Senior Jacob Alu is De Smet Jesuit’s recipient of the Archbishop John L. May Service Award. The award recognizes the outstanding leadership and community service of students from Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Jacob was one of 25 honorees featured in the April 6 edition of the St. Louis Review. He was nominated for the award by the faculty for his commitment to service at De Smet Jesuit and in his community.
At De Smet, Jacob is a member of the Senior Core Team in Campus Ministry. He has led several retreats, including Kairos, Sophomore Ascent, and this year’s new Freshman Pilgrim retreat. In addition to helping plan school liturgies, Jacob is also in charge of the student-led prayer group, DIP (De Smet in Prayer). “He combines a well-crafted balance of discipline, patience, humor, and hard work,” said Dr. Mike Callahan, director of Campus Ministry.
For his junior service project, Jacob worked with young children in the Rockwood School District. His supervisor commended his commitment to getting to know the students. “Jacob was intrinsically motivated to succeed and make a difference in their lives,” said Leslei Harper. He was a great steward of the responsibility of serving in his community and a great ambassador of De Smet Jesuit High School.”
Jacob’s commitment to doing service extends to his parish, St. Alban Roe, where he has led Luke 18 retreats, and to his community, where he has assisted with food drives, Christmas tree lots, camp counseling, and activities organized by the Boy Scouts.
“To me, service is an opportunity to get out of my comfort zone, to put others before myself, but most importantly, service is a blessing that few notice, but many appreciate,” Jacob said. “It wasn’t until high school that I really started to understand that the little time I set a side in my week impacts my community greatly. It doesn’t matter what background you come from, income status you belong to or part in a society you play, service is a blessing for everyone to enjoy.”