Director’s Report As 2018 comes to a close, I’m once again reminded how humbled I am to work at Indian Oaks Academy and be surrounded by such a hardworking team of staff who are committed to meeting the needs of the children we serve. During this season of thankfulness, I’m truly thankful and honored to work side-by-side with these people. Mary Ann Berg Executive Director This year has been a special one for IOA as we turned 25! Our doors opened in 1993, and the first youth arrived by school bus on December 15. We’ve spent the past year celebrating this milestone, and will close out this anniversary year with one final birthday celebration on December 15. Illinois has seen a steady reduction of beds in residential treatment facilities. Many have closed, and it’s getting harder and harder to address the mental health needs of the youth we serve. Providers know that our population of youth, who have often suffered unimaginable trauma, can be difficult to treat. That’s why many simply refuse to do so. But IOA’s doors are still open, and we continue to be a leader in changing the course of a child’s life. Whether they’ve been here since the doors opened, or are celebrating their one-year anniversary with IOA, our staff are truly concerned about the health and wellness of our youth. They educate, encourage, and stand by our youth in good times and bad. There’s a common theme when you ask why they do this work — they see firsthand the positive impact they have on another person. I am thankful for these dedicated people. Many dedicated people outside of IOA also support our kids in so many other ways: those who work side-by-side with our kids on community service projects, those who continuously support our Tool Bash, Spirit of Giving and other events, and those who make sure our youth enjoy a memorable Christmas. We are thankful, and look ahead to the next 25 years. NOV/DEC 2018 | 18 A Year of Celebrating our 25th Anniversary A timeline with 25 years of memories was created for our anniversary open house. Youth created anniversary artwork that now hangs across campus. In honor of our 25 years, Patrick Rookey, retired Nexus Vice President of Clinical Services, gave the keynote at this year’s treatment graduation. Manteno School Board member Patrick Mullaney was recognized for his work on behalf of IOA’s school these past 25 years. Staff completed community service projects in honor of the 25th Anniversary.
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