Providing a Safe Space for Students During Their Hardest Times – Volunteer Spotlight: Kathy Luessow

Providing a Safe Space for Students During Their Hardest Times – Volunteer Spotlight: Kathy Luessow

As a lifelong educator, Kathy Luessow understands more than most the effect a positive, supportive environment like Hope Academy can have on a student’s life.

Kathy, who currently is the Director of Student Services at Perry Township Schools and member of Hope Academy’s Volunteer Marketing Committee, first got involved while teaching at Lawrence Township after a few of her students attended Hope Academy. 

She was even invited to be a part of one of her student’s support teams. “It was awesome,” she remembered. “It reminded me how remarkable of an impact the right school and right environment can have on a kid’s life.”

While Kathy’s knowledge of public education has served Hope Academy greatly over the years, she also brings a meaningful perspective as a longtime member of the recovery community herself. 

More than 33 years sober, Kathy realizes the support needed to succeed in a recovery journey. And she knows we need to do more in the Indianapolis area – especially when it comes to young adults.  

“We need more safe spaces for kids who are experiencing some of the hardest things life can dish out. Substance use, abuse and addiction are serious, life-altering and potentially fatal disorders,” she asserted. “It isn’t a choice. Or a character flaw. Or because of a bad day.  And kids need all kinds of support to be able to turn their lives around.”

Kathy views Hope Academy as that much needed safe space. And she works hard on the marketing committee to ensure other local schools, administrators and counselors understand how Hope Academy might be the light at the end of a dark tunnel for some of their students. 

“Seeing kids who are in such pain and isolation start to be who they were meant to be is such a gift. Hope Academy does that,” she gleamed. “Hope offers kids the opportunity to stay in school, relate to their peers and adults, learn about and find the good in themselves.” 

In true teacher form, Kathy’s wishes for Hope Academy are the same as her wishes for all her students: to grow and flourish and be around for a long, long time to come. 

“If I can help with that, I will have done good work,” she said.