Jake Oostman ’25 on the starting blocks. Courtesy of Communications and Marketing.

Jake Oostman ’25 was recently recognized by the Independent Colleges of Indiana with a “Realizing the Dream” scholarship. The award is given annually and offers a financial boost to first-gen students.

Oostman received the scholarship after an involved first year on campus. He is a brother of Delta Tau Delta and intends to major in financial economics. He is also a rhyne, a CIBE consultant and a member of La Alianza.

“Coming into Wabash, it was nerve wracking,” said Oostman. “Being first-gen, I didn’t have any experiences to build off of, like other peers or mentors, so it was interesting coming here and trying to find a flow. But once I found that flow and started doing all the fun stuff I wanted to do, everything fell into place.”

Oostman is also a member of the Wabash track and field team. He has already proven himself an exciting prospect, finishing third in the heptathlon at the NCAC Indoor Championships in February.

“Jake [Oostman] is a pleasure to coach,” said Head Track and Field Coach Clyde Morgan. “He is a tough young man who is always eager to learn more. He tends to be hard on himself at times, but most driven people are. He is really developing as a leader both on and off the track.”

Along with the award, recipients name an inspirational teacher or educator who has most influenced their academic pursuits. Oostman named Vincent Lewis, a social studies teacher at Crown Point High School, as his mentor.

“Mr. Lewis was with me for all four years of high school, from freshman through senior year, and I actually did talk to him a lot about college,” said Oostman. “Even when he couldn’t help me, he linked me up with the right people. And obviously I am a financial economics major now; he taught me a lot of the basics of economics, so we were pretty close.”

According to the ICI’s website, the “Realizing the Dream” scholarship is made possible by the Lilly Endowment Inc., and recipients are selected for outstanding achievements during their freshman year. Each of Indiana’s 29 private, non-profit colleges and universities receive one scholarship annually.

Other Wabash men who have received the scholarship in recent years have included Richard Pan ’24, who received the award last year, Bryce McCullough ’23 and Zach McKinney ’22. Oostman is proud to have his name added to the list.

“Looking back at the list of Wabash men who have also won the award and seeing, ‘oh, this guy’s on our board of directors,’ and ‘this other guy is on the alumni board,’ is really cool,” said Oostman. “Hopefully one day, in 20 years or so, I’ll be one of those names that people point out and say I was pretty successful too.”