A Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends of ELA,

What a year we have all been through!

We could focus on the pandemic, the social unrest, and the economic uncertainty that we all have faced. Or…we could, in true ELA-style, tap into our positive mindsets and view this year through a different lens. We are opting for the brave, optimistic outlook.

When the pandemic reached Northeast Ohio and schools were closed in March, our small but mighty team quickly pivoted to create a virtual program based on our standard curriculum. Within 10 days of the school closure order, we had a two-week program ready for students, accessible from anywhere. Then, we adapted and launched our virtual summer Camp LEAD and Transitions programs. Next, we developed a Wellness Series to support educators during the crisis, and it quickly expanded to serve non-profits and businesses as well. We have continued to show up for our community regardless of the circumstances, and we appreciate each and every supporter. 

Yes, this year has looked so very different than years’ past, and life has had more bumps than usual for everyone. It’s true that students and educators are facing unprecedented learning challenges, and the constant uncertainty has made scheduling programs more difficult.

It would be easy to be overwhelmed, but ELA is not giving up.

We are embracing change in adversity because we know that adversity creates an environment for resiliency to flourish.

This gives us high hopes for the future – for ourselves, our students, and our community. And most of all, this helps us understand how essential our work is, as we continue providing social-emotional and leadership support to youth and adults at home in Ohio and across the nation.

We are committed to being here for the long-haul, and we thank you for being a part of our journey.

Flo Brett


“It helps you learn about yourself and it helps you learn how to help yourself in different situations.”

— Zoie D., 2020 CAMP LEAD Online Winner

Timeline: ELA in 2020

After statewide school closures in March 2020, ELA pivoted its programming to online in just two weeks. ELA has since expanded its programming to include sessions for adults, including educators and business professionals.

2020 Impact Map

Locations of ELA alumni across the world. After ELA pivoted all programming to online due to COVID-19, the non-profit expanded its reach further outside of Ohio and into 17 new states, including:

New Hampshire
New York
North Carolina
South Carolina
Washington D.C.
And, ELA reached 5 NEW COUNTRIES:
Costa Rica, Egypt, Eswatini, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

CLICK HERE: View the 3D Google Earth version of this map

“What impacted me the most was the ability to take things from class and apply it to my work practice or share with family/friends.”

— ESC of Lorain,
Wellness Series Alum

“I have begun to journal and to give myself time to reflect more. I also have been giving thanks more each morning.”

— ESC of Lorain,
Wellness Series Alum


Videos of ELA programming, events & testimonials.




Click on the playlist button playlist button to see a list of videos to watch in this category.

Visit ELA’s YouTube Channel to see more footage.

Click on the playlist button playlist button to see a list of videos to watch in this category.

Visit ELA’s YouTube Channel to see more footage.

Click on the playlist button playlist button to see a list of videos to watch in this category.

Visit ELA’s YouTube Channel to see more footage.


“ELA helps teens discover more about themselves and how to be effective in their community.”

— Charlotte W., 2020 ELA Online Alum


ELA is immensely appreciative of the support we receiving from our philanthropic, corporate, and individual donors. Thank you for supporting us and believing in our mission to help people develop their most valuable asset — themselves.

2020 Board & Staff Members

Ways We Stayed Connected in 2020

In moments of stress and chaos, we tend to forget to be mindful and present in the moment. Without these reflection periods, our stress can take over our lives and we will burnout. By being mindful you will reduce your stress, become more grateful for your life and the relationships you have, and have the ability to adapt and embrace the changes that life presents to you.

These are just a few ways we stayed virtually connected as a team, taking the time for our own self-care with a splash of laughter and fun.

We hope you can enjoy these online activities with your family as well.

Join your crewmates in a multiplayer game of teamwork and betrayal! Play online or over local wifi with 4-10 players as you attempt to hold your spaceship together and return back to civilization. But beware…as there may be an alien impostor aboard! innersloth.com

The gut-busting battle of wits and wittiness! Just use your phone or tablet to answer simple prompts. There are no rules or correct answers. Your answer will be pitted against another player’s answer in a head-to-head battle. jackboxgames.com/quiplash

The object of the game is to “sell” wacky products to crazy customers. Look at your hand of 6-word cards, combine 2 words to create a product that will appeal to the customer, then make a 30-second sales pitch. The customer will choose their favorite pitch each round. snakeoilgame.com


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