Claire Grace isn’t a typical teenager; she is Miss Oklahoma’s Outstanding Teen.
Grace attends Stillwater High School and is enrolled concurrently at Oklahoma State University. At 17, she has accomplished many goals and left her mark. Grace has launched three companies, started a nonprofit organization and has won multiple awards, including the two president’s awards for Educational Excellence and two president’s Volunteer Service awards.
Grace’s father, Bert Jacobson, said it takes both talent and nurturing for someone to grow to their full potential.
“It takes God given talent and how someone has been nurtured their whole life, I’ve seen people with skills, they were just never pushed to reach their potential,” Jacobson said.
Grace said her biggest accomplishment is her nonprofit organization, “Show Compassion Foundation.”
“Obtaining both state and national level documents to start the Show Compassion Foundation was difficult at times, but it was definitely worth it,” Grace said.
The Show Compassion Foundation works to educate people by publicly speaking about how to be inclusive and compassionate toward anyone who is different from others. Grace’s sister, Sarah, has special needs and fueled Grace’s desire to start the organization.
Grace speaks to other organizations and schools about her three steps to be compassionate toward others who may be different. The foundation’s goal is to apply the “see, stop, start” program in elementary schools across Oklahoma and eventually reach the nation.
With as much as Grace is involved in, classes can interfere with business.
Grace’s opera coach, April Golliver-Mohiuddin, has been training Grace since she was 10 years old. Golliver-Mohiuddin said Grace is dedicated and focused, and she hasn't seen someone at that age be so disciplined.
“My biggest fear was her burning out, but she keeps doing more,” Golliver-Mohiuddin said. “I’m so impressed with how she balances everything.”
Grace said one thing she has learned when schedules interfere is to communicate with her professors. Because Grace is a high school and concurrently enrolled student along with her volunteering, school activities and other responsibilities can become hectic and exhausting.
“I am usually motivated and ready to go, but I do have those moments where I just want to hit snooze on my alarm,” Grace said.
Grace said when she is spending her time on her responsibilities, she feels like she is on top of the world. But once the adrenaline fades away, it can turn into exhaustion.
“I push through when I am feeling tired by seeing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” Grace said.
Golliver-Mohiuddin said Grace never gives up, and she takes what she has learned and applies it to become better.
“It’s a cruel world, and it can be cruel to hear someone tell you you’re ok but you didn't get the part, but she never gives up,” Golliver-Mohiuddin said.
Grace said she stays motivated by focusing on the end result, and setting goals then achieving them makes her want to keep pushing forward.
One of those goals was earning the title of Miss Oklahoma’s Outstanding Teen in 2019.
Grace said she had competed in the competition multiple times but didn't win. A lot goes into the competition, and it is time consuming.
“The competition consists of an eight-minute interview, academic achievement, talent, physical fitness and evening gowns/onstage question,” Grace said.
Not winning only made her work harder until her goal became a reality. It wasn't until her fourth year competing she won the title.
“Once I realized that I had won, everything stopped in that moment, and I felt pure disbelief,” Grace said.
Claire Grace will continue to inspire young girls across the state to be driven and compassionate toward others, and she will show them all goals are attainable.