Program Testimonials from Parent and Kids
FOR EVEN MORE INSPIRING TRUE-LIFE SUCCESS STORIES, PLEASE WATCH OUR PROGRAM VIDEO
This program is unique in its commitment to healing the entire family rather than to just intervening with the teen in crisis. When you think about it, that makes a lot of sense. What exactly is the point of "fixing" your teen, only to return them to the same old environment they were in when they were "broken"?
The program helped my son in a way that I was incapable of doing. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.
I grew up in a good suburban family, with very caring parents. Around third grade is when I started getting into more and more trouble. Of course, it didn't look like much, but over time it became more serious. By sixth grade I was already smoking cigarettes and had begun using pot, eventually becoming addicted. I cried and cried, night after night and vowed never to do drugs again. That lasted six months, till I could no longer say 'no' to my friends. Of course, it didn't start with my friends... it started with me...always does. By seventh grade I was using other drugs too and I kept getting into more trouble. Looking back to fourth grade, that was when running away from home and school began. The school was sick of me causing trouble. I even made teachers cry.
I was full of anger and addictions. Though my parents had their suspicions, every time they had me drug tested, I found a way to pass it, using various methods. I consistently ran away every time things did not go my way, and I had my entire family afraid of me.
The last time I ran away, the police found me and brought me to the station and then turned me back to my parents. That night was the last at home for a long time. My family had me escorted to the Program. It was the only way to keep the police, myself, and my entire family safe, for at that point, I knew no fear or any kind of authority. It was my parents' last hope of getting their son back. To this day, I thank God, and them for doing this. If I had been able to escape, I would have definitely ended my life soon.
I am home now, and I've done great. I am in high school in the graduating class of 2001. I am playing Varsity Football, running Varsity Track and very involved in my church youth group. I am a person that others can look up to now. I even chose to spend my summer working at one of the program schools. It was wonderful to be there and a way of showing my gratitude by giving back.
Without these programs, I would most certainly not be here. I wouldn't get to accomplish all these things that my family and I never thought would happen. You truly have saved my life.
Never once did I think I would ever graduate high school; let alone, ahead of my own class. I was too far behind in school to ever get back on track, or so I thought. When I first entered the Program, I planned on only getting my G.E.D. and dropping out of any further educational plans. Eventually, I made a choice I will never forget - one that has not only improved my life, but saved met from destruction.
I had just completed Focus when I realized I could achieve more, and that I deserved more than I had been giving myself up till then. I talked to my teacher and made a commitment that I have never forgotten, and then went on to graduate high school. I also made the decision that I wanted to go on to college and eventually medical school. I am now enrolled in a university pursuing a pre-med degree.
If it weren't for the support that I have been given, I would not be here today. Sometimes, a helping hand is just what is needed to lift someone up, and I got that in the Program.
Before I entered the program I never really understood what the word GRATITUDE meant. I thought it was saying meager thank yous for a new pair of platforms. I was living in anger, depression, denial, excuses, and with a lack of accountability. I tried to mentally and emotionally run away from everything that was causing me to hurt. I didn't believe that I was worth anything, and I didn't want to work for my success. I managed to destroy all trust and any hope of a relationship with my family or with myself. I felt like I had nothing to grasp hold of, and the scary part was that I didn't care.
Luckily, I have a lot of people in my life that care about me, particularly my mom and dad. Even though they were struggling with their own stuff, they put it aside to try to help me in my life. They were there, no matter how hard I tried to push them away. No matter how hard I tried, they wouldn't let me die. I got a second chance at life. Since then I've taken that opportunity and I'm building back my confidence, self-love, the relationships with my parents, peers, and most important, my success.
I learned that gratitude is not all the material gifts. It's being sincerely thankful for my own life, a loving, supportive family, growing self-love and confidence, and being alive. I feel gratitude for all who helped save my life.
We are an in-tack, loving family. My husband is a pastor, and we were the type of parents who volunteered to be the room parent, coach the baseball team, never miss a school or athletic activity. No parent of an out-of-control teen needs to have anyone criticize them, for they are already their own worst enemy. You lie in bed at night, rehearsing the tapes of where you must have gone wrong. You try to find solutions, as you desperately watch their life spin out of control. You don't sleep or eat well and your heart leaps each time the phone or doorbell rings. You wonder, "Is it the police again, the principal, the teachers, another furious parent yelling at you to keep you child away from their child?" And on and on.
We lived this hell for three years. We tried counseling, which was great for us parents, but all the counseling in the world will never change someone's heart that doesn't want to change. We were desperate. We knew that our son was at risk of dying any number of ways. It was pure insanity.
We knew we had to 'shock' him out of his comfort zone, to help him see what his choices were doing to him and to us. This experience was just what Jacob needed to get completely out of his comfort zone, and really take a look at his life and choices. I never thought I could say this, but I would go through all three years of hell again with another child if I knew it would turn out as sweet as it has with our Jacob. We are so proud of him. Anyone meeting him today is immediately impressed with the depth of character and lightness in his spirit. We are eternally thankful for this program and the wonderful compassionate people who have poured themselves out for our son.
Do you suspect your child lies to you every time you ask them if they are on drugs? Do they stay out partying for days, without coming home? When weekly therapy and short term rehabs fail, it may be time for a different solution.
About a year and one-half ago I was running away from home, fighting with my parents, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, cutting school and I was only 14 years old. My parents' relationship was deteriorating, as well as my relationship with them. I felt alone and outcast from the 'regular' kids. So, I sought out the crowd I knew would accept me...the 'weird' crowd.
Though I was just getting into all these things, my parents realized that more was going on with me than I let them see. Yes, they tried therapy and short term rehab, but it just only fed into the beliefs as I viewed myself.... 'crazy, different and hopeless'. I'm glad my parents decided not to wait to send me. For I learned that there was hope for me and my family. Now, we're working through our problems.
This program can work for others, just like me. It's done a lot for me and my family. I've learned to accept myself and love who I am, and how to lead a successful and fulfilling life for myself. Before I couldn't even let others love me. I pushed everyone away. Now I can love and be loved by others. I have learned to trust me and shut my brain up when I get stuck up there. I am a realist. I don't need to do big things, or be loud. All I need to do is trust myself. Someone once told me that there aren't very many people in the world who can just be calm and strong inside and be okay with that. I have learned that I am one of those people that can. I'm finally learning to just be free.
For those considering this program, I would like to say we hesitated when we enrolled our child. We asked, "How could anyone be able to turn around a son who was defiant, arrogant, rude, and mean?" A child we loved dearly, but a child that been thrown out of five schools in the last two years, both private and public; a child who had laughed at all of our efforts to get him back on track.
Right before he left for the Program he was required by the courts to go to counseling. On the drive to the psychologist, he told me he wasn't going to say anything, which he held to. My resentment was growing, along with my anger.
As an educator who has seen many kids take this destructive path, I knew we had to do more than place him in a day program. We knew that it would take a 24/7 behavior modification program with a strong positive peer culture environment to bring our son face to face with his non-working behaviors. The Youth Academy Foundation provided us that type of program.
There are many things that I appreciate about this program. Foremost is the fact that the Program requires all family members to participate. When our son agreed to go, I agreed to work my program at home. I can't tell you how helpful the tools acquired from the seminars have been for me and my son.
No longer does my son refuse to talk seriously about his life. He has goals and he is working with his family to reach his greatness. He is coming to terms with his past and is putting his life back together.
Instead of arrogance, now he tells us how sorry he is for what he put us through. Instead of defiance, he wants to know if Focus was as powerful for me as it was for him. Instead of the hateful remarks, he tells us he loves us. It is truly amazing how this program has supported our family's efforts to heal and move forward. I sincerely believe that it could do the same for yours.
FOR EVEN MORE INSPIRING TRUE-LIFE SUCCESS STORIES, PLEASE WATCH OUR PROGRAM VIDEO
FAMILY IN CRISIS
If you feel you need to speak to someone right away, we recommend you contact Dina Dalton, our Family Crisis Intervention Counselor by calling 1-800-429-5922. Say you were referred by TeenPaths and your call will be handled immediately.
If you'd like to talk to other parents who finally found solutions to similar concerns, please email us at Caring Parent
|True re-enactment about a teen who succumbs to the pressures of girl culture, desires to be popular, and ends up a drug user. She then finds the help and support necessary to change her path, regain her self esteem and make working choices in her life. The script for this movie was actually written by the teen who was lost and found her way back. -- To top it all off, she portrays one of the teens in the movie.|
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| Page Modified Tue Apr 23 22:25:58 MDT 2013