This year we had some amazing high school graduates from our three alternative schools. Riverfront, Center Point, and New Roads School provide high school degrees and GEDs to youth needing a specialized school environment. Our students have overcome much to reach graduation. From mental illness, learning disabilities, poverty, trauma, and other barriers to reach their education goals, we are so proud of all our students have accomplished.
An article published in The Register-Guard on Saturday, June 22nd outlined details surrounding a former counselor employed at Looking Glass’s Kyanite residential treatment program who was terminated in January. An internal investigation led Looking Glass staff to alert the Eugene Police immediately and the investigation by EPD is ongoing. “Upon discovering the alleged actions of this former employee, we immediately contacted Eugene Police, “ said Craig Opperman, Looking Glass CEO and President. “We are unable to comment further about this matter as it is an ongoing investigation.”
When “Sally” first came to use Looking Glass services, she was unable to leave her room in order to attend therapy sessions. Instead, Looking Glass made home visits and offered support in the space where she was most comfortable. Over time, working with our Counseling program’s Intensive Outpatient Support Services (IOSS), “Sally” eventually moved therapy sessions to her living room and, ultimately, made it into the Looking Glass counseling building. This June, “Sally” will graduate from the Riverfront School ‘s GED program and has applied for college.
Looking Glass’ Cultural Awareness and Equity Committee (CAEC) provides a yearly scholarship to Looking Glass staff to further their training and education to improve cultural sensitivity in the care we provide our clients. Through a generous expansion of the scholarship fund, Alexis Yalon and Lindsay Fairchild were each granted $1,000 to go towards upcoming training opportunities.
On Saturday, June 1st a group of Looking Glass supporters joined with a few staff members for a great bike ride together. This fundraiser helped raise over $2,500 towards our $50,000 Haugland Match Challenge Campaign.
In a typical day Amber Harding, a Looking Glass In-School Therapist, takes on many roles in caring for students in Junction City. From preparing safety plans for individual students, meeting students for therapy in school, collaborating with school counselors on improving policies, to intervening in a behavioral crisis, Amber’s work adds a vital support for student success.
The annual Looking Glass All-Staff Lunch & Awards gathering took place on Wednesday, May 15th at LCC with CEO Craig Opperman sharing organization updates and discussed the constantly changing landscape of youth and family services in Lane County and Oregon. The annual meeting begins with a touching appreciation of the length of employment of various program staff members, with the longest tenured staff standing and receiving heartfelt applause. Several awards were handed out as well.
Only 9% of sex traffickers who target youth (individuals who exploit youth by forcing them to engage in sexual acts in exchange for money, housing or other compensation) are strangers to those being trafficked. Over 90% of the time, the youth are being exploited by someone they know, and over 60% of the time, it is a family member or romantic partner. This sad statistic comes from Looking Glass’s dedicated Survivor Advocate (SA) staff member in a recent discussion about the challenges youth in Lane County face in the realm of sex trafficking. We won’t be using her name or photo in this article since her anonymity is important for a variety of reasons.
Employees from Eugene’s Levi Strauss office spent several hours at two Looking Glass locations as part of their Community Day of volunteering around the Eugene/Springfield area. Levi’s staff members helped improve landscaping at Station 7 and re-painted the interior waiting room at our Counseling annex offices on West 11th.
The Richard P. Haugland Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation has offered Looking Glass an extremely generous matching donation offer - all donations made to Looking Glass from now through June 25, 2019 will be match 1-to-1 by the Haugland Fund - up to $50,000! Any new donors or returning donors (those who have not donated for 12 months or more) will generate a 2-to-1 match from this fund.