A Tribute to a Mentor

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This tribute is dedicated to Alan Dale Jacobson, my eternal mentor. Despite not being my biological father, he is unquestionably the greatest father figure I could have asked for. From childhood until I turned 13, I knew him as Uncle Al; however, when he married my mother, our bond deepened. He has taught me invaluable lessons on pride, honesty, prioritizing family above all else, and embodying integrity. Although our relationship initially faced challenges, he never abandoned me.

Throughout my life, he was a constant presence, guiding me towards making the right choices and delivering painful lessons whenever I veered off course. At the age of 14, I decided to run away for a brief period but soon found myself hungry and heading back home on my bike. As I was about halfway through my journey, he unexpectedly pulled up next to me in his truck and calmly stated, “I’ll be waiting for you at home, boy.” Although I only had around 2 miles left to go, it took me approximately 1.5 hours to reach there. Upon finally arriving, he forcefully pushed me off my bike and commenced teaching me in his own distinctive way. This particular event remains etched in my mind as one of the most treasured and unforgettable memories of him, forever intertwined with the invaluable lesson it imparted.

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At the age of 16, I had a discussion with him regarding my departure from school. As long as I accomplished two objectives – obtaining my GED and securing employment – he gave his approval. Consequently, I enrolled in a program at Moraine Park Technical College to pursue my HSED (High School Education Diploma). Concurrently, I began working for him as his ground man. Upon reaching 18 years old, he established his own Cable TV contracting company and extended a job offer to me. Throughout our collaboration until I turned 21, he instilled in me the importance of diligence and taking pride in one’s work. Our proficiency and excellence were consistently commended at every worksite.

Our reputation for promptness, dependability, and producing high-quality work led to a surge in workload that rapidly spread throughout the Cable TV industry. When I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at 22 years old, my father experienced both surprise and pride. He was surprised because I took charge of my life, and proud for the same reason. To this day, he continues to express his pride in me and my achievements. Personally, I believe it stems from witnessing my personal growth into the man he always had faith I could become. He always recognized that I possessed more potential than I acknowledged myself.

My father is my lifelong mentor. There are various reasons why he holds this role, and it would be impossible to fully explain them on one page. He is the proudest and most honorable person in the world, and over the years he has imparted a great deal of wisdom on numerous subjects. The extent of his teachings cannot be adequately expressed.

Not only did my father shape me into who I am today, embodying all the qualities he instilled and more, but he also set a high standard for me to maintain. However, he equipped me with all the necessary tools to surpass his own outstanding character. Above all else, his unwavering belief in me serves as a constant reminder to never give up on myself, regardless of any circumstances or actions.

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A Tribute to a Mentor. (2017, Mar 16). Retrieved from


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