In Their Own Words
At Lead4Life, we believe our stories are what bring us together and make us who we are. Many of our team members know firsthand what it’s like to seek support in order to overcome hardships and move forward in life. We meet participants where they are in life because we have been in many of their shoes.
Get a glimpse of the Lead4Life experience straight from our participants, parents, and staff.
Please let me take this moment to reiterate how much I appreciate having you as a client…you and your staff are always professional and easy to work with. I hope to have more clients like you as my company grows.
L4L helps me by preparing me for school and helping me get my son situated with daycare because I am a first-time mom and I also struggle with anxiety. My mentor Ms. Cookie motivates me to be able to do things on my own such as speak up and use the right words. L4L does a lot of nice things for me like; took me to the soul circus, Ocean City for a vacation, and out to dinner a couple of times. Mentors have picked me up and brought me to some of the other youth locations and events, so I could hang out and just be around people my age sometimes. When I need help in getting diapers, they get them for me or if I need to wash clothes or just need to talk, they’re always there. I just appreciate L4L truly.
L4L has taught me how to socialize with others to deal with my attitude better to respect others. I have learned and understand everything will not go my way in life now.
This past year, I have worked with Lead4Life regarding a few of my clients. This has proven to be beneficial for both me and my clients, as the PRP services have facilitated client stability, access to community resources, and social support. They also reinforced the execution of effective coping skills and structure for clients in their day-to-day life. So much of therapy is what the clients take with them when they leave session and the PRP services through Lead4Life help our clients implement what they learn to improve their quality of life and overall mental health. Additionally, my experience interacting with the PRP workers has been positive, for they do a wonderful job collaborating with me regarding client care, needs, progress, and goals for the future. I am glad that Chesapeake Health Care has Lead4Life as a resource for adult PRP services. The work we do is more effective and long lasting as a result for the community we serve.
Lead4Life has helped me to see that our shared pain is also our shared strength. It’s always nice to know that you have someone in your corner.
My experience with Lead4Life has been nothing short of a great experience. I found myself completely at a loss and deeply troubled with my daughter’s behavior, as she was on a path of destruction. I was starting to become hopeless, as I was on the brink of having to send her away. I am truly thankful to the Lead4Life program for everything they have done. It is greatly appreciated and has made a tremendous difference in our lives. I can really see it in my daughter.
I have had a mentor through the L4L program for roughly nine months. She has been an amazing support to me, not only in resources but also in emotional support. Even through the COVID-19 pandemic, she never lost touch with me and continued to support me and my daughter in any way possible.
I’m not a regular member, but just by sitting here, I can tell that this group is different from all the other groups I’ve been in. In those groups, they help because they’re getting paid. They don’t really care. But, this group – you can feel the love.
I have been in the PMI program for two years now, and I have a wonderful mentor. She’s been there for me day and night and has made sure that I have every resource that I need to be successful. She provided me with excellent guidance throughout the reunification process—helping me to see my five children again. I appreciate everything Lead4Life has done for my family.
Lead4Life has helped not only my child, but my family. They worked with us to make sure our family received the needed community-based programs. They went above and beyond to get us food, clothing, and even household items. My family is extremely grateful.
I’ve mentored and interacted with hundreds of youth and adults, many who still contact me to thank Lead4Life for helping them get out of their dark place, for caring and showing empathy not sympathy. Founder and executive director, Jennifer Gauthier exudes all that Lead4Life stands for and delivers on a daily basis. She is a tireless worker and an advocate for those with no voice.
Working at an outpatient clinic, it can be challenging to find reliable support services for our patients. We were so excited to find Lead 4 Life! Our collaborations with their team have been smooth and productive. Any questions or issues that came up were handled promptly. We are very pleased with the services.
I followed Nelljean to Lead4Life, Inc. and I haven’t regretted it since! The services are great, I love the option for evening hours and they’re not just limited to 1:1 therapy. Lead4Life, Inc. continues to change my life for the better with every session!
Joshua is an amazing person, with great life experience and who knows how to relate to people. This organization is very lucky to have him and if you follow the advice that is given to you, it’s more likely than not that you will succeed in whatever ways you decide in your life.
I have had the pleasure of being a contract-based clinical therapist for 18 years. While I have seen great talent come and go, wishing them well, there never seems to be a shortage of caring, well trained, clinicians who seek to make a difference in the lives of those struggling. In particular, it is vital for a client in therapy who chooses additional services, such as PRP. As a therapist I have experienced the collaborative effect for a client and staff persons. It is my hope to remain in this organization for as long as possible. With a strong and robust census of 10 clients or more. I wholeheartedly support Jennifer’s ‘dream’ and her mission. I have also been given the opportunity to render clinical supervisor for those pursuing full licensure. In the not too distant future, I hope L4L will blossom into a full OMHO. In particular, with excellent staff to meet the needs of the youth community to treat children and teens, Sadly, too many wonderful organizations decided to drop Medicaid. Jennifer has created an oasis in the desert. Keep on Keepin on Jen, and those of you who support you!! Always here to help you. It is my privilege!!!
Leads 4 life is a wonderful program led by individuals who care for and support our youth and young adults our future. I have had the opportunity to work with as well as observe the staff who genuinely care for and work extremely hard making a difference and their lives. As a mother of three young children it makes me extremely grateful just knowing that leads for Life exist because as children grow and they go through life they sonetimes make decisions they’re not always best for them. With leads 4 life they’re given a chance as young adults going through rough times to get put back on the right track and led in the right direction by a team of supportive compassionate people who love their jobs and genuinely want to make a difference and help these youth to grow and become positive self-sufficient independent respectful young men and women. And it’s also wonderful to see how some of their clients have graduated the program and return back to either volunteer or come aboard as staff now that is truly making a difference in the community.
I can honestly say that lead4life has changed my life. I started as a volunteer my senior year of high school and a few years later became a staff. Ms. Jen took me under her wings and never let me go. Lead4life thought me what family is, what it means to have a unconditional support system, what it means to be unconditional love despite my flaws. I would not be at the level I am at now without lead4life.
Lead4Life is a great program targeted to helping youth through many important and difficult stages of life. I had been very lucky to have ran into them in my pre-adult times. I have received so much help from them in so many different ways. Lead4Life is very welcoming to all no matter who you are. When I first came I had my doubts but that quickly disappeared upon meeting one of their team members, Mr. Joshua. Now Mr. Josh is an interesting individual, but one that you will not forget. He knows his way with words and makes new connections through humor, even if sometimes he is the only one who finds it funny, he still makes a great impression with anyone he meets and a lasting friendship. From my first introduction to Lead4Life, to where I am now, I know that I’m where I am today thanks to the help of the wonderful people at Lead4Life. No matter your problem, that being work, education, etc, the team at Lead4Life is there for you and will do what ever they can to get you on the right path. I don’t know how I could even thank them for all of the amazing work that they have done and help me out with. Lead4Life is not a company, it’s a family, and you really start to feel that the more that you are around. Overall, I am where I am today thanks to them, and so are so many others. I would and have recommend Lead4Life to many of my own friends and they were able to get all of the help that they needed. I just have such a strong personal connection to some of the family at Lead4Life and I’m so glad I could have found a group of amazing, hard-working people to help me and so many others with issues that can sometimes be very challenging on your own.
I have volunteered with Lead4Life, Inc. for over 10 years. I help to serve when the organization hosts dinners on Thanksgiving and Christmas for the young people who are incarcerated . Originally, I provided baked goods. However, since retiring I am available to attend to help serve. Now many family members also attend these events and this is so heartwarming to see the interactions. The organization and it’s leader are well loved and respected throughout the communities they serve. They provide clothing, personal items during the holidays or whenever it might be needed. Many of the young people who interact are very appreciative of the support they receive. I am very proud of the leadership and the entire organization. I highly recommend them to anyone seeking a mentor, assistance, positive feedback, or just need a friend.
Since joining l4l in 2018, my life changed instantly and for the better. I was dealing with bad mental health issues due to a t.b.i I had in 2014, which left me paralyzed on the entire right side of my body hence leaving my brain operating on a infant level ONLY on the right side. I can’t remember the exact date I joined l4l but they immediately worked on getting the proper help for my issues. Substance abuse, socialization, work ethics, anger management, therapy, at a point an time I was also getting slight physical therapy from simple activities preformed during sessions with former PRP mentor. My recent reengagement in PRP I am with a new mentor and they are introducing me to more resources and good behavioral tactics to apply in my day to day life that work tremendously. The results I see in myself are phenomenal. I love myself now. I have coping skills and thanks to therapy I can now open up without shame or guilt getting past my issues that held me back! Thank you l4l :)
My son had his first and only bout with the criminal justice system some time ago. Once released, he was mandated to report to Lead for Life ERC. This was God sent. Lead for Life assisted in my son’s overall growth, maturity and development as a person. There he met peers, and great staff who actually cared and weren’t just working for a pay check. I must comment one of the staff “Mr. Josh”. He took my son under his wing and refused to let go. My son is an introvert and doesn’t like communicating with others. But he will speak to and contact Mr. Josh at anytime. This man is a genuine roll model, who takes great pride in his position and will work hard to ensure great outcomes for our youth. I’ve never seen such passion and compassion from a worker, that remains steadfast in the mission of the agency. My son is now 19 years old, working, owns a car, has great credit and is truly focused. As a loving parent, I would love to take all the credit for this, but I can’t. I have to thank Lead for Life, for all that you’ve done thus far and the impact that you’ve had on my sons life. All I can say is “Many Thanks” continue to do what you’re doing, you ARE making a difference.
I worked here as a mental health therapist. They have a great structure to really provide full support to clients’ needs. This program and service is important and invaluable to those with mental health illness.
The lead4life staff were amazing to me! They went above and beyond and made me feel like family! I know I can count on Lead4life!!
Parent Mentoring Initiative (PMI) Testimonials
The Parental Defense Division (PDD) is a unit of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender charged with the representation of parents in their civil child welfare cases, also known as Child In Need of Assistance (CINA) cases. The Southern Maryland Office of the PDD is the regional office of the division that provides this representation to parents within Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties. One of the primary goals of the PDD is to reunify the children involved in these cases with the parents who the unit represents. Since its inception two years ago, the Lead4Life Parent Mentoring Initiative (PMI) has been an integral part of the reunification team for parents represented by the PDD in Prince George’s County, and now is assisting these clients in the other four counties, as well. During this time, PMI has also assisted parents in Maryland’s western counties, too.
Through referrals to PMI, the PDD has been able to have a valuable partner in the growth of the parents who we represent. PMI assigns a mentor to each of the parents that are accepted for referral into the program. After referral and meeting with the client, the mentor can provide a diverse array of supports to this parent. Mentors have provided help as simple as assisting a parent with learning how to access public transportation, or applying for daycare services for the child to prepare for that child’s eventual return. The mentor can provide services as crucial as providing hands on parent training during visitation between the child and the parent. The mentor can also serve as a valuable liaison between the parent and the courts by providing both direct participation in the CINA hearing, and reports on that parent’s progress provided to the court for the hearing. All of these services provide incalculable assistance to the parent in their effort to reunify with their child.
The PDD supports this model of parent mentoring as it is crucial for each parent to feel as if they have someone to turn to who can better understand their daily toils through the labyrinth of the CINA system as the parent works to have their children returned to their care. It is common for these parents to have a distrust of the other actors in their children’s cases as being part of the “machine” that helped to remove their children from the home. Sometimes this can even include the parent’s own attorney, as the parent feels that the lawyer is just another part of that system that took their child from them. Accordingly, these parents need someone with whom they can work, who they feel that they can trust, and that can work collaboratively with the attorney to provide the best opportunities for reunification with the child. The mentor serves a role in providing this “in the trenches” support that no other professional involved in the case can provide to that parent.