20 Jul TLC Spotlight: Beth LaVallee
With the school year starting up again soon, and most of us heading back to campus, this year is sure to be one of the most exciting and challenging years yet. Our students are eager to get back to the classroom, and we are eager to get back to providing them with amazing lessons that they need now more than ever! And this wouldn’t be possible without our inspiring facilitators like Beth LaVallee.
Beth is a facilitator and the Training Manager at TLC. She not only gets to dive in and help transform the lives of students in the classroom, but she also helps ensure teachers are trained on the important principles of SEL. We sat down with Beth to learn more about her background, her role, and why her work is so important!
What brought you to TLC?
I have an extensive health and fitness background — I worked in that industry for around 38 years. After losing the job that brought me out to California originally, I took an opportunity to teach a class in Dana Point. One of the students in that class was none other than Tilly Levine! I began personal training with her, and I got to know her and her husband well. We really connected on a personal level, and shared an interest in Social Emotional Learning and the teachings of Louise Hay, an author and influential figure in the SEL space. As soon as Tilly told me about Tilly’s Life Center, I was instantly intrigued. I was so inspired by what they did, so it wasn’t hard to accept the job as soon as Tilly offered. I’ve now been full time since 2016, and I absolutely love it.
How do you feel about the work TLC does?
TLC’s work is so important. Speaking from my own personal journey, I wish that this program was available to me when I was a teen. The earth is craving this type of reconnection to ourselves and to others, now more than ever. The lessons we teach our teens each day help to create more confident, peaceful, and happier humans, which only trickles out to make everything better. The tools these teens are gaining may not be relevant to them at their age now, but whether it is in a week, a year, or 5 years from now, they’ll remember and utilize these skills.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My job has a few different aspects, so there are so many great parts about it! When it comes to teaching the teens, the best part is definitely the “aha” moments. You can see that lightbulb go off in their head, and see the moment they truly understand what you are getting across. Seeing them make that connection really solidifies the concept we are learning, and lets me know just how impactful the program really is. It goes back to my fitness days, when you could really see someone’s life transform because of what they’ve learned from you. The same applies with TLC — you can see how a teen’s life is changed when that one concept or idea really clicks. When it comes to training new facilitators, I love meeting new people and spreading the TLC message even further!
Where do you see SEL programs going in the future?
I think SEL is so important for everyone, at any age. I hope to see more integration of SEL concepts into the traditional classroom, and more SEL programs for not just high schoolers but also beyond. These skills are so important for long-term success. There is so much chaos in the world right now, but each day I talk to both students and adults who are still hopeful during this time. That’s what we need more of right now, and that’s what SEL helps to create.
What are you most excited about for this upcoming school year?
I am beyond excited just to be back in the classroom! The energy that fills the room in person isn’t something you can replicate online. Being with the kids at school also allows me to fully complete lessons, as some aspects had to be cut when they were transferred online. I am just excited to focus on being present with the students, making them feel good about who they are, and sharing stories and experiences together in one room!
How does nutrition play a role in teen physical and mental health?
Food can really make all the difference. I coached competitive cheerleading for 5 years, and I would always bring in healthy and nutritious food for them. It made such an impact, and improved their minds and their bodies, that everyone started to notice and wonder what I was doing differently. Food really is medicine. When you see it as medicine, you look at it in an entirely new light. Healing our bodies, and especially our guts, with the proper food, will help our brains function better, help us be more awake, more attentive in school, and the list goes on. This makes a difference in every aspect of a teen’s life. My son has aspergers, and switching to an all-organic diet has created such a transformation in his life.
How can people contribute to the work TLC is doing?
Donations are always appreciated. But one thing I would love to see more of is corporate sponsorships. If there are businesses out there who would want to support what we do, a company could come in and support one of our schools for a whole year. This is such a great way for local businesses to get involved, helps us tie into our communities even deeper, and helps us make those connections at events that allow us to spread the word even more.
Facilitators like Beth are what gives us the opportunity to make an impact on teens today. With all of our staff coming from such unique backgrounds, we are able to provide fresh perspectives for our students and really form those deep connections! To learn more about TLC, donate, or get the program into your local school, visit: https://tillyslifecenter.org/