My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Laura Baker School Association, Northfield, MN, USA
I have served Laura Baker Services as a Board Member for over a decade because I strongly believe in its mission to honor the life choices of individuals with developmental disabilities and to advocate for the resources that will help each person reach his or her potential. I love telling the story of Laura Baker to those who may be new to the organization. The executive director is tireless in her dedication to the individual and collective needs of the clients served, and she has, through decades, helped shape an organization that is highly respected by families, social service agencies and staff. I have experienced Laura Baker to be a warm, creative and nurturing environment to clients and to new and long-term staff. Unfortunately, the legislature and governmental agencies do not allocate sufficient funding to agencies serving persons with disabilities at a level that permits LBSA to compensate highly skilled, compassionate, and creative staff at a competitive level, given cost-of-living expenses in this community. Inevitably, many highly skilled and compassionate professionals move on to other positions that can compensate them at a more sustainable level. Those individuals I know personally who have moved on continue to value Laura Baker’s learning environment, the "can-do" attitude that emanates from the top, and the trust and camaraderie of the team. One thing I have observed is the delight a staff member may show in the quirky sense of humor of a particular client, the tender sensitivity another client exhibits, and the shared pride both client and staff experience when a difficult challenge is met with courage and accomplishment. Our entire Northfield community is enriched by the presence of Laura Baker Services Association in our midst, both on the Oak Street campus and in the various group homes and family homes around town. - Julie T.