Scholar Class – 2014
Jacob grew up in Parsippany, New Jersey with his loving parents, brother, and dog. As a child, Jacob discovered his love of music and began playing classical piano and trumpet at age 9. In high school, he was a passionate member of the Parsippany High School Band.
Jacob made headlines when a video of him publicly coming out on January 18, 2013, as a “LGBT” teen in front of more than 300 classmates went viral with over 2,000,000 views. As a result, Jacob received national attention via interviews with Thomas Roberts on MSNBC, Anderson Cooper, Joy Behar, Don Lemon on CNN, as well as numerous radio and print interviews. Jacob has been working with groups such as GLAAD and Garden State Equality to become a national spokesperson for LGBT youth. He devoted much time and effort to the successful campaign in NJ to ban sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), and he strives to help ban SOCE in all 50 states.
A student at the University of Miami, in Florida, Jacob is pursuing Communication Studies with a concentration in Public Advocacy with academic minors in Music, Political Science, and LGBTQ Studies. He is very active with UMiami’s undergraduate LGBTQ organization, SpectrUM, and works hard to improve student life on and off campus.