Nominated By his mom, Christine Bondi-Cerrato.

Jakob is a young man who had spent the majority of his life feeling disconnected –  struggling both academically and socially, wondering where he truly fit in. “Outed” as gay before he was ready to come out, he had reached a point where he saw very little future for himself. He didn’t care about college or a career and had no interest in social events or participation in school activities.  Jakob was on a very dark road that caused grave concern for many of the people who loved him. Jakob felt like something about him was “off”,  but instead of giving up, he began pushing hard to find answers.That deep desire to understand why he was struggling led to a neuropsych evaluation that resulted in a diagnosis of Autism and Anxiety. Additionally, he also learned he had a potentially fatal cardiac condition that required invasive procedures to ensure his continued health and safety. Jakob’s strength and  self advocacy are powerful and have really changed, perhaps even saved, his life.  He has made a complete turn around since his cardiac condition AND autism were able to be addressed.  He is now getting A’s and B’s in school, participating in a number of extracurricular activities and has become a role model for other Autistic LBGTQ youth! Most importantly, Jakob now envisions a future for himself both in college, in the community, and within a career someday. He is a true mental health success story that inspires many!

Among many amazing accomplishments we wanted to be sure and recognize that Jakob has the incredible honor of being one of only a very small handful of Legacy High School Orchestra students to be accepted into the Emerging Composers Pilot Program with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and the University of Colorado College of Music. Congratulations Jakob!

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