Cobra Kai’s Jacob Bertrand Joins Smile Train as Newest Celebrity Ambassador
The American actor partners with the world’s largest cleft organization to educate younger generations on the impacts of cleft while furthering Smile Train’s vision
NEW YORK — May 18, 2021 — Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft organization, today announced actor Jacob Bertrand, known for his role as Hawk on the popular Netflix television series Cobra Kai, as their first-ever Youth Celebrity Ambassador. His character is not only a fan-favorite but was also born with a cleft lip, which led him to discover Smile Train.
To kick off 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. In addition, 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,” said Jacob. “One thing in particular that really resonated with me while learning about Smile Train, was realizing 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, amplify Smile Train’s initiative to instill confidence in those facing bullying, and encourage young people to leverage their talents and passions to initiate positive change around the world.
“For the last 21 years, Smile Train has supported safe and quality cleft care, transforming the lives of more than 1.5 million children globally. Over the next five years, our organizational goal is to greatly expand our reach, putting more children on track for a healthier and happier future than ever before,” said Troy Reinhart, Smile Train’s Senior Vice President of International Development. “We are always excited to onboard new Celebrity Ambassadors to help further our work, but we are particularly thrilled to have Jacob join our Smile Train family as his personal and professional experience has an authentic tie to the cleft community.”
To learn more about Smile Train's global efforts and to make a donation, please visit smiletrain.org. Follow Smile Train on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrain and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/SmileTrain.
About Smile Train
Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children's lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrain.org.
About Jacob Bertrand
Known for his role as the fan-favorite Hawk in Netflix’s hit series Cobra Kai, 21-year-old Jacob Bertrand is igniting his path through the entertainment world. Jacob Bertrand’s first big role was portraying Henry in the Nickelodeon show Marvin Marvin. He then went on to land the title role in DisneyXD’s show Kirby Buckets for multiple seasons. He also previously starred in the Disney hit film The Swap! and starred in the television movie Jinxed. Bertrand currently resides in the surrounding Los Angeles area. In his spare time, he enjoys directing short films, playing the guitar, hiking, rock climbing, surfing, cyclocross, skateboarding, and working in his woodshop.