Jacobs Foundation Changes Lives

Stefanie Givens

Photo of group of Jacobs Foundation students

For over 20 years, the Herb and Maxine Jacobs Foundation has been making a difference to Truckee Meadows Community College students.

The Foundation was started by Herb and Maxine Jacobs in 1986. Initially, the Jacobs Foundation supported a variety of scholarships and programs. Their legacy was firmly sealed with a $1 million donation toward the construction of the William N. Pennington Health Science Center and the naming of the TMCC’s Maxine S. Jacobs Nursing Program. As they came to appreciate the impact of their philanthropy, the Jacobs Foundation increased their involvement with TMCC.

Today, the Jacobs Foundation continues to make a difference to TMCC students through the Jacobs Presidential Scholars Program in the College’s Access, Outreach and Recruitment Office.

The mission of the Jacobs Presidential Scholars Program is to increase the employability of unemployed and underemployed non-traditional adult learners by supporting their efforts to attain certificates in career and technical areas of study. Since its inception in 2013, the program has supported over 200 students, enabling them to not only find meaningful employment, but to build and maintain a sustainable lifestyle.

In July, TMCC hosted special guests of the College—Jill Jacobs, Carl Whittaker and Deborah Kay, Trustees of the Herb and Maxine Jacobs Foundation. In addition, local representative Cindy Sutherland joined, as they visited with the faculty, staff and students of the Jacobs Presidential Scholars program. Over a two-day period, they visited the Dandini Campus and Meadowood Center locations, and met and heard directly from program participants. This visit is an annual tradition to commemorate the incredible contribution of the Herb and Maxine Jacobs Foundation to the students at TMCC.

At the recent Jacobs Foundation visit to TMCC, seven current and past Jacobs Scholars explained the impact the program has had on their lives, and expressed their appreciation for the opportunity given them.

Aubrey Shaffer exemplifies the experience shared by Jacobs Scholars. After eight years of serving in the Marines, she decided it was time to seek an educational career in diesel technology. Many of her peers in the Marines highly recommended TMCC’s diesel technology program and she did not think twice about enrolling in classes for Fall 2016.

TMCC gave her the opportunity to develop her diesel technology skills further, "Through lecture and practice, I was able to understand how different components worked and complement each other," she says.

In May 2018, Shaffer completed her coursework for the certificate of achievement and associate of applied science degree. She currently works as a service technician for Amador Stateline. Her duties include repairing and maintaining heavy engines and transmissions. She plans to come back to TMCC in the near future and pursue a Certificate of Achievement in Welding.

For most Jacobs Scholars, their experience transcends solely the financial support. It becomes about hope for a better future and knowing that the Jacobs Foundation and the faculty and staff of the TMCC Access, Outreach and Recruitment are behind every scholar, providing encouragement, support and a belief in their ability to succeed. Participants also receive counseling on goal-setting, time management, financial literacy and more.

For former Jacobs Scholar Chalyn Tallman, her journey began with the very first meeting with Jacobs Presidential Scholars Program Coordinator, Nayesdi Badillo-Delgado. Tallman described leaving the meeting knowing that "Someone had faith in me. Someone thought I had what it took to make it..."

Having completed the program and working full-time, Tallman was the featured speaker at the Jacobs Scholar reception in April, where she stated: "I’d like to thank the Jacobs from the bottom of my heart. You, along with my friends, family, colleagues and teachers have made this more than a degree, this has been a wonderful stepping stone into the real world."

To learn more about the Jacobs Presidential Scholars Program, please contact Access, Outreach and Recruitment.

To learn more about supporting students at TMCC, please contact Stefanie Givens in the TMCC Foundation.