Michigan Association of Foster Grandparent & Senior Companion Programs

Stories of Service

Creating a Positive Influence

Lana Jessel

Foster Grandparents - Missaukee County

The great use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it. ~William James

Lana Jessel is doing that right now 4 days a week with children 3 and 4 years old. She is giving of her time and spending it with these children. She is giving them an ear to listen, a hand to hold, a hug to have, and a love that will grow. The hours and moments that she gives these children will last forever in their memories. They will fondly remember how Grandma Lana wiped their tears when they fell down, how she created masterpieces of art with them, and  how she would read to them building their imagination in the process.

Lana is a Foster Grandparent. She is a volunteer that is a senior who is 55 years or better. She gives 15 hours a week to mentoring children in a Head Start during the school year. Lana serves at Lake City Head Start located in Lake City, Missaukee County in Michigan. Lana has also spent her summer time mentoring the children who have attended Lake City Elementary Summer Camp in the past as well as the children at Joyful Hears Day Care in Cadillac during summer.

Lana is a sweet, kind hearted individual that has been a part of the Nation Wide Foster Grandparent Program since October of 2003. She has been given her time to children for almost 12 years! Over that time she has shared 9,755 hours of herself reaching out and helping children!

Lana’s supervisor at Lake City Head Start has always shared about the impact that Lana is making. “She gives the children self confidence in their abilities.” “She always goes above and beyond.” Her site has been a loyal fan of Lana for the many years she has been serving there. They even nominated Lana for a “Community Action Award” that she ended up winning. The teachers took Lana to Lansing where she got to receive her award and be recognized for her importance in mentoring children.

Lana is helping to share her positive influence in the lives of the children who attend at her site. She leaves a lasting impression and builds self confidence in children who will go on and become stronger, smarter and more compassionate when they use those skills and emotions they learned from Grandma Lana.