ODP Deputy Secretary Visits

Posted on March 20th, 2013 at 7:44 PM
ODP Deputy Secretary Visits

A call to always strive for the best was one of the messages brought by Fred Lokuta, deputy secretary of the Office of Developmental Programs, in his first visit to the Barber National Institute on Friday.   Mr. Lokuta met with administrators and a group of parents, and toured several activities during his day-long visit.

The new deputy secretary, a life-long Pennsylvania resident who began his career more than thirty years ago as a direct service professional, directed his message to students and staff who had gathered to welcome him.

In looking around the north lobby, Mr. Lokuta said that he saw the future in the students.  “To the students, be the best you can be; never settle for anything less,” said Mr. Lokuta.  “Continue to grow and learn and don’t limit yourself.”

Deputy Secretary Lokuta issued a similar challenge to the staff when he said, “think of what you want your legacy to be, not at the end of your life, but every day.  Make a difference; don’t settle for anything less than your best.”

Mr. Lokuta pledged that he will work to help organizations achieve these goals. “Because of you we can make a difference and I vow that I will work with you to do just that.”  

The new deputy secretary attended a program being conducted with the Young People’s Chorus of Erie and Elizabeth Lee Black students.  Other activities included a presentation about the Barber Institute’s robot research collaboration with the University of Notre Dame to help children with autism, and a viewing of the Kids on the Block Puppet show featuring a troupe of life-size puppets that teach children about disabilities.

Additional Photos

Teacher Julie Moore led the large gathering of students, adults and staff in a welcome song.
Jennifer Zona, BCBA, explains the robot research collaboration underway with the University of Notre Dame.