Jacques' desire to help others originates from the example set by his parents and his background. Jacques' family is originally from Burundi, but Jacques was born in Rwanda and lived in Tanzania before moving to Omaha in 2009. "I grew up in a harsh environment. As a former refugee, I know how hard it is not to have food. I used to eat once a day." Jacques believes that eradicating hunger starts by educating people about hunger at a young age.
One way Jacques has actively educated people about hunger is by recruiting viewers to watch the documentary 'Out of Frame'. Out of Frame focuses on poverty in Omaha while examining the perception of poverty and its stereotypes.
Jacques is also active in several academic learning communities. He is a Thompson Scholar, a member of the UNO Air Force ROTC, and a TRIO Project Achieve student. Jacques was introduced to the UNO Habitat for Humanity student chapter through Project Achieve. Together with other students, Jacques built a house that was given to his family. Jacques is still actively involved in the Habitat for Humanity cause.
Jacques is also active with his church and the Omaha Together One Community organization. Omaha Together One Community is an organization with a focus on refugees, and works with political and community leaders to make positive change.
Family is very important to Jacques. Because Jacques' parents are not proficient in English, Jacques takes care of his six younger siblings' education. Jacques drives his six younger siblings to school every morning before starting his day at UNO. "I'm trying as hard as I can to be an example to my siblings." He hopes that by showing his siblings that he can do well in college, they will be motivated to do well in school. After graduating from UNO, Jacques considers pursuing a career in the U.S. military or going to graduate school.
Campus Commitment to Engagement
Community engagement and service are fundamental components of UNO's identity. This commitment to engagement is reflected in UNO's academics, student body, partnerships, and institutional framework. As an engaged campus, UNO values mutually-beneficial partnerships where information and expertise is shared and applied for the common good.
Share Your Story
Did you organize or participate in a community-oriented project or service? UNO wants to hear from you! UNO is committed to community engagement in its broadest form, and wants to feature your community service story.