Jacob Ray

Class of 2022

Jacob RayMajor

Business Administration

Spirit of Service Scholar


Why did you decide to attend Marymount?

I toured a lot of schools in the area, and I really liked the smaller community here and the international vibe. Also, it sort of runs in the family – my mom went to Marymount to get her degree in Physical Therapy, I’m going to Marymount, my brother’s going to Marymount now too. We’ll have to see if my other brother wants to jump on that train, too!

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

Right now, I’m working for Arlington County’s Department of Human Services in its IT department and I’m aiming to continue on that track.

How is service such an integral part of your Marymount experience?

I applied for the Spirit of Service scholarship before my freshman year and they were gracious enough to accept me. Working with the Saints Center for Service has been great, and I’ve done a couple of different service opportunities with the Honors Program as well. Most of the service I perform, though, is up in Montgomery County, Md.

Describe your work with the Gabriel Project and how you got involved.

The Gabriel Project is an organization my family and I have worked with for many years, ever since I was a child. The main goal is to help mothers in crisis pregnancies, so we help them get clothing for their infants and the rest of their family as well, any supplies they need like strollers, formula – anything you can think of that an infant would need. We get all the donations dropped off at our house and then we cart them off to our storage facility. We get requests from client families, and let’s say they have a four-year-old boy and a two-month-old baby. We go ahead and we pull outfits and books and anything else they might need, and we give it to the client families.

You’re also very involved with another organization that has an international focus?

Yes – Vietnam Relief Services is a nonprofit my family also works with. My father works with the local communities there, and our community leader helps us connect to different schools in the area. The main goal of that organization is to empower students and connect them with educational opportunities. We work a lot with local schools in the rural provinces of Vietnam, and we raise money for projects like libraries, computer labs, water filtration. More recently we’ve been doing English lessons, and during COVID that’s been my main responsibility. I do remote learning sessions with the students there to help them develop their English skills, and hopefully give them something that is marketable and will help them in the future with their career.

What does service mean to you in general, and why is it so important to you as a person?

Service to me is about giving back opportunity. Obviously, I and many others in this area live a very high opportunity life. We have a lot of privilege, and for me, service is giving back to people that might have not had those same opportunities. I’m giving them a fair shake and helping them hopefully grow and develop skills, and not feel like they are alone.