Founder and Executive Director Emeritus
Jacob Gardenswartz received his Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. From 2009-2014, he served as the Student Director of the Theater of Peace (TOP), an anti-bullying performance organization he helped to create. For his work with TOP, Jacob won the Prudential Spirit of Leadership Award, Spirit of Community Award, Peter Chortek Leadership Award, Diller Teen Social Entrepreneurship Award, Abercrombie and Fitch Anti-Bullying Scholarship, and the President’s Volunteer Service Award. In addition, Jacob has been personally recognized for his work in the anti-bullying community by the La Mesa, Los Angeles, and San Francisco mayors, Congresswoman Susan Davis, Senator Dianne Feinstein, as well as by President Obama.
Jacob began his stage career at the age of four and has been performing professionally since 2008. He has trained in voice, dance, acting, direction, playwriting, and improvisation, and is an active member of the San Diego and Philadelphia theater communities.
In addition to his performance background, Jacob is very involved in the world of media and politics. His writing and analysis has been featured in Vox, The Washington Post, San Diego Union Tribune, San Diego City Beat, NBC News, and MSNBC.
Above all else, Jacob is most proud of the impact his organization has been able to make in students’ lives, and is so appreciative of his friends and family for their continued support. In his own words, “If we can improve the experience of just one student — make them feel more safe, more comfortable, and more able to advocate for themselves — than we will have changed the world for the better.”