Jake Janson - Westfield Local Heroes 2020
Dedicated to youth
Inspiring. Energetic. Altruistic.
Jake Janson left a career in construction to become a youth worker, knowing that the opportunity to make a difference, was an important one.
He trained with Ocean Mind, which runs free surf therapy programs for young people experiencing mental health challenges, social isolation and disabilities.
Jake is now the program coordinator for the not-for-profit, and his abundant energy and contagious laughter mean the kids have the best day ever while learning to surf.
He puts in many unpaid hours, taking the time to check in with the young people and provide support, encouragement and guidance.
Jake is passionate about supporting people with mental health challenges and is considered an exceptional role model for the young people and Ocean Mind volunteers.
“Ocean Mind has changed my life. I wake up every day and pinch myself about what I get to do for a living,” he says.
“Financially, it was initially difficult, but the reward for following my dream job is beyond worth it.”
Outside of work, Jake is quickly becoming a pillar of the community. He volunteers with the Country Fire Authority and each Christmas he helps out at local food kitchens providing meals to the homeless.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Ocean Mind will use its grant to run additional programs, buy equipment and provide transport to the young people who need it.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here