcome Weekend.
Now, two months into his Grace experience, Jacob is thriving. He is studying Facility and Event Management with a vision to use it for much more than just events. “I want to connect my major with youth ministry. My dream job is to set up events for youth conferences like Momentum,” said Jacob. He is enjoying his classes and living in Indiana Hall on campus. Some of his highlights of college so far include getting half-price appetizers at Applebees, going bowling with his hall, and theological discussions that are spurred by intriguing chapel services.
“I’ve truly been challenged to get out of my comfort zone. Being a student that grew up locally does not make me exempt from new experiences or challenging conversations and topics,” explained Jacob. Whether you attend a college that’s 500 miles from home or 5 miles from home, it’s not about how far you go, it’s where you go that matters.
Come to Grace and find out for yourself why Jacob changed his mind!