Rickey Scholar looking forward to opportunities Marietta College offers

Jake Headley headshot

Jake Headley ’24 (Marietta, Ohio) has always had a passion for studying the stars.

“Personally, I’m a Christian, and, as such, I believe in a Creator. I have always felt that studying creation allows me to grow deeper in my relationship with Him,” he said. “I chose to major in Physics and pursue the AYA Physics Education Program at Marietta College because I feel called to help teach and inspire others just as my teachers did for me.”

The Wood County (West Virginia) Christian School graduate is the 2020 recipient of the Rickey Scholarship, which is a full-tuition scholarship renewable for four years. The scholarship is awarded to a physics major. The Rickey Scholarships in Physics were established by David M. Rickey ’78 and the J&D Family Foundation.

“For me, this scholarship secures access to education,” Headley said. “I grew up in one of the less fortunate neighborhoods of Marietta. My family was fortunate in that both of my parents attended college. They both worked multiple jobs so we rarely went without, but my neighbors were not nearly as fortunate. I watched as they drifted from job to job. … Seeing their struggle challenged me to fight for an education.”

Headley said history has shown that education is “key to unlocking the world and all the opportunities it presents.”

“Education, and invention by it, brought us out of the Dark Ages into the Renaissance,” he said. “Education and a desire to know and understand more led to major life developments such as modern transportation, modern medicine, and many other things. Access to education has driven the modern civil rights movements and has created the more equal, diverse society we live in today.

Headley said his own struggles, economically, academically and mentally, helped bring into the focus the future career path he would choose. He credits his high school physics teacher and his English teacher for helping him reach this point. He hopes to return to his high school to teach physics, inspire others and keep seeking the knowledge of how one person’s actions impact the world around him.

“Receiving this scholarship, while not completely covering my living expenses, makes college an attainable goal with hard work from both myself and my parents. This experience in turn will help me to achieve more and, hopefully, inspire others that they can achieve their dreams as well.”