Ensuring every child has an equal opportunity in life is paramount for Adam G. Jacobs.

The Chagrin Falls resident is the president of Bellefaire Jewish Children’s Bureau and Wingspan Care Group. He is also the founder of Bluestone Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital; founder and chair of Lifeworks, a residential and supported employment company for adults with autism; co-founder of the Monarch Center for Autism; and founder of Kids Connection, a political education and advocacy entity.

He previously served as a councilman in Chagrin Falls and also co-founded the recently sold Monarch Teaching Technologies, a cloud-based assisted educational technology for children with autism, among other professional endeavors.

“I’m sort of like everyone else,” said Jacobs, who attends The Shul in Pepper Pike. “I come to work and do my best to do my job well. Because of the work I do, that makes a difference in the lives of children pretty directly. My work is for children who have drawn the short straw in life. I try to make a difference in their lives so that way when they’re older, they can be capable of doing great things.”

Whether it’s at the State Board of Psychology working to push the legislature to make services available to everyone, or managing a community sports team, Jacobs said being involved in bettering other people’s lives has been a focus since high school.

Knowing that children and families in Cleveland are especially vulnerable to risk factors like low birth weight, infant mortality, high dropout rates, poverty, housing insecurity and homelessness is another push to better the community for everyone, Jacobs said.

“For someone in my profession, it’s a challenge – a welcome challenge and a needed effort,” Jacobs said. “We see kids at Bellefaire JCB that have never been to a dentist, gynecologist or an internist. Some have been sexually or physically abused, others have autism. And being able to turn their lives around and giving them a chance of success in life is everything.”

As he looks to his future, Jacobs has no intentions of slowing down his fight for equal access. During the pandemic, he said it became clear that access to care and social services wasn’t uniform throughout the community. After seeing those unprecedented struggles, Jacobs said he hopes to develop a holistic multi-generational solution to not only help one or a few children succeed, but to find a solution that “heals them, their family and generations to come.”

“When children who have been physically and sexually abused finish treatment at 17 or 18 years old, there isn’t a home for them to go to,” he said, explaining his programming has a dormitory where survivors learn independent living skills. “We stay with them until they finish college or have a job. Many of these kids end up being the first in their families to hold a job. At that moment, we’ve created a multi-generational trajectory for that child and their future family. It’s not just healing a singular child. It’s healing an entire community of children through the generations.”

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