Let More Light In

Let More Light In

If you’ve been feeling a little off since the end of daylight savings time last week, you’re not alone and it’s not you. Our bodies and biology are connected to and interact with sunlight. Exposure to sunlight affects the production of serotonin in our brains (one of our happy chemicals) and triggers the release of melatonin (a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles). 

In light of these facts (see what I did there…:), here are some ideas to let more light into our bodies and homes. 

Schedule more outside time. Combat the sluggishness of darker days and cultivate positive energy by getting outside while it is light. Even though the sun now goes down earlier, it will come up sooner too. Exposure to morning light can boost alertness, energy levels, mood and productivity. 

Consider a light box. These types of lights mimic outdoor sunlight and can assist your body and brain to adjust to fewer hours of sunlight (to some degree) by having a similar effect on serotonin and melatonin as the real thing. Use a light box first thing in the morning to train the body to a sleep schedule and for a short time in the afternoon to signal to the brain that it is still time to be awake and alert.

Bring more light inside, literally. A small change that yields a big impact is to replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs which produce a brighter, whiter light. Consider lightening your decor by painting walls, using slipcovers, and putting down rugs in pale colors. Remove screens from your windows to let 30% more light into your home. Trim branches outside windows that block natural light. Increase a sense of warmth in rooms by bringing outdoor string lights inside. Introduce mirrors into a room to reflect all available light and amplify its effect. And perhaps the most obvious…clean the windows. 🙂 

Add plants. Plants bring life to a room. They provide oxygen, cleanse the air, and display the green missing from winter trees. Be sure to match plants to the amount of light you have. Tropical plants do well in indirect light. Snake plants, Chinese evergreens and Pothos are hardy and low maintenance. 

By Leanne Potts, taken from http://www.edbaileyrealty.com/2018/04/05/11
Meet Candace Pressley.

Meet Candace Pressley.

Meet Candace Pressley whose inspiring story shows you it’s never too late to go back to college. Before enrolling in the ACE program, Candace tried college right after high school, but was intimidated by the pressure to choose a major and stopped out sophomore year. She moved from part to full time hours at work and, at age 19, was satisfied with her level of earnings. It was enough, for then

College remained on her mind during a twenty year tenure at Woods Services where she  learned of the Partnership Site associate degree program available right on Woods’ campus from Site Coordinator and colleague Valerie Durden. Even though she had been to college before, she was apprehensive. “It had been a long time.” But Val offered persistent encouragement, visiting the building where she worked to explain how Candace could work while attending school, and took her through the application process. “I had tried to go back a few times, but I didn’t understand the financial aid application (FAFSA) and no one was there to help me with the paperwork. This was different. Val took care of everything.” 

That difference continued past enrollment as Val made sure Candace and other students had whatever support they needed for success. Val showed them how to sign on to online classes, ensured they received the maximum number of transfer credits from prior college courses, and connected them with needed technology. Once in the classroom, Candace found helpful and encouraging professors who respected the life experiences of their adult students. “It wasn’t I’m the teacher and you’re the student. We were treated as adults and invited to apply our life experience to discussions and assignments.” In the process, she realized she knew more than she thought when she recognized terms reviewed in class from daily work life. “Now I know what’s behind those terms. They’re a name for something you’re already doing.” Instead of big lecture halls, she became part of a small classroom environment with 15 students where instructors “noticed me as a person, and asked how we were doing to start each class. You need that when you’ve been out of school for a while.” And the convenience factor was hard to beat. “It was right there, at my workplace!” 

A long term employee of Woods, Candace had good friends on staff who helped out with work duties if she needed extra time for an assignment or had to get to class. Other colleagues became classmates who supported each other week after week. “We were in this together.” And together, they kept their eye on the prize – graduation.

Although the Covid pandemic effectively cancelled a collective graduation and Candace was even working that day, Site Coordinator Val made sure to celebrate her achievement, bringing in her cap and gown, decorating her workspace, and hosting a party on campus for graduates. “She saw me through it, to the finish line.” 

Even though Candace acknowledges that she was nervous before each semester, she kept going. And her persistence paid off. Candace was offered a position as acting Program Supervisor and then quickly promoted to Personal Home Care Administrator. She now supervises the same residential facility where she previously served as a direct care worker. “Without a degree, I wouldn’t be in line for this job, and now I want to learn more to lead my staff better.” Candace will pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in January and is interested in teaching in the Partnership Site program herself! 

Reflecting on her college journey, she notes “I probably wouldn’t have gone back without the partnership site. I was apprehensive, but I jumped in. It’s ok to not know the future, but you can commit to learning.”

Financial Aid Workshop

Financial Aid Workshop

Ask your financial aid questions and get straight answers! How much can I get? Is there a deadline? What if I defaulted on a loan? Learn about free federal and state money to help pay for college. I-LEAD will be hosting a representative from the Pennsylvania financial aid agency PHEAA for an online question and answer session.

The conversation will take place on November 23rd at 6 pm via zoom. Bring friends and family who are interested in college and have concerns and questions about how to pay for it!! And everyone gets a WAWA gift card for showing up!

Please register here: 


You are invited to a Zoom meeting.

When: Nov 23, 2021 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)