- Associated Press - Saturday, May 16, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - Friends of an educational-software executive and charity founder killed in the Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia said they have learned from her life as they mourned her death Saturday.

Hundreds of people packed a memorial service in New York for Rachel Jacobs. The 39-year-old was among eight people killed when the speeding train derailed as it rounded a 50-mph Philadelphia curve at about 106 mph.

“She was really seen as a beacon of light,” mourner Brett Leitner said as he left the service. “She touched a remarkable amount of people. It’s a deeply felt loss.”

Jacobs was on her way home to Manhattan from her job as CEO of the Philadelphia educational software startup ApprenNet, where she started working just in March. She was married, with a 2-year-old son.

A graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia Business School, she’d previously worked at another education-technology firm, Ascend Learning, and led the expansion of McGraw-Hill’s career-learning business into China, India and the Middle East.

A Detroit-area native whose mother is a former Michigan state senator, Jacobs also started Detroit Nation, a nonprofit that engages former Detroit residents in helping economic development and cultural innovation there. Through the organization, Jacobs helped arrange the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s first Carnegie Hall concert in 17 years.

Friends said they were inspired by her work to help communities.

“Look what she did. Look what she created,” former neighbor Ellen Bates-Brackett said as she left the memorial. “I go away thinking and recommitting myself to a more meaningful life.”

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide