By: Jeremiah Stone (Sophomore)
I interviewed Mr. Cool himself, Jesse Heng (26). He is a Becoming A Man counselor at Senn High School. Heng uses his occupation to provide for himself in the Niles area, but there is also so much more of a purpose than just that. As a young man he didn’t really have his parents. They were around just not as much as he needed. He understands that other youth go through that same problem. That is a big factor on why he chose his job. I decided to sit down with him to talk more about B.A.M.
Stone: So about the BAM counselors, what do you all do? What is your purpose?
Heng: I’d like to say, my purpose in BAM counseling is to be a support. Be some sort of guidance to the youth that I work with. For sure.
Stone: Yeah I like that. How long have you been doing this?
Heng: It’s currently my fifth year with BAM. 3 years as a full time counselor. Two years as a mentor under a counselor.
Stone: Ok. So, was there anything in your life or childhood that made you want to take up this occupation? Or is this something new and you started to like it?
Heng: Yeah, I think this is something that I always wanted to do. Growing up the way I grew up. My parents always worked. I never really had them as an emotional and social support. And, you know, just basic financing and putting a roof over my head, food on the table for me. And just the lifestyle. I think I grew up and I just always knew that I wanted to help others. And I believe I’m doing that now. And to be able to be more than to have more emotional and social support for the youth that I work with.
Stone: Ok. So what do you all do with the young men that are on BAM?
Heng: There’s a few different things that we do. We do group once a week. We do individual meetings with them whenever they need someone to talk to, someone to listen. And basically I’m here to challenge them. To make them feel safe. To make sure they know there’s someone who wants the best for them and someone who’s guiding them to whatever man they want to be.
Stone: Aw man that’s awesome. So, with this great program you have to tell us how to get into it?
Heng: Man there’s a few different ways. Just come to my room 213. Come talk to me, if you know who I am. We could try to figure something out. Currently though I am not necessarily looking for any new students at the moment. However, that definitely could change throughout the year.
Stone: Alright thanks for your time man.
Heng: Of course.