Forever True, For Iowa State

Healthy animals, healthy people, healthy planet

When Grace Jakes arrived at Iowa State “wanting to work with farm animals,” she didn’t even know how to milk a cow.

What a difference an Iowa State education – replete with a study abroad experience in Uganda – makes. Today, Grace, a senior majoring in animal science and global resource systems, not only knows her way around livestock, she speaks confidently and knowledgeably about complex global resource issues.

“I have always been convinced that the work I do must be for the benefit of my community,” she says. “My first year at Iowa State opened my eyes to the fact that my community is actually global. However, I never expected that studying abroad – or other enriching extracurricular involvement – would be possible for me. I work through school and rely on scholarships to support my education.”

Thanks to the Theresa and David Waltz Study Abroad Scholarship, established by the Waltzes through the historic Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, Grace was able to work alongside Ugandan farmers, learning about their agricultural challenges while getting to know them as people. The experience gave her a more nuanced understanding of the issues that face smallholder farmers across the globe. She also returned with renewed passion for the animals.

“I believe that the healthiest farm animals are the most productive, and that the welfare of people is tied to the health of farm animals. I want to promote both animal and human welfare. As I move forward in my education, I now plan to pursue further education in sustainable animal agriculture in order to work at the nexus of animal health, economic development and environmental sustainability.”

Grace credits Theresa and David Waltz for giving her the “peace of mind and financial flexibility” to grow, both personally and vocationally.

“The experiences I had in Uganda truly would not have been possible without the scholarship the Waltzes sponsor. I appreciate their support more than I can express and am passionate to use my skills to benefit my community.”