Engineer Develops 'Extraordinary' Possibilities - People Helping People Series

Friday, November 10 at 03:00 PM
Category: People Helping People

Nov. 07, 2017 – Tom Jakobs’ professional aspiration is as daunting as it is admirable.

“I specialize in helping people with very severe disabilities to live more independently and to pursue their life goals,” said Jakobs, founder of the nonprofit corporation, Be Extraordinary* (Be-X).

It’s a pursuit easier said than done, but Be-X’s track record speaks for itself. According to the organization’s website – be-x.org – it has an 84% success rate in terms of promoting its clients’ quality of life through the effective use of technology. A bioengineer, Jakobs said that kind of success is determined on a case-by-case basis. “Sometimes success is just having a little more ability that what you had before,“ he said.

Jakobs is the 25th person to be featured in Arvest Bank’s People Helping People video series. The series is designed to celebrate individuals in the communities Arvest serves who are uniquely making a difference.

In the case of Shawn Egan, Jakobs’ – and Be-X’s – charge was to give him the capability to use a phone. Egan suffered a spinal cord injury while cutting a tree that left him paralyzed. Through years of patience that included securing grant money in addition to numerous technical trials and errors, Be-X finally was able to find a solution that allows Egan to independently place and receive calls, as well as text.

The result is that he can help with his family’s rental business, and he also serves on a couple of local boards of directors. Having that capability is beyond what Egan set as a goal for himself after his injury. “When I got hurt back in 2011, that was my big goal then – and that’s still my goal – is to get my kids out of school,” Egan said. “Just be here long enough to see they get graduated, they become adults, and they move into the life that they want.” Even so, thanks to the efforts of Be-X, Egan is able to work from home and help his children with their homework, things that didn’t seem possible at different times after his injury. In his words, that allows Egan “to contribute to society.” And that’s a big win for all involved.

About Arvest Bank

Arvest Bank operates more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 16 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 120 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

  Housing Lender and Member FDIC.

Tags: Arkansas, Community Support, Fort Smith, People Helping People
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