Lakeside supports students who struggle to stay in our public school systems. We have 4 schools and a large in-school-district counseling program serving 51 school districts. We strive to help students continue their growth and development academically, clinically and emotionally. One of the hard realities is that school can be very difficult for many students and they just can’t manage typical classroom settings.
The plight of these students is very difficult. They often are left out of the progression of life growth and have little hope of success. Their parents are concerned, frustrated and sometimes angry. They feel rejected which often leads the to simply check out of life with little ambition to change. Inside they are deeply hurt and do not understand how they got into their situation. Yet if they do not comply to the typical demands to be successful in school, they are isolated from peers and the potential to not only graduate, but then to find a career.
At Lakeside, we realize that these students would likely end up in a lifestyle that could be very unhealthy. The possibilities for a destructive life situations are probable. They could end up working to cope with their stress through drugs, suicide or other behaviors that would be considered non-productive or even dangerous.
It is for this reason that a number of years ago we established the Lakeside Mobile Support Program. In this program, schools and parents identify these students who are either failing in school or unable to attend at all. We then offer them a blend of tutoring, counseling and mentoring, either in their home or a place in their community. We have special staff assigned to meet their needs, whether they need academic support or personal support. We work motivationally, academically and personally to help them continue their life progress and help them graduate or get their GED while processing with them any deficits that they have been experiencing.
If the students can’t come to their public school for help, we take school and other services to them so they can regain their ability to succeed. We have helped hundreds of students to discover their capacity and potential for growth, giving them a new sense of direction and support through the process. Many of them have discovered new opportunities that they never dreamed possible because of the support of their Lakeside tutor and counselor.
Helping students who are falling through the cracks takes caring individuals who are willing to build a relationship with them by listening, coaching and motivating them to persevere and eventually make new efforts to achieve their goals. That long-suffering process is what it takes to help these students overcome their obstacles and turn those obstacles into opportunities. It is such a valuable endeavor with so much promise for the future of students who otherwise would not have had this hopeful life trajectory.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO