• He will help instil confidence in young people to make a positive change in the world
The world's largest cleft organisation has announced actor Jacob Bertrand, known for his role as Hawk on Netflix television series 'Cobra Kai', as their Youth Celebrity Ambassador.
His character is not only a fan-favourite but was also born with a cleft lip.
To start his ambassadorship, Jacob attended a series of interactive virtual learning sessions with Smile Train staff and cleft-affected individuals to learn more about the health implications of cleft and the impact it has on patients and families at large.
Jacob took part in Smile Train's Annual Student Ambassador conference, a virtual event geared towards empowering and inspiring high school students who are dedicated to supporting Smile Train's work.
"While I play a cleft-affected character on TV, I truly had no idea how severe the impact of a cleft can be, both physically and mentally," he said.
"One thing in particular that really resonated with me while learning about Smile Train was realising that those in the cleft community have experienced some degree of bullying.
"Growing up, I was severely bullied and, although my experience is not the same as those born with a cleft, I am very familiar with the negative effects of bullying and the toll it takes on your self-esteem and confidence. This is why, among other reasons, I am thrilled to join Smile Train as an ambassador."
Through his ambassadorship, Jacob hopes to raise awareness about cleft and its holistic impact on individuals and families.
He also hopes to amplify Smile Train's initiative to instil confidence in those facing bullying and encourage young people to leverage their talents and passions to initiate positive change around the world.