FROM a former student:
Jeff is one of the most passionate, caring, and thoughtful people I have ever had the chance of being around. Throughout the time I spent with Jeff, he continuously went out of his way to make sure that the students at the school had every opportunity to flourish as well as making sure that every students specific needs were being taken care of. If there was not a system already in place to assist a student with whatever his or her problem, he would not only create one, but he would manage it himself which meant that he would be staying at the school hours after his day was over to facilitate it. Things that would normally look boring on a sign up sheet, Jeff breathed life to. An anger management class would spontaneously be moved into the woods and would have 30 kids playing marshmallow dodgeball to be followed with intimate group discussion held around a camp fire. He gave me a new understanding of “volunteer work” and showed me specifically not with his words but his actions that giving back to others could be a very satisfying experience not only to others but to myself. One of Jeff’s best qualities was his communication. He just knew how to communicate with people on any level. Never did I hear someone say they felt spoken down to or belittled. To this day, when people ask me how I am doing, I reply with “I am well” instead of “I am good”. Just one of the things that I picked up on. Most importantly, Jeff was a good man. Throughout my time working with Jeff, I can recall plenty of times that I directed someone in need to Jeff. Every time they returned to me, the message was the same. “I’ve never heard constructive criticism the way that it was just given to me by Jeff. It felt like he really understood what I said and felt my pain”. I would recommend Jeff for any opportunity in the areas of mental health, program development, teen/adult therapy, and any areas within those realms.
Office Manager at Tropic Survival Advertising
From Colleague/referring professional:
It is with great pleasure and honor that I am writing a letter of recommendation with regard to Mr. Jeffrey Brain (Jeff). Mr. Brain became known to me in 2005 when he was hired as the Director of Admissions for Family Foundation School (Allynwood Academy). Jeff and I easily established a strong business partnership and friendship over the nine years I have known him because Jeff is one of only a handful of professionals that are truly extraordinary human beings.
Jeff brings tremendous drive, passion and intelligence to every business and personal interaction. From the onset, it was evident that Jeff became an integral part of the Family Foundation School (Allynwood Academy) team as he seamlessly found his niche which he effortlessly carved from his: high standards, impeccable character, sharp intelligence and candor, warmth and even wit and humor.
Moreover, Jeff became an integral part of my business as I came to rely on his integrity and expertise in the field. There are many aspects of Mr. Brain that are impressive. Jeff consistently demonstrates a balance of patience and discipline built on a solid foundation of sharp intelligence. Strong organization and communication skills complement his open-mindedness to new ideas and a willingness to learn. I see Jeff as a quintessential self-starter, taking the initiative at every opportunity. Yet, at the same time, he also thrives as a team player exhibiting enthusiasm and professionalism at all times. He is conscientious and committed to his work as he exercises a strong work ethic with every endeavor.
Mr. Brain has created an impressive body of work that has made a significant positive impact on the lives of the children and families he directly and indirectly “touched”. Jeff has earned the respect of his colleagues because we trust him – we trust he will successfully remove obstacles presented to children, parents and families during difficult and challenging times – we trust he will be at “home” and make everyone else at “home” whether it is a collaboration with a student, parent, colleague, staff, teacher, social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, probation officer, attorney, judge, state official – we trust he will do the right thing.
I am both confident and pleased to recommend, without any reservations, Mr. Jeffrey Brain, as his contributions will be positive and enduring. If I can be of further assistance, please call me at 917-304-5370 or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pamela Leslie Singh Hux, MBA
Embrace Consulting, Founder & CEO
I met Jeff Brain in April, 2011 under very stressful, painful and very scary conditions. My son’s father and I had made the painful decision to have our son taken from my home and placed in a wilderness program. At the completion of 10 weeks, we were facing another difficult decision – as the psychologists were very firm in their recommendation of a therapeutic boarding school. This is when we “met” Jeff – over the phone, when we placed a call to the Family School. Subsequently, we scheduled a visit to the Family School for the day. Jeff immediately made us feel very comfortable and at ease. He was cognizant of the difficult situation that we were facing, and was very informative and knowledgeable. He made us feel like he was there just for us – we were never rushed or did he push us into making a decision right there and then. He told us we could stay as long as we liked and to ask as many questions as we wanted. He gave us his cell number and told us that at any time – any day – to call – he was available.
Its now been 3 years since my son attended The Family School and graduated from the school! I credit my son’s life and my son’s success in a huge part to Jeff Brain! To this day – my son calls Jeff his friend and confidant. I cannot express my gratitude for what Jeff has meant and continues to mean for my son. Jeff was able to work “magic” with his expertise and demeanor. My son was angry and defiant- he hated adults and everything that came out of their mouths. I cannot tell you how Jeff worked his “magic” – but to this day my son considers Jeff one of the smartest people that he’s ever met and continues to communicate with him as a “friend”. There were several incidents that occurred while my son was at the school that had a very sad impact for my son – one was the death of my father – my son’s grandfather whom he adored and the other was the suicide of a friend of his at home – who was only one year older than my son. Jeff was instrumental in helping my son through these difficult situations. His expertise in these situations was seamless – my son never felt he was being “guided or counseled” – he felt he was being supported and cared for by a “friend”.
I strongly recommend Jeff Brain to any organization/institution! He will provide an incredible source of knowledge along with impeccable professionalism and demeanor. He will be an asset to any institution!
Please feel free to contact me at my cell number 305-801-7507 with any information that may be needed.
Ms. Ivis M. Lehrman
Educational Consultant and Author:
As the director of Allynwood Academy and the Family Foundation School, Jeff has been kind enough to talk to me about dozens of students going back over ten years. We have met in person any number of times and, although we started out as colleagues, have become friends. I have chatted with Jeff at any number of conferences and have toured with him on my many visits to the Family Foundation School. I therefore feel qualified to write a recommendation based on our long-standing relationship.
Throughout the years, Jeff has proved to be competent, ethical, and indefatigable. There have been many Sundays when I have interrupted Jeff at his home. He has always been unfailingly polite and helpful. No one in our profession works harder or is more committed than Jeff. In all the years we have worked together, I have never known him to lose his temper or say a cross word. Jeff gets the job done, no matter how difficult or how long it takes.
In a profession where it is not uncommon to see a different person representing a program at every conference, Jeff is the rock. From the time he started work at FFS until the school closed a few weeks ago, Jeff never missed an opportunity to promote the school. He attended every Independent Educational Consultants Association, every School Connections, every National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs meeting for years.
Recently I entrusted to Jeff’s care a child who basically grew up in my house. The point is that I trust Jeff and have trusted Jeff with young people who are, basically, members of my own family. Jeff has never let me down.
I give Jeff my highest possible recommendation. Please do not hesitate to contract me if I can be of any further help in elucidating Jeff Brain’s exemplary character, work habits, or fine ethical sensibilities.
Very truly yours,
Mental Health Association
Jeffrey S. Brain has been an on-call consultant for the Crisis Assessment Prevention and Intervention Services (CAPIS) program of Mental Health Association in Orange County, Inc. for over 20 years. In this capacity he has interacted with hundreds of children, young adults and adults with developmental disabilities and their families who were facing difficult circumstances in their home, school or community. In many situations Mr. Brain had to interface on behalf of students with school district personnel such as administrators, teachers, therapists, psychologists as well as members of the committees on special education.
Mr. Brain is skilled in meeting individuals and families where they are currently and assisting them in moving forward to a more comfortable place for everyone. He has a great deal of experience in reviewing school, psychological and medical records, in mediating between family members and/or family members and school personnel. He is familiar with many special education facilities and how each can best provide educational services to students with specific needs.
Understanding family dynamics is another area in which Mr. Brain is greatly skilled. He has assisted many families in creating internal contracts, making difficult decisions, beginning change in small steps, addressing difficult behaviors, getting closer to “being on the same page” and more.
Mr. Brain understands the assessments that are used by school districts and private providers and is able to interpret the results for families. He also understands what the results mean in relationship to appropriate school programs. He has a great deal of experience in working with CSE members in the placement process. He always places the student’s needs first and will advocate strongly for the best educational situation.
Developmental Disabilities Family Support Manager (Retired)
Mental Health Association in Orange County, Inc.
Our family has known Jeff Brain in his position as Dean of Admissions at the Allynwood Academy for over a year. Jeff was our initial contact at the school, and has worked with us in all aspects of the process of getting our son enrolled there and getting him the services that he so needs. Jeff worked with us financially, and in terms of making Edward’s transition as smooth as it could be. As it turned out, our situation presented some problems that were relatively unique, even for the professionals at the Allynwood Academy.
Jeff has never been inaccessible. Even when he was abroad at a speaking engagement, Jeff responded to our email interrupts. Throughout the past year, in every context that presented itself, Jeff went far beyond the expected call of duty to understand the issues and work with us to enable the best solution for our son. In one particular case Jeff came all the way down to the nearby family court to speak on behalf of the school and the school’s observations of our son. This was instrumental in breaking through a stalemate and allowing us to return our son to Allynwood, where he continues to show improvements.
So far as we have seen, Jeff has always represented Allynwood in the most professional manner while at the same time being incredibly personable and sensitive to our particular family issues. We cannot recommend anyone more strongly than we recommend Jeffrey Brain as a professional educator/administrator.
Thomas Gefell and Deborah Dawson
Deborah: (917) 797-3183