Everyone – meet Blake. He is a an outstanding young man who always makes people feel welcomed. Whenever Blake visits Roots he checks in with our staff to see how they are doing, which is a wonderful gift for us. We sat down with him and asked him a few questions:

Sum yourself up in two sentences

I’m a fun old soul who enjoys getting to know people. I’m an oddball, dreamer, and an underdog who has been taught about the world through these lenses and couldn’t be happier with what these perspectives have given me.

What is one thing that has made you a stronger person?

I’ve always been pretty empathetic toward other people. I have come to the realization in my own life that people are coming at things from as different a perspective to something as I am. That has helped me become stronger in my relationships with other people and helped me to better understand those in my life that are very different from myself.  

What is the biggest compliment you can give yourself and why?

This might be weird but my smile. A lot of people compliment my smile and I don’t always think of myself as someone who smiles a lot.

If you could identify with one fictional character who would it be and why?

I would have to go to Spiderman. He doesn’t have the best powers but he just wants to do good with what he’s given. That’s where I’m at in life. I don’t have all the best resources but I want to help the people around me the best I can.

What is something that makes you smile?

Really terrible dad jokes. I go back and forth with my friend all day with really bad dad jokes. It’s fun to do when you bounce the jokes off others.

If you were at drink at Roots what would you be and why?

An Americano, because it reminds me of my California roots and the word is a spanglish mix. It’s the first special coffee I learned to order.

If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be?

Future – I want to see what happens to the earth when it dies. Maybe, what causes humanity to stop being. I think that would put a lot in perspective for me.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

Someone asked me this recently and I couldn’t think of anything good. All I could come up with was one time for youth group, I was trying to make friends at a lock-in at an ice rink. We were playing broomball which you play in your shoes rather than skates. I hadn’t been on ice in a long time but I was pretty confident in my abilities. I slid out on the ice to show off my skills and I fell flat on my back and had the wind knocked out of me. I was laying on the ice groaning for about 5 minutes and everyone thought I’m overreacting. It was pretty darn embarrassing and I tried to avoid any potentially embarrassing moments after that. That must be why it’s hard to think of one.

What is your favorite genre music. Who are you listening to?

I guess I would go with the broadest genre: alternative, maybe some soul; a rock kind of soul. I love making playlists for almost any reason and appreciate pretty much all genres. Right now I’m listening to Paul Simon, the earliest Fleetwood Mac and Durand Jones & the Indications.

*Look him up on Spotify, people say he’s got the best playlists around.

What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you?

Two things that are somewhat related. I love when people learn things about each other or learn things about the world, relationally. I think, in general, I love creating a space for people to meet with each other or learn about new things and expand what they think about things, each other, and the world and how they relate to one another.

What is your favorite thing about Roots?

There’s an energy here. It feels like home whenever someone walks in here. It’s the people, the atmosphere, it’s everything.