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Oak Lawn high school principal walking for 24 hours nonstop to raise money for students

Published on: 01/02/2023


OAK LAWN, Ill. (WLS) -- It was a dreary start to the New Year outside Oak Lawn's Harold Richards High School.

But inside, the school's principal, Dr. Mike Jacobson, started 2023 on the right foot.

"This is the best community to work in. I am blessed to have this job. I am blessed to have these kids," Jacobson said. "What these kids mean to me, I can't even say in words. They enliven me every day. They encourage me every day."

Jacobson is walking on a treadmill for 24 hours straight, raising money for the high school's scholarship fund for seniors.

"It's a lynchpin for a student's success. Many kids would say, maybe, 'I wasn't going to go until I got that money.' Some kids would say, 'it allowed me to buy a book.' But, what it really does, it lets them know we believe in them," Jacobson said.

It's that compassionate mission that fuels him to get back on that treadmill year after year.

"Every time I get up here, it's really painful. It will really get in your head right around 3 o'clock in the morning, it will be a sunless space in my mind, but I do it because these kids deserve it," Jacobson said.

Jacobson said he's raised over $100,000 for seniors in just two years. He's also walked at least 60 miles in total and doesn't plan to stop anytime soon.

"He's out here raising money, so we thought we'd come walk with him for a little bit," said Dominick Paul, a junior.

The principal isn't alone on this journey.

He was joined by some wrestlers like junior Paul earlier Sunday.

"It means a lot. It does," Paul said.

As Jacobson walks in place towards his goal, he's got a parting piece of advice for his students.

"Don't think about that last step you have to take. Just think about the next step you have to take," Jacobson said.

Author :Christian Piekos

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