Spent 6 years in California's foster care system

Jacob spent his first several years in the foster care system living in group homes. Eventually, he moved into a foster home where he remained until graduating from high school.

Jacob was awarded the Student of the Year Award by the Teachers Association at the end of his senior year of high school. Members of the Teachers Association felt Jacob deserved the award because of his ability to graduate high school with outstanding grades despite his at-risk status and changing schools multiple times.

Jacob currently lives on his own and works with a local Independent Living Provider. He is both a full time college student and employee. Jacob holds a position at Workforce to help other foster youth look for employment and work on the barriers of employment.

He is opening discussions on how he entered the foster care system, what the ups and downs of the system are, and how it can be improved with the help of others in the community in an effort to make the system better.

He volunteers time with the Juvenile Justice Commission and extra time at his place of employment to work on these goals. Jacob is always willing to go out of his way and assist a youth looking for a job. He frequently drives them to appointments, interviews, or anything else he can do in order to help someone that needs the help. Caseworker, Wendy Mondrafrans, has taken note of Jacob’s commitment to education, work, and being of service to other youth in care. In Wendy’s words, “Jake is a self-starter. He hleps others in any situation he can.”

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2013 Outstanding Young Leaders