The spirit of commitment and concern which
characterized the decade of the sixties gave birth to The Life
Experience School and its program for young adults with developmental disabilities. Its creation was an extension of the graduate degree program in special education at Cambridge Goddard College and alternative
service of its founder, Lewis Randa, who was discharged from the
military as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War in 1971. The
Life Experience School/Program is dedicated to the memory of his
mentors, Robert Francis Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.
The work of The Life Experience Program has received increasing attention nationally and - more recently - internationally. Participants at the School and Peace Abbey award ceremonies over the years include: Mother Teresa, His Holiness The XIV Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Richie Havens, Martin Luther King III, Paul Winter, Peter, Paul and Mary, Daniel Berrigan, Maya Angelou, Pete Seeger, Raul Julia, Arun Gandhi, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Rosa Parks and many others.
What has attracted the attention of these and hundreds of others to the work carried on at The Life Experience School/Program is the creation of an environment that makes it possible for its members to transcend their apparent disabilities. At LES, disabilities and difficulties in life are seen as personalized growth opportunities which nurture inner development and uniquely equip each person to contribute to works of peace in their community.
"Everyone of you will ultimately judge yourself on the effort you have contributed to building a New World Society, and the extent to which your ideals and goals have shaped that effort." - Robert Francis Kennedy
"God has given each person a capacity to achieve some end. True, some are endowed with more talent than others, but God has left none of us talentless. Potential powers of creativity are within us, and we have the duty assiduously to discover these powers. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
In June of 1988, Mother Teresa of Calcutta visited The Life Experience School and encouraged those present to devote their lives to peacemaking, community service and to trust that we are each capable of making a difference in the lives of others.