Keeping our children drug-free remains a top-priority and when a Warren County police captain wanted a real-life approach that would send kids a powerful message, his dream became a reality. His dream is now making a difference in children’s lives, making him this week’s Hometown Hero.
Captain Joe Jakub is a man on a mission - it’s a mission to keep kids off drugs.
"Our kids are facing challenges that they’ve never faced in the past. The drug culture and drug world is becoming more and more prevalent," Captain Joe explained.
Captain Joe wanted a high-impact, reality-based approach.
"He’s a unique man who’s one of the few I’ve ever seen totally committed to our youth in the community," Dream Team Member, Jennifer Pierson said.
A commitment that lead to the captain’s brainchild - Reach For Your Dreams.
"It really had a big impact on my life because I was faced with doing drugs by some of my friends," explained Haley Gray, a Warren East 8th grader.
"It reaches the children, it really gets to them," Captain Joe proclaimed.
Reach For Your Dreams brings the Dream Team into Warren County schools to talk to the students about drugs, gang violence and peer pressure.
"You have to dedicate yourself to the kids and the program and that’s how it becomes effective," Captain Joe explained.
Reach For Your Dreams has had far-reaching effects.
"He told us not to just ‘not do drugs,’ but why not to," Gray said.
"He’s awesome because he really talks to us," said Warren East 8th grader, Brock Arnold.
"He’s so down to earth and matter-of-fact and really wanting them to do well and make better choices. They love him," explained Tracey Esters, a teacher at Richpond Elementary.
The Dream Team members are a close-knit group who are inspired by the captain’s dedication.
"Working with Captain Joe has been an honor. He has a heart of gold. He’s constantly positive, constantly trying, constantly working, constantly concerned about our kids," Pierson explained.
What makes Captain Joe so passionate about his work? He doesn’t want to see drugs ruin our children’s future.
"They’re our presidents, CEO’s, and unless they understand and don’t get involved with the drug culture, our whole society goes down the tubes," Captain Joe said.
"The most important thing to him by far is the children. He puts nothing in front of them," said Jose Fernandez, Dream Team member.
"You call it my job, it’s not really my job, it’s a passion," Captain Joe said.
It’s that perseverence that makes Captain Joe Jakub this week’s Hometown Hero.
Captain Joe’s efforts have expanded all the way to New Jersey, which now has a Reach For Your Dreams program.