Valley Torah Student Featured in Jewish Journal’s ‘Mensch List’!
This past week in the Jewish Journal, you a familiar face appears on page #21. Student-body co-president and Scroll media director Jake Schochet (‘19) was a feature on the Jewish Journal’s annual “Mensch List”. Under the title “Class Pres and Special-Needs Advocate,” Jake’s leadership and volunteering enterprises were highlighted in addition to quotes from Jake explaining his motives for becoming a community leader in the first place.
“I think that is is very important to give back to everyone,” Jake said. “You never know who is going to need to give back to you one day.”
Although he participates in 5+ organizations, including Chai Lifeline, Bnai Akiva, Red Cross, and Shalva, Jake says that Etta Israel was his “gateway” to kick starting his life of giving back.
But it is not just for his own personal glory that Jake volunteers. Jake talked in the Journal about how volunteer work really makes people come alive in ways which they would not have known about had they never tried it.
“It just shows me that everyone has so much potential. A lot of people think, ‘OK, they can’t necessarily do certain things, we’ll help them out,’ “ said Jake, talking about people with special needs. “But you can have real conversations with them, and it just showed me everyone has so much potential and it’s sad they’re not necessarily given the opportunity to express it and find themselves.”
But it is not just in the community that Jake takes initiative. Within the school, Jake leads from the front.
From the beginning of ninth grade until the present, Jake has displayed leadership through his participation in various aspects of school life. Aside from being a member of The Scroll, Jake was a defining member of Valley Torah’s Mock Trial team as well as a school ambassador for Open House, and, of course, an elected representative on student council, culminating in his presidency in 12th grade.
In an interview with The Scroll, Jake commented on his accomplishments and accolades over the years.
“Starting in ninth grade I saw many areas in which the school could improve and grow. Not willing to sit back and watch, I was prompted to start my own programs, take initiative, and help facilitate improvement. My three successful years on student council, the chesed committee I started, and the various speakers, events, and trips I planned were all driven by the goal set in my mind of what Valley Torah can achieve and offer to all of their students.”
Concluding, Jake stated that he is happy in the direction the school is going, and is also overwhelmed at the amount of congratulatory wishes he has received over the past few days. The main part of his article, he said, was the hope that someone can be inspired by it.
“Getting on the Jewish Journal was great, but if there is a young teenager somewhere who is in doubt about his life, or if he believes things may not be going great, and he picks up my feature and is inspired to become active in the community, that is who I am doing this for.”