When a student arrives at Elim with a bright smile on his face, eager to discover what the day will bring, that student is well on his way to learning and growing.
That best describes 16-year-old Luke, who is in his third year in the high school program at Elim. Luke loves coming to school. His excitement about the week ahead at Elim begins at home on Sunday night. His mother says he can barely contain himself as he anticipates Monday morning.
“Luke has such a positive attitude at school. He comes in daily smiling from ear to ear,” says his teacher Miss Kayla. “He is so willing to participate and learn new things. He knows how to make you laugh and smile even when you are having a bad day. He has brought such a positive, irreplaceable energy to the classroom.” And Luke’s speech therapist at Elim, Brandi, adds that Luke’s family thrives on his many successes and they are extremely grateful for the opportunities Luke has at Elim to connect and engage with his staff and peers.
Brandi also describes Luke as social, good-natured, funny, inquisitive, kind, caring, and strong. These are just some of his strengths. He also thrives on social interaction, learning, and pleasing others, and he enjoys engaging in curricular, therapeutic, and social activities throughout each school day.
Even with his outgoing personality, Luke hadn’t always been so open. When he first joined Elim, it took him a while to open up to his staff and classmates. He had a hard time handling the transition and was not immediately able to adjust to his new classroom.
But in no time, thanks to the care and attention of Elim staff, he has made connections, friendships, and has even become a fantastic role model for other students.
Brandi admires how Luke rises above the tough times in life.
“Luke may show frustration and fear with change, but he works through these changes with strength and humility, wanting to accept and meet any given expectation,” she says. Last summer, when Luke made a second transition to a new room, she was happy to report he handled it much better thanks to the growth he has had at Elim.
Miss Kayla has seen the pay offs of the work Luke has done with Miss Brandi as they continue to work together to find the right communication tool for him. “His communication has blossomed,” she shares. “Luke has made many on-topic comments about what is going on in class or about a discussion we are having..” She can’t wait to see how Luke continues to improve his communication and becomes even better equipped to advocate for himself.
Thank you for equipping students like Luke to achieve their God-given potential through your support.