Pathfinders Blog

Stories about our youth, Pathfinders news, and more.

Community Voices

The Silver Blue Light

The following is a speech that Juli Kaufmann gave in honor of her mother, long-time Pathfinders supporter, Karen LeSage at the Pathfinders Southeastern Education Center Grand Opening Celebration(link to celebration post). Pathfinders is proud to announce the new Karen LeSage After School Programming in her honor.

My Mom, Karen LeSage, had a common blessing she would give during times of trouble or challenge in our family. She would simply say, “I’m sending you silver blue light.” She drew this blessing idea from the wisdom of Native American spirituality. The silver light represents a shining beacon that will guide you on the path out of darkness. The blue light represents a blanket or force field that will surround you for protection on your journey through any struggle. My Mom’s silver blue light almost always helped us find our way.

But sometimes, a mother’s blessing is just not enough. In the middle of her life, my mother lost her own first-born son, my brother Tim, to suicide. My Mom found her own path out of this incredibly painful experience by dedicating much of the remainder of her life to programs that help other youth find a path away from such darkness.

She worked tirelessly to ensure every youth has the opportunity to live a safe, healthy, and successful life by investing in and working with organizations like Pathfinders. Because she learned, that silver blue light shines brightest when powered by an entire community of support. I find it no coincidence that this organization is called Pathfinders. Like my Mom, it provides a bright and protective silver blue light for our community so that, unlike my older brother, our youth can find hope and a healthy path forward.

We lost both my older brother and now my Mom far too soon. In fact, the last meeting my Mom ever attended was a Pathfinders board meeting – before cancer quickly and unexpectedly took her last year. I can think of no more fitting way to honor both of their lives and to carry my Mom’s light forward, than to dedicate this ongoing programming work to her legacy. I hope each youth touched by this programming carries a small piece of this light forward into the world.

We hope all of you will continue to ignite my Mom’s silver blue light by supporting this good work she believed in so deeply. On behalf of my Mom’s niece and her family -Chris Stelzer- who carries on in my Mom’s shoes as a Pathfinder board member, and for my own family Mike and Freddy Kaufmann, on behalf of my surviving brothers Matt and Joe LeSage and their families, and my father Patrick LeSage – my Mom’s partner in life for 50 years- we all thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call:
Life threatening emergency - 911
National Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Veterans Crisis Line - 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)
LGBTQ Crisis Line - 1-866-488-7386
For emotional support and resources, text HOPELINE to 741741.
Community Voices

The Silver Blue Light

The following is a speech that Juli Kaufmann gave in honor of her mother, long-time Pathfinders supporter, Karen LeSage at the Pathfinders Southeastern Education Center Grand Opening Celebration(link to celebration post). Pathfinders is proud to announce the new Karen LeSage After School Programming in her honor.

My Mom, Karen LeSage, had a common blessing she would give during times of trouble or challenge in our family. She would simply say, “I’m sending you silver blue light.” She drew this blessing idea from the wisdom of Native American spirituality. The silver light represents a shining beacon that will guide you on the path out of darkness. The blue light represents a blanket or force field that will surround you for protection on your journey through any struggle. My Mom’s silver blue light almost always helped us find our way.

But sometimes, a mother’s blessing is just not enough. In the middle of her life, my mother lost her own first-born son, my brother Tim, to suicide. My Mom found her own path out of this incredibly painful experience by dedicating much of the remainder of her life to programs that help other youth find a path away from such darkness.

She worked tirelessly to ensure every youth has the opportunity to live a safe, healthy, and successful life by investing in and working with organizations like Pathfinders. Because she learned, that silver blue light shines brightest when powered by an entire community of support. I find it no coincidence that this organization is called Pathfinders. Like my Mom, it provides a bright and protective silver blue light for our community so that, unlike my older brother, our youth can find hope and a healthy path forward.

We lost both my older brother and now my Mom far too soon. In fact, the last meeting my Mom ever attended was a Pathfinders board meeting – before cancer quickly and unexpectedly took her last year. I can think of no more fitting way to honor both of their lives and to carry my Mom’s light forward, than to dedicate this ongoing programming work to her legacy. I hope each youth touched by this programming carries a small piece of this light forward into the world.

We hope all of you will continue to ignite my Mom’s silver blue light by supporting this good work she believed in so deeply. On behalf of my Mom’s niece and her family -Chris Stelzer- who carries on in my Mom’s shoes as a Pathfinder board member, and for my own family Mike and Freddy Kaufmann, on behalf of my surviving brothers Matt and Joe LeSage and their families, and my father Patrick LeSage – my Mom’s partner in life for 50 years- we all thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call:
Life threatening emergency - 911
National Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Veterans Crisis Line - 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)
LGBTQ Crisis Line - 1-866-488-7386
For emotional support and resources, text HOPELINE to 741741.