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Congratulations to Our May 2024 Graduates!


Jaclyn Rhodes, Chief Operating Officer

The Jacob’s Ladder Group       

Molly Wyatt, Public Relations Manager

Brown Bag Marketing

Jacob’s Ladder School Celebrates 2024 Graduates

The SAIS-Cognia Accredited School Celebrates Class of 2024 Achievements

ATLANTA (May 30, 2024)—Jacob’s Ladder School is thrilled to present the class of 2024: Michael Gunter, Lucas Hardman, Alex Heighton, Ted Hummel, Ansel May, and John Schlich. The six-member class was bestowed graduation honors on May 22 at a ceremony at the Roswell campus attended by family, providers, friends, and alumni.

This class includes graduates from The Hope School and Compass Programs. The Hope School offers personalized education for Pre-K to 12th-grade students facing emotional, behavioral, and learning challenges. The Compass Program supports clients with neurobiological challenges affecting communication, cognition, academics, self-regulation, and independence. Both programs are rooted in the Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care® (IWBMC™), The Jacob’s Ladder Group’s one-of-a-kind therapeutic approach built on the scientific principle of neuroplasticity.

“I am so proud of these six young men for reaching this huge milestone. I have seen first-hand how the IWBMC™ can change lives, and I can’t wait to see how Michael, Lucas, Alex, Ted, Ansel, and John step into their potential,” said The Jacob’s Ladder Group Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Amy O’Dell.


MICHAEL GUNTER (1.5 years at Jacob’s Ladder) will transition into JL’s Compass Program, exploring opportunities in vocational training, educational planning, personal living, and community enrichment and immersion. Fun fact: Michael enjoys learning and talking about everything related to history. He is also a wiz with accents!

LUCAS HARDMAN (13 years at Jacob’s Ladder) has accepted a job with his family’s business. There, he will keep up with inventory, fill shelves, change shelving tags, keep things neat and tidy, and greet customers with his wonderful smile. Fun fact: Lucas enjoys building machines and spaceships using Legos and clay and virtually through programs like Minecraft and Space Engineers!

ALEX HEIGHTON (1.5 years at Jacob’s Ladder) is excited to explore post-secondary options to further his education and hopes to attend college in the fall. Fun fact: Alex has the gift of wit! He also enjoys being creative and particularly loves traveling to Japan.

TED HUMMEL (2 years at Jacob’s Ladder) will further explore vocational opportunities within his local community and volunteer weekly on our Buckhead campus. Fun fact: Ted is a master at building with Legos. His favorite thing to build is an extremely tall skyscraper!

ANSEL MAY (10 years at Jacob’s Ladder) will further immerse himself in JL’s Compass program, where he will develop skills in all areas of independence. In addition, he has expressed interest in auditing some college courses online, with a particular focus on Biology. Fun fact: Ansel has an interest in Quantum Physics and Stars philosophy!

JOHN SCHLICH (15 years at Jacob’s Ladder) has been accepted into the Tommy Nobis Academy. Young adults in this program receive vocational training and education, which prepares them for successful employment. Fun fact: John can solve a Rubik’s Cube in less than five minutes!

In addition to The Hope School and Compass Program, Jacob’s Ladder School also includes the Ladder Program, which serves clients experiencing neurobiological challenges leading to difficulties with communication, self-regulation, social interactions, mobility, and, often, global functional delays. The three programs form the SAIS–Cognia–accredited Jacob’s Ladder School. The Jacob’s Ladder School is currently accepting applications for the 2024/2025 school year.

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ABOUT THE JACOB’S LADDER GROUP: Founded in 1998, The Jacob’s Ladder Group is a leader in therapeutic, educational care for the neurodiverse population, consisting of five entities based on the union of science and love. Central to each entity is the Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care® (IWBMC™), a methodology that provides a whole-brain, whole-person approach with individualized treatment plans rooted in neuroplasticity. Jacob’s Ladder School serves children and adults at its two Atlanta-area campuses, offering SAIS-Cognia-accredited programs with full- and part-time enrollment options. Pillar Research Institute contributes to cutting-edge educational and developmental neuroscience, accessing a vast collection of data compiled over the last three decades. AHAVA is a software platform ensuring integrated access to assessment, program design, and data tracking components, while Ascend Training Institute allows families, communities, and professionals to learn the IWBMC™ methodology and deliver quality care globally. The Jacob’s Ladder Network offers resources for replicating our Model of Care at home, in existing programs, or as new community schools or part-time centers. The Jacob’s Ladder Group is changing the conversation from the impossible to the possible, offering a better model with better outcomes. We are The Jacob’s Ladder Group: Grounded in Science, Guided by Love.

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