As we near the end of 2021, we’re able to review yet another impactful year.

At Erika’s Lighthouse, we’ve always determined our success based on our team’s ability to help young people address their mental health issues. Everyone deserves good mental health. Through our efforts to communicate that message to young people in 2021, Erika’s Lighthouse reached 558 schools in 43 states and 6 counties with over 218,000 students during the 2020-21 school year.. So far this school year, over 250,000 students have already been impacted in only 6 months. This bolsters our running count of students positively impacted by Erika’s Lighthouse which is over one million since 2004.

Our Executive Director, Brandon Combs, goes into more detail on our impressive year below.

Our Philosophy In Action

 The impact we have on the students, schools and educators that we support is achieved by our four pillars—classroom education, school policy & staff development, family engagement, teen empowerment—can be implemented together to promote an inclusive shift in a school’s culture to improve mental health, especially in a tumultuous hybrid school environment.

“Our four pillars offer an opportunity for schools to implement comprehensive, complementary activities that impact every major stakeholder in a school community,” said Brandon Combs, Executive Director. “By engaging educators, students and families, we know that schools can welcome open and honest dialogue about mental health and encourage help-seeking when people are experiencing issues.”

A Growing Team

“Erika’s Lighthouse has continued to see exciting growth,” said Combs. “Due to our increases in program numbers and our efforts to meet our Vision 2025 strategic plan, Erika’s Lighthouse added four new staff members in 2021.”

Those joining the Erika’s Lighthouse team include: Rachel Magnabosco, who oversees fundraising events, Katie Conklin, who assists the education team as the director of school culture, Anna Robbins, the new operations assistant starting in January and Jamie DeCaria, marketing coordinator.

“The entire Erika’s Lighthouse team, including our volunteers, staff, donors and partners have worked hard to reach new heights in program quality and reach,” added Combs.

Reflecting On Our Goals

“Erika’s Lighthouse is focused on our Vision 2025 goals to grow the organization to support more young people and their school communities. Next year we’ll be focusing on a new video for our middle school program, building a national volunteer network to promote programming, and supporting our school communities through deeper engagement,” said Combs.

While there is always work to be done, this year has proven to be a rewarding time for our team to refocus on our continued effort to effectively support schools. Erika’s Lighthouse is determined to ensure no child feels alone in their depression and we’ll aim to continue reaching more students 2022.

To view our full 2021 yearbook, click here: