Senior Director of Programs
Jake is a licensed independent clinical social worker, improviser, and works in the field of youth development. He has almost 15 years of youth programming experience working with summer camps, community-based nonprofit organizations, and schools.
Jake grew up in the Maryland area and went to The University of Maryland, College Park for his undergraduate degree. After graduating, he worked in Baltimore with a community-based nonprofit, Humanim, to help youth transition to life after high school.
In 2012, he moved to Chicago to get his Masters degree in Social Services Administration from the University of Chicago. While there, he studied and performed improvisation at iO Theater, Annoyance Theater, and The Playground Theater, as well as theatrical clowning at the Neofuturist Theater. Jake also worked as a clinician/group facilitator with The Second City’s Improv for Anxiety program. At the same time, Jake founded a professional learning collaborative called Therapeutic Improv Professionals, which connected practitioners within the therapeutic arts community.
Jake worked as the Arts, Leadership, and Health Manager at a community-based organization in Chicago called Alternatives. While in that role, Jake developed and supervised youth programming involving the arts, social and emotional skill-building, and Restorative Justice. He also served on an advisory board for the Chicago Arts Educators Forum, where he was a presenter at their bi-annual conference.
After living in Chicago for almost five years, Jake returned to the east coast, where he worked for Monument Academy Public Charter School for three school years as a Counselor, Restorative Justice Coordinator, and Manager of Well-Being Programs.
Jake is endlessly excited about the intersection between therapeutic approaches, arts expressive modalities, and a social justice framework at OCU. He loves empowering youth to express themselves and build community using the arts.
In his free time, Jake enjoys sitting down with loved ones with a warm beverage in hand, and having a lively conversation, while playing games. He is naturally a very curious person, and he loves learning about new people and things.