When talking about young people Going Places, there is no doubt that the name Jake Bain (he/him) needs to be mentioned.
We know him as our passionate, hardworking, and advocating colleague – an amazing Integrated Health Coach (IHC) supporting our Youth and Family program. Children he serves call him “mentor”. Our community as a whole recognize him as a a mental health advocate, trailblazer in sports inclusion, LGBTQIA+ community spokesperson, influencer, friend, and the list goes on.
Jake is the epitome of what it means to give back, build a community, have a voice, and help others find their voice and journey of hope and healing. He was born and raised in St. Louis, growing up with a single mom and three brothers. Coming from a long line of teachers and therefore, people wanting to help people, it is something that has always been instilled in him.
His refreshing and beautifully raw way of sharing his story publicly has left us with no doubt that he is the kind of role model the youth we serve need and deserve. “We all go through struggles in life. I’ve been through plenty of my own struggles in life and I’ve worked with plenty of counselors and therapists throughout my life, so I certainly know that I wouldn’t be in the position that I’m in right now if it wasn’t for folks like people that work at PFP to be able to get me where I’m at,” Jake humbly states.
When he was in the midst of graduating with his Bachelor’s in Psychology from UMSL, he started searching for ways to give back and combine his passions in a career. Jake knew he wanted to stay home and help out his hometown, work with youth and family, and dive deeper into his true calling – psychology. Luckily, PFP offered just that. “I feel like I found the right spot – a spot I could stay in for a long time. It’s something that has made me have a new purpose in life,” Jake says with fulfillment in his eyes.
He describes the IHC role as being like a bridge between all of the other providers that work with the child being served. The appreciation he has for his colleagues and their collaboration is undeniable. He is not shy talking about how his coworkers have some of the best hearts, and how they motivate and drive him when he sees their unwavering dedication to helping families. They are a huge part of why he loves working here. As an IHC, Jake helps coordinate children’s care with his colleagues, keep the treatment plan moving forward, and often serves as the liaison with parents and children’s teachers.
Jake is determined to show each child how much he believes in them and give them positive experiences they maybe haven’t had before. He celebrates their wins with them – both big and small. “If I have a kid who gets into the high school they wanted to go to or does really well on a grade, those are obviously huge successes, but even the small things like a kid sitting there and saying wow, this is one of the best days ever or just thank you for taking me to the zoo… those are really meaningful to me,” Jake says. Since he regularly checks in with the parents of the children, it also makes his day when they notice the difference he has made for their child’s outlook and attitude.
The joy of partnership is there no doubt. The trauma and heartbreaking past does not define the children served, but guides everyone involved to help them lead a purposeful and fulfilled future. Jake is determined to continue serving his community and see families succeed, grow in social work (such as by pursuing a Master’s degree), and hopefully even find a way to combine his passion for sports in the mix too.
As one of the first openly queer athletes to play in the NCAA, Jake has developed a true knack for breaking molds and stereotypes to decrease the risk of others not feeling like they can they talk about mental health, who they are and want to be, or pursue their dreams. Jake has surely inspired us from the start, and the impact he makes continues to spread like wildfire.
We appreciate you, your “why”, and all you do, Jake! Keep up the great work!