The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

by Justin Allaman, Special For The Quill

Meet your neighbor, Jacob Irish currently of Biggsville. Born and raised in Geneseo, Jacob is the son of Ron and Penny Irish, both of Geneseo. Ralph and Betty Irish and Hank and Deloris Wallace are his grandparents. Jacob has two brothers, Seth and Wyatt, both of Geneseo.

Jacob recently accepted a year-long position as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) employee at Family Outreach Community Center (FOCC) in Stronghurst. AmeriCorps VISTA was started in 1965 as a domestic version of the Peace Corps. Specifically, Jacob's position at FOCC will be focused on capacity building, community empowerment, and researching and writing grants. He will also be organizing fundraisers like the upcoming Craft Show on October 25th and assisting with FOCC's other services. "I love it so far!" Jacob says of his new job.

Jacob graduated from Geneseo High School in 2009. He then attended Monmouth College, graduating in 2013 with a Bachelor's in Sociology and Anthropology. He minored in Philosophy. While in school Jacob participated in Philosophy Club (two years), ZBT fraternity where he spent time as the recruitment chair, and he was involved with various philanthropy projects.

Before moving to Biggsville, Jacob worked at Subway and spent time as a cook and bartender.

In the near future Jacob is looking forward to joining Young Professionals in Monmouth. In his free time he enjoys outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing, and disc golf. When he can't be outside, Jacob also enjoys playing video games, reading, and writing.

A family memory that stands out to Jacob are the occasions that he and his family would visit their family farm in Keosauqua, Iowa.

After completing his year with AmeriCorps VISTA at FOCC, Jacob hopes to attend graduate school in a field related to social work or community development, with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee being his school of choice. He would like to pursue politics as a career, using that position to make a difference and help people in need.

"I don't like poverty," Jacob says. He also asks: "How can you be happy if there are people who aren't?" His favorite quote comes from the band Animal Collective: "Weighted by thinking."

While living in our area over the next year, Jacob is looking forward to meeting the people of our community and serving the needs of others. "Hopefully I'll have plenty of guidance along the way to point me in the right direction," he says. Stop by FOCC today and say "hello" to Jacob Irish, your new neighbor!