When Luke Lefever started college, he wanted to do anything but run the family business. A few years later, he went to work at Lefever Plumbing & Heating with the intention to one day purchase it from his father.

About 10 years later, he decided the family business really wasn’t for him, so he went back to school for his Master of Social Work. He wanted to anything but addictions treatment with youth…

“If you can change the life of a kid, they have a lot of years of successful living ahead.”

Luke Lefever


“I always thought I’d do some kind of macro-management systems work,” Luke said, “and then I ran into John Horsley,” Oaklawn’s director of addiction services.

It just so happens this plumber-turned-therapist has a skill and a passion for working with youth. After finishing his degree, Luke started at Oaklawn doing individual therapy and group addiction treatment with Elkhart’s child and adolescent team.

“If you can change the life of a kid, they have a lot of years of successful living ahead,” he said. “Where they are developmentally, they’re learning; they’re trying new things. What better time to tweak their behavior, thoughts and actions?”

After over a year in practice, Luke says he understands why one of his professors referred to an MSW as a “learner’s permit.” Luke says there’s always something new to learn and appreciates that Oaklawn places such high value on professional expertise and supervision.

“I feel like the level of support, training and professional development is second to none,” Luke said. “Everyone’s accountable, and I think that’s priceless.”

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