Brenda Laurent – Executive Director

Brenda LaurentMy Story…

My husband and I were blessed with two daughters, both of them unique and precious. One of our daughters soared through the school experience. She met each academic challenge and conquered all subject matters. Yes, sometimes she had to work a bit more on a subject than she did on others, but “success in school” was the language she spoke and lived. Our other daughter was as different as night and day in her school performance. Things were out of “sync” for her. It didn’t matter how hard she tried… or what school she attended…or whether we home schooled…school learning and expectations left her tired and discouraged. And what puzzled us was that she was just as intelligent as her sister. We struggled to help her in school and provide support in her school work. But nothing seemed to be reaching the root of the problem. And so I embarked on the search to find a way to help her be successful.

This journey meant exploring resources and attending workshops. It meant spending thousands of dollars in being trained on various programs and approaches. It meant finding some things that helped and many more that didn’t. Eventually I found myself focusing on programs that reflected the most current brain research and that all held a common thread–the emphasis on what was happening in the brain as learning took place and the ways blocks or glitches could be smoothed away so learning could be more efficient. My daughter graduated from high school and went on to college. My mission for her was at an end, but I was ready to use these programs to help other children and families who were experiencing what we had gone through.

By this time I was running an after school tutoring program at a Lutheran school where I was teaching math and remedial math. Working with the school, I began a pilot program to begin to implement these programs with a few students, to see if we could turn things around for them. My learning program seemed to develop a life of its own, expanding to offer training and help throughout the school day. We began to expand to students outside our school setting and then implemented a summer program. We recently expanded to a second location.

I find my work with parents and students has not slowed down. There is always more research being done: there are always more programs to check out and evaluate. But the most important thing to me is the next frustrated learner that I can evaluate–and then offer hope to both the learner and the parents. There is hope for each one. There is something that can be done to smooth out the learning obstacles and unlock the potential for learning. There is something that will help, and I want to share that something. I want to share that hope that I found on my own journey.

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