Asset Builder of the Week: Jacob Zarpentine

Without Jacob’s hard work at the high school, we never would have been able to survey the ninth and eleventh graders. Administering the Developmental Assets Profile (DAP) let us know how our youth measure up. What Assets do they already have and where could they use a little help?

We’ll be using these results in the coming months to help you best support our youth instead of just using national trends.

Thank you Jacob!

About Jacob Zarpentine

How long have you been a counselor?

I am currently on my 3rd year as a counselor, having graduated from Idaho State in 2017. I’m one of the school counselors at Teton High School.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in Northern Idaho, on the south end of Lake Coeur d’Alene, in the beautiful, small town of Harrison, Idaho. I graduated Kootenai High School with the class of 17! Then, I went to Idaho State University for 6 years, ran track there, received a bachelor’s, married the love of my life, and got my masters in Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in School Counseling.

I have always been passionate about helping others find passion in their life. I am an outlier in some ways in my profession. You usually don’t see many young adult males in the world of school counseling. [Edited to add: True that! Thanks for being such a great example to young men!] But I want everyone to know that I love this job so much and I truly care about each and every student, even if I have only talked with them once.

There isn’t one thing I won’t talk with a student about and that’s because it is not my job to judge or dictate the decisions of students. I help them make healthy decisions that THEY choose, not me. I believe students have the answers and coping skills within them to be healthy teenagers and adults.

What do you like most about working with youth?

My favorite thing about working with youth is helping them realize all of the potential they have within themselves. I love to help provide future plans, coping skills and most importantly, just a space for them to be themselves; free of judgement and full of excitement.

I love helping students find the confidence to pursue something they did not see themselves ever doing. To walk down the halls of our high school with so much confidence and anticipation for the future.

What you wish more people knew about our kids?

That our students are more resilient than we give them credit for sometimes. That being a support system is the biggest thing you can do for them as a parent, staff member, or friend. Providing meaningful relationships opens them up, makes them happy, and gives them hope that they don’t have to fight life by themselves. [Edited to add: YESSS! This is Asset Building at its finest-creating meaningful relationships!]

What do you like our project? How do you hope it will make a difference?

I am excited about the Developmental Assets project because it will no longer make us guess/assume what they need from us. The assessment shows us, in a holistic and collective way, what we need to provide to our youth. It allows us to see what those weaknesses are and come up with a specific plan to help.

The assessment also shows our students strengths. I am excited to see what they strongly possess and how we can continue to provide them with those skills.

We have a diverse and unique community for such a small valley, and this assessment can show us that we all share many strengths and characteristics even though we may think we are so different.

I hope this assessment can help strengthen and bond our community together.

Please give a shout out to this Asset Builder!

If you are doing great work with kids or know someone who is, nominate them using this form so we can feature them in the coming weeks! We can’t wait to hear from you!

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  1. Pingback: But Wait, Why?
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