Latham Centers is Life-Changing: A Parent’s Commencement Speech

Jonah Steinhart, teacher at Tamalpais High School, gave an incredibly inspirational graduation speech on June 8th, 2017. In just a few short weeks, over 432 people have viewed it on Youtube. Mr. Steinhart is also a parent of a new student to Latham Centers. In his 12-minute speech he mentions Latham Centers, and how the birth of his daughter with Prader-Willi Syndrome was the most important event of his life.

About half-way through, six minutes in, Mr. Steinhart says, “The third event, and the most important, was [that] my daughter Annika was born with Prader-Willi Syndrome, a bizarre and absolutely ruthless genetic syndrome. Imagine how hungry you are right now…or imagine how hungry you were last night right before dinner, or how hungry you may be later tonight. That is what my daughter Annika feels every second of every day. In December, having fought insurance companies, our district, and having exhausted all other options, we enrolled Annika in an amazing residential school for PWS students in Brewster, Massachusetts. Now she is safe and thriving, as are her siblings.”

This struggle is difficult to fathom for anyone who has not gone through the process of placing his or her child in a residential living environment. We, at Latham Centers, have heard time and time again, “it was the hardest decision, and best decision, I have ever made.”

We are grateful, and honored, to serve as a life-changing home for people like Annika and Mr. Steinhart.



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