Meet Jacob Day '23! Jacob is a boarding student from Brussels, Belgium and has been at Rabun Gap for 2 years. He is very involved in all aspects of Rabun Gap. Jacob is an excellent student - earning high grades in all his classes, is a trumpet player in the orchestra, an All-Conference and All-State football player, and is a leader of our French Club.
Why did you choose to attend Rabun Gap?
I chose to attend Rabun Gap because I believed that this was a great opportunity for me. I had always dreamed of playing football in the US. After hearing what the school had to offer, not only for academics but also for athletics and music, I decided that this would be the best step for me to make and to grow as a person. The mixture of friends from all around the world, great teachers, great arts department, and one of the best football programs in North Carolina was the perfect fit.
What makes Rabun Gap special to you?
This school is special to me in so many ways but I would have to say that the main reason is the people around me on campus. Especially living on campus, I realize how lucky I am to have such amazing friends from different cultures. I am also grateful for all the coaches and teachers who have helped me grow as a football player, musician, student, and just in general a better person.
Tell us about a time at Rabun Gap where you’ve had to stretch beyond your comfort zone and how you were supported in that time.
I think that coming here last year was for me the biggest step I made. I was worried that I would be to far from my family and that I would miss home. I also was worried that I would have difficulties adapting to the school system. The football players and seniors really had a big impact on me and were very welcoming. They helped me get used to the campus and find everything I needed to. The teachers were very supportive and patient to make me feel at home. They helped me get used to my classes and helped me become a consistent student in all my classes.
What is your favorite memory from Rabun Gap?
My favorite memory is from last year when we played against Charlotte Latin in the semifinals. The game was played at Zavala Family Stadium, we were slow in the first half but then turned on the jets in the second half. We went on to win that game. Even though I didn’t play much, I remember the feeling knowing that we were going to the state championship and to win at home was great.
What clubs and extracurriculars are you a part of? What do you like most about them?
During my time at Rabun Gap I have played football, lacrosse, run track, I also sang for the choir and played the trumpet in the Orchestra. This year I am also the leader of the French Club with Mike Lengi and our goal is to share more about the French Culture.
What I like most about football and sports in general is the bond that you have with your teammates.
Playing music is for me is a place where I can relax after a long day of school or before a big game. I have loved to play music since my youngest years and it is something that will stick with me for life.
Since it's Christmas time, what is your favorite Christmas song to play and why?
My favorite Christmas song is White Christmas written by Michael Bublé. Two years ago I played it for a Christmas concert back home in Brussels. I love the vocals and it’s a classic. I have listened to it every Christmas since I was born and it reminds me of some great holiday moments.
What was the most exciting football game for you and why?
My most exciting football game this season was against AC Reynolds. When we played them, they were ranked in the Top 5 in North Carolina. The game was very close and tense. In the second half I made two field goals and then a third one from 38 yards to seal the win. Knowing that I contributed to a big win and feeling the support from my teammates and coaches was a great moment I will never forget!
What is your favorite class and why?
My favorite class is AP Psychology. Dr. Renken is a great teacher to have and in so many ways helps you learn more about Psychology and humans in general. I am hoping to take Psychology as a major in college and I feel like this class will definitely help me learn more about the subject and prepare me for next year.
Which Rabun Gap teachers and/or coaches have had the biggest impact on you during your time here?
I am grateful for all my teachers who have been part of my journey at this school. Ms. Allegra is one of them. She is a great teacher who has helped me evolve as a trumpet player and is also a great person to talk to about more than just music.
Coach White is a great coach. He came to Rabun Gap last year in February and directly put his trust in me. He helped me get over one of the hardest parts of my life and I am so thankful for him for sticking with me. He also helped me achieve to be a All-State player and hopefully I can play at the next level with his help.
What advice would you give another student who is interested in attending Rabun Gap?
I would tell them that if they have the chance to come here, they definitely should. Never in my life have I heard so many languages and met so many people from all over the world. Rabun Gap is special in a way that it brings people together from all over the world to one same goal: go be great in every aspect of life. Rabun Gap opens your eyes and helps you build your future.
How do you feel your time at Rabun Gap has prepared you for your future?
Being at Rabun Gap for my junior and senior year has definitely helped me in different ways. Not only have I grown as a person but I have also grown as a student-athlete and musician. During my time here I have learned to be more disciplined, to live on my own in a community but also to know what I would like to pursue in college.