Jacob Andrew Gonzalez is pursuing a JD at Yale Law School. Jacob is from Phoenix, Arizona, the eldest of four sons born to Anabel and Fernando, working-class Mexican Americans. Jacob has spent thousands of hours caring for Arizona and New York’s poorest and most vulnerable.
After graduating among the top 15 percent of Stanford undergraduates, Jacob returned to the remedial high school he’d graduated from in 2011. There, he taught children who’d experienced illiteracy and incarceration. Because his classroom was chronically under-resourced, Jacob lobbied the Arizona Legislature to increase public education funding.
Jacob is a devout Catholic Christian, a faith he inherited from his immigrant grandparents. He received training in scriptural interpretation and Christian ethics from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Prior to YLS, and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Jacob leaned on his faith as chaplain to the sick and dying at Bellevue Hospital, New York’s “hospital of last resort” for the uninsured, undocumented, homeless, and men jailed at Rikers Island. As a chaplain at the United States’ oldest public hospital, Jacob worked every day to ensure that poor and vulnerable human beings died with the knowledge that their life mattered, and that they were loved. Jacob feels called to challenge the laws responsible for his students’ illiteracy and incarceration, and his patients’ preventable illness and death.