JAKE STUECKLE (IM 2013) stepped off the stage of the Scottish Rite Masonic Center at this year’s Ruth Asawa School of the Arts graduation ceremony and right into the sky. A recipient of the Dan Kryston Memorial Scholarship award, he was surprised and honored, having shared a very special bond with Dan, drumming for him in many of the SOTA musicals.

A joyous celebration to mark endings and beginnings followed, with a performance for over 100 friends and family members by “the English assignment-born, Biology class-raised, folkgrass quartet” Montgomery Station– a quartet with very serendipitous beginnings.

2013 SOTA graduates –Colin Ketchum (Vocal), Robert Lau Giambruno, Nico Scolieri, and Jake Stueckle (IM)– wrote a song for a class project in their junior year and enjoyed the experience and the musical results so much, they decided to continue their songwriting, and added playing around the city to their repertoire as well. Jake plays the drums.

A busking trip to Santa Barbara over spring break sealed the deal for the collective future of the group. Though they will be scattered at different schools around the country this fall for their coming freshman year, they plan to continue writing and recording together and hope to perform over breaks. Montgomery Station released an EP CD earlier this year and expect to release a full length CD in the near future.

In late June, after a family reunion in Washington, Jake set out on his third mission with Big World Ventures; this time to Machu Picchu, almost 8,000 feet above sea level and believed to have been constructed as an estate for an Inca emperor. The majesty of Peru’s main tourist attraction is undeniable, but the circumstances of many people there are considerably less than regal. Modern Peru is one of the world's fastest-growing economies, yet more than 30% of its population lives in poverty.

Jake will spend three weeks serving in the poorer communities, spending time with children in orphanages, playing with them daily and bringing new ideas and energy into otherwise tough circumstances. This will be Jake’s third year of service with BWV. Previous missions to Ecuador and Panama have been life-changing, providing him with opportunities to experience how the world lives outside of the United States and a chance to put his deep sense of love, charity and generosity of spirit into action.

In the fall, Jake is looking forward to the extensive music course offerings at Whitworth University in Spokane Washington, where he has been awarded a substantial scholarship for Jazz and Classical music studies. Alternately excited and slightly nervous about living and driving in the snow, he’s pretty psyched to be taking Snow Boarding as his PE credit.