The art of communication carries great importance in Jacob Peters' life.
"My wife, Amy, and I can talk about anything," Peters said. "Communication is the key to our relationship -- it has to be in any relationship."
It's that kind of communication that allows Jacob and Amy to be foster parents. Finding ways to communicate with the kids who find their way to their home is essential.
"We understand our home is a temporary one," he said. "The kids who come to us have been removed from problem homes. Communicating with them and hopefully having a positive impact is what we try to do."
A few years ago, Jacob, who also volunteers his time with one of the youth groups at The Crossing, said he and his wife felt a calling to help in the foster care program. The Peters family has welcomed children of all ages, from as small as a newborn to a 16-year-old.
"We knew from the beginning it would be awesome for both of us," he said.
The success of the Peters' personal outreach can be measured in the ultimate form of communication. In describing how gratifying the foster parent experience can be, Peters doesn't use words. He just smiles.
Family: Wife, Amy; numerous foster children.
Education: Quincy Senior High School graduate, 2004
Community involvement: Youth group coach, The Crossing; foster parenting.
What is your job, what do you do and what do you like best about it? My job is to install gutters and work with outdoor sheet metal. I love working with my hands and spending my days outside. I also love my co-workers.
What is a typical workweek like? Well, I get up shortly before 6, head into Quincy, pick up my work orders, load up the truck and head off to my jobs for the day. Once I finish up, I pick up our little girl from day care or Grandma's house and head home. We basically have something going on every night of the week, so once the weekend comes, I am ready to put my feet up.
What was your first job, and what do you remember about it? My first job was a paper route I shared with my older brother when we were kids. I can remember having to wake up very early and not making a whole lot of money once we split up our check.
How do you balance everything? My wife and I have a pretty solid routine in our house and a great support system between our extended families.
Which person has influenced you the most and why? I would say that would have to be my wife, Amy. She works very hard and puts a smile on my face every day. She is a great mother, wife and friend. Another group of people who I could not leave out would be every child who has walked into our home as a foster child, whether it be for a night or more long-term. Those kids truly have impacted my life and taught me so much.
Have you ever failed at something? How did you recover? Certainly, we all make mistakes. I make them daily. I think that it is what you do with your mistakes that make you who you are. A huge part of recovery is deciding whether you dwell on your mistakes or if you move on -- that is what impacts how you grow as a person.
What does success mean to you? To me, success means achieving my goals, providing for my family, and being able to go to bed at night without any regrets.
What was your proudest professional moment? I cannot think of a specific moment. I work hard every day for a company that I am proud to be a part of. Being part of the third generation of Peters Heating and Air says a lot about our service and professionalism. I am glad to be a part of that, (and) I hope that future generations can say the same thing.
What is your favorite stress buster/leisure time diversion? I enjoy playing darts with my friends, and during the summer, I love going out on the river.
What is the biggest need in your community? I think that there needs to be more for the kids of all different ages to do. I think there is a huge problem right now going on with our children, spending so much time on technology and not enough time playing outside. We need to create programs that are affordable and accessible to every child.
What gives you reason for optimism in your community? There are a lot of wonderful people and organizations in this community. It seems like small businesses are popping up more and more in the downtown area of Quincy and our community is growing outward. This area is a great place to raise a family.
If you could go back in time and give advice to yourself when you were in high school, what would it be? Listen to your parents and cherish your true friends. Never give up.
If you weren't working with Peters Heating and Air Conditioning, what would you be doing? When I was a kid, I would stand at our front door and predict if it was going to rain -- I was a little meteorologist. I always have loved storms and weather, so probably something along those lines.
If you could add a few more hours to the day, how would you spend them? I would want to spend more quality time with my family. I can never have enough time with them. I love just lounging around at home, spending time playing outside, relaxing, and laughing with them.
Do you live by any mantra or saying? I would say that is important to truly live, not just exist, but to be a part of the world -- experience all that it has to offer and do good for others and myself.
Career aspirations aside, name one thing you definitely want to accomplish in your lifetime. I would like to see my family continue to grow and thrive. Also, I want to remain being the husband, father, son, brother and friend that people can count on.