Lakeside Educational Network: A Year-in-Review Celebration

Typically, Lakeside holds a meeting each September to review the results of our last school year. It is when both our Board of Directors and staff take time to celebrate our positive impact on the lives of all those we served in the past year. 

We celebrate our students’ lives: from hopelessness to success

Yesterday, each Program Director presented the number of students and clients we served within our programs. Our Board members heard these reports and asked questions to learn the details about everyday activities that our staff members encounter.

There is not only a summary report of who we have served but also amazing stories of how lives have been changed from a state of hopelessness to compelling successes.

I think this meeting is one of the most positive things we do each year. 

It allows us to stop and reflect on outcomes: the reality of Lakeside’s presence in the lives of so many.

Whether the report involved our In-School Counselors Program, Mobile Support Program, Lakeside Girls Academy, Lakeside School,  Souderton Vantage Academy, or Upper Merion Vantage Academy, we listened to how LEN made such an impact in the hearts and lives of almost 3,000 students in the past school year.  There were stories of homelessness, mental health crises, family crises, academic struggles, drug addiction and, yes, even the death of one of our students in a fire at his home.

In it all, our students have experienced the patience, care and encouragement of a superbly dedicated staff. 

The successes for so many students (who most believed would never change or graduate) were astounding. Their stories and other aspects show us that when compassionate and talented staff members really care for our students and when students begin to trust our staff and are willing to put forth effort, many great things can and do happen.  Truly Lakeside is having a huge impact in our region.

Effects of Lakeside’s training on trauma and more

Additionally, we reviewed the impact of our training programs at this point, have been received by almost 2,000 participants. Those who have taken our training serve students and families in schools, clinics, human service organizations, early childhood centers and in other systems.

Both in the world of social and emotional skills training, and in the ever-growing field of trauma informed and responsive care, Lakeside has literally changed our region by helping thousands of professionals learn how to deal with so many who have been trauma-impacted.  This training is a way to broaden our programs so other organizations can also provide the kind of care that we believe our children and teenagers need and deserve.

It has been a very moving day for us. 

From tragedy to triumph, Lakeside’s staff have provided environments of safety, empowerment, and growth for all those we touch each and every day. Taking time to stop and appreciate these moments is more than encouraging. As we reflect on these outcomes and stories, we are also grateful for all that happens at Lakeside in a year’s time.

I think it is a great idea for any organization to bring both board members and staff members together to have an open discussion and celebration of mutual impact in its programs and community.  At Lakeside, such a celebration centers us and motivates us to rise up in support of what we will be seeking to achieve in the year to come.

We are so very pleased and privileged to serve so many with healing, hope and new opportunities to overcome some sizable obstacles. In the midst of such tragedy around us, there is indeed hope in places like Lakeside!

Gerald Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network

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