Page 1

Visions Newsletter S P R I N G 2018


“I am excited to return to my roots of serving children and families. I’m drawn to Eliada because of the values they hold and live.”

Everyone at Eliada has been excited to welcome Cindy DavisBryant to the organization. Cindy comes to us with a wealth of experience working in child welfare and advocating for the children of North Carolina. For the past 10 years, Cindy served with Family Preservation Services of North Carolina, now Pathways by Molina. Cindy managed all operations, including a $20 million annual budget, multiple service lines, and also served on a number of state teams to impact legislation, including the Medicaid Reform team. With so many new and exciting projects at Eliada, we are thrilled to have a CEO who leads with her passion for serving others!

Eliada Home is Where the Heart is THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING THE LUNCH OF A LIFETIME This year’s Lunch of a Lifetime was a blast. It wouldn’t have been possible without our title sponsor HomeTrust Bank, who exemplifies our mission of Helping Children Succeed. If you weren’t able to attend, then you have to know the story behind this photo. Vanessa, is an Eliada foster parent who got a call about a baby needing a home on Halloween.  In her Princess Leia costume, accompanied by Mamie Adams, Eliada’s Foster Care Recruiter and Trainer, and Mermaid for the day, she showed up at Mission hospital to begin to care for baby Abbigale. If you can believe it, when they got off the elevator at the hospital, they were greeted by a group of people dressed up as Storm Troopers! Vanessa keeps in touch with Abbigale’s biological mom, saving photos for her, ensuring she feels like she has a cheerleader in Vanessa. Through her actions, she shows us what real compassion and love looks like. We are so happy to have been able to share her story at the event!  

Eliada Farms ELIADA’S FIRST SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE It’s official, Eliada is in the farming business! Thanks to generous grants and donations from the Glass Foundation, Community Foundation of Wester North Carolina Food and Farming Program as well as the People in Need Program, CarePartners Foundation, Blossman Gas, MB Hayes, Rite Aid Foundation, the Buncombe County Master Gardeners, Friends of the Earth Garden Club, Four Seasons Garden Club, Beverly Hanks, and many kind individuals, we now have a geodesic grow dome on our campus where we can grow food to serve healthy, nutritious meals to our children. The Dome will also serve as a learning lab where youth can hone their growing skills. Funding also supports a new position at Eliada—a full time Farm Manager who will not only manage all activities in the grow dome, but all future farming activities. Funding also supports an expansion of farming so Eliada can grow enough produce to sell to our community, and this could include you! We will have many farm sales that support all the children of Eliada. Our first farm sale was April 14th and we sold the pork we have been raising since the Corn Maze closed last Fall. Heritage breed pigs ate up the corn maze along with all food waste from Eliada’s commercial kitchen. Eliada Farms will help Eliada be good stewards of our land and the environment, while earning additional revenue for the agency. To learn about upcoming Farm Sales, get on our Eliada Farms email list. Contact Chris Rainwater to sign up: or (828) 254-5356 Ext. 300

The Domino Effect

Assessment Center



The domino effect—when one event sets off a chain reaction of similar events.

Another big change will impact the experience of families at Eliada. With the support of Vaya Health, our local Managed Care Organization, Eliada has converted one of our Residential Treatment cottages to an Assessment Center. 

This is exactly how to describe the last year at Eliada. If we had to pick an initial domino, we would point to our agreement with Buncombe County to use a vacant County building to expand Child Care and Pre-K services. The addition of this building allowed us to open up new classroom space in Eliada Academy for students living at Eliada. On average, youth living with us have experienced 6 other out-of-home placements before even arriving at Eliada. They’ve experienced extreme truancy, or have been put on a “homebound” or a“reduced days” plan, limiting the time they spend in a traditional school setting. Due to their movement in and out of out-of-home placements, their educational experience has been disrupted multiple times, and they are often behind in school. This causes youth to have deep seeded feelings of failure when it comes their education. Many of them experience phobia and extreme anxiety when it comes to attending school and interacting with classmates.

Assessment Center 101

Students create identity boxes after reading Elie Wiesel. The outside of the box represents how othe rs perceive them, and the inside rep resents their hidden selves.

Up until this year, Eliada had no formal classroom space for these youth to attend school. Students met up for class in the common area of their cottages. In the new space in Eliada Academy, these youth now have access to three classrooms, a library, plus additional meeting space for health and wellness activities. From a treatment and education perspective this is very important because it normalizes the school experience. The new space also means youth can be grouped in classrooms based on skill level, not just based on what cottage they are in. Given that the age range of youth is between 12 and 17, this positively impacts the ability for teachers to meet the academic needs of every young person in their class. The goal is for every young person to be prepared and feel confident transitioning back to a public school setting.

If you can believe it, the closest Assessment Center was across state lines in South Carolina. With an Assessment Center in Western North Carolina, young people getting assessed for mental health issues will be able to remain close to home, increasing the ability to involve family in the assessment process. Through a partnership with Youth Villages, who will tie family into the 30 day assessment experience, everyone involved is hoping that we can keep youth and family connected, and prevent the need for higher levels of treatment. 

30 days Youth ages 11-17 Full assessment Partnership with Vaya Health Increased family connections Transition planning from day 1

Avenue M Restaurant We know preventing higher levels of treatment is key to positive outcomes for youth.

The National Study of Child and Adolescent Well-Being found that children in out-of-home care for more than 12 months were behind in their cognitive and social development when compared to other children.   Through comprehensive assessment, case management, transition planning, and family involvement, Eliada and our partners are working to improve outcomes for youth in the mental health system.

With an Assessment Center on Eliada’s campus, we are also expanding our continuum of care.  Ultimately, if a young person does need to access Residential Treatment, they can remain at Eliada to receive this treatment as opposed to moving to a different out-of-home placement.  This maintains continuity in their educational and treatment experience with the same staff working with them daily. Eliada staff gather in front of the new Assessment Center during a training session

The A in STEAM BRINGING ARTS EDUCATION TO AFTER SCHOOL Thanks to the North Carolina Arts Council Grassroots Arts Program grant from the Asheville Area Arts Council, Eliada has been able to partner with Roots + Wings over the course of the school year. This partnership serves to create a more inclusive community by using creative expression to connect the cultures and peoples of Asheville and fostering relationships among them.

Every Month


Dennis and Mary Younts moved to Asheville in 1974 when they were still a young married couple, before they had their daughters Kim and Beth. They soon heard about Eliada, and since they loved children, began making a monthly contribution. Eventually, Dennis was offered a position on the Eliada Board of Directors, which he accepted.

Dennis and Mary Younts

In the art project you see photographed, students in Eliada’s 21st Century After School program at Leicester Elementary studied Aztec and Mexican culture before making traditional Mexican tin art.

Fast forward 44 years, two children, and a move to Matthews, NC. The kids are grown, Dennis and Mary are retired, and they are having a blast with the grandkids. Kim is teaching and Beth is a part of the leadership team at a substance abuse facility. And still, Dennis and Mary are making a contribution to Eliada every month. 

It’s a 3-step project that uses simple materials that you can find at home!

“We always knew that Eliada was a good place to give our money to. We loved kids and wanted to make a difference.  And so we started giving, and just kept it up even after we moved away.” 

1. With a piece of cardboard, glue shapes and materials to it and create a textured surface. Some materials you can use are flat board game pieces, yarn, dry pasta, or beads.

Dennis was trying to figure up how much they had given over the years, and it is well into the five-figure range.  “We’d never be able to give that at once, but it adds up!  I guess you could say we still think it is a good investment!”

2. Once the objects are glued to your cardboard, cover it with aluminum foil and make you press down along the edges of your 3d materials.

Conquering Goals

3. Use markers to color on the foil so that your 3d shapes pop!


We are so grateful to be working with partners that are bringing enriching activities into After School! This project was supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Eliada opened the doors of our new Child Development facility this past September. And with the new building came new children including Bella. Bella has Prader-Willi Syndrome which has caused her some developmental delays. She has special dietary restrictions and receives services from outside therapists. In September when Bella arrived she was challenged to walk from the classroom to the playground, and she used a wheelchair. She was shy and timid during group activities.

Bella enjoys a beautiful spring day on the playground.

Only 6 months later, Bella now walks daily around the room, down the hall and to the playground. With the help of her many friends and teachers she has made quick progress on her mobility goals. She greets everyone upon arrival, plays baby dolls with her friends, and participates in group activities. She loves to dance during music and movement time and loves to help her teachers around the classroom. Seeing Bella shine and smile as she interacts with her peers on the playground and in the classroom is priceless. We look forward to watching her continue to break down obstacles and conquer goals.

2 Compton Drive Asheville, NC 28806 P.O. Box 16708 Asheville, NC 28816

E L I A D A 101 115 years of service in WNC Over 600 children and youth served 320 acre campus Open 365 days per year FLAGSHIP PROGRAMS: • Child Development • Foster Care • Day Treatment • Residential Treatment • Workforce Development | (828) 254-5356

2018 Eliada Spring Newsletter  
2018 Eliada Spring Newsletter