Author Topic: Kid says he's in a program, New Summit Academy, Costa Rica?  (Read 7072 times)

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Offline Callista

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OK, so I recently got this e-mail from a kid who must have read me ranting about this stuff somewhere. Says he's in "New Summit Academy, Costa Rica", wants advice. I've never heard of it.

Found their web site, though.
http://www.newsummitacademy.com/index.html

More experienced minds may be able to get something from this.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2009, 04:44:29 PM by Callista »

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Got a message from a kid who says he's in a program...
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2009, 02:44:08 AM »
So how does a kid in a restrictive cult in Costa Rica have access to email?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Callista

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Re: Got a message from a kid who says he's in a program...
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2009, 02:59:18 AM »
Which is why I'm asking. I'm not so sure it can be too abusive if they let them have uncensored e mail. Or, of course, he may not be there at all.

Some places will pride themselves on using technology, though; I've got more than a few acquaintances who live in group homes, whom I've communicated with over the internet, or people in psych wards or psych hospitals. It's not unprecedented. For the most part these are not "troubled teens", but disabled or mentally ill people who have gotten stuck in the system; a lot of the issues are the same, and the loss of autonomy is similar.

Computers are a nice way to look modern and legit. That's the way these people manage it, anyway.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Oscar

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Re: Got a message from a kid who says he's in a program...
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2009, 06:15:07 AM »
We know they exist but are not sure if they belong on the Wiki. While exiling people to another country for a period works (UK exiled people to the United States and Australia. Look where it go us), it is totally up to the exiled person whether it is working or not.

99,5 of all teenagers will change their behavior if they are sent to another country to fit in. Because teens mature no matter how you warehouse them some could claim that it is the exiling which causes the improvement. In Denmark and in United Kingdom we are always on the watch when we see teens being sent to the middle east so they could be less tempted by our free youth culture. Our focus on this problem has in Denmark resulted in more teens being detained at our continuation schools ("Efterskole" in Danish). Muslim parents prefer a strict Christian lockdown "efterskole" rather than the public school system in Denmark. It is not a better solution but at least they don't return with a bomb belt strapped on to their waist.

I also found this example from our wiki about UK-student being exiled to Africa. English parents want their children caned to make them fear society, so when the English government banned corporal punishment, the students were sent to Africa where it was allowed.

We also have the MTV TV-show Exiled on record. Some could claim that the partipants was a little spoiled but it only took a week to scare them into place.

For the question about Phone access, we can refer to the communication policy of the CEDU spin-off program in Argentina. They recommend that the parents give the kids some cash so they can use internet cafe's. Having a suffering teen on the phone is not the same as they are back home. There is the question of the money for the plane ticket.

From the homepage of Pathway - Argentina:
Quote
How can I stay in touch with my family?

Students will be able to call and email home quite easily from most places in Argentina. “Locotorias” (internet café’s) are literally on every corner. If you have an emergency and need to contact us, you may call us in Argentina using our Vonage phone number, XXX-XXX-XXXX (there are no international charges for this number). We also check phone messages and email every day, so you can also leave us a message in the states at XXX-XXX-XXXX or email us at <programs email-address>

Maybe it is the same at New Summit Academy.

Does it make New Summit Academy a good program? I don't know, but I do know that parents could have chosen an ordinary boarding school in any country far from the United States and achieved the same even without therapy.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Got a message from a kid who says he's in a program...
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2009, 12:39:58 PM »
I love their liberal use of that satanic/demonic font.

Kid, if you can escape enough to use email, escape, GO TO AN EMBASSY and tell them you're being held against your will with no other place to live. Or go to the Costa Rican authorities and demand to be deported.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Ursus

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Re: Got a message from a kid who says he's in a program...
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2009, 01:28:31 PM »
Thought reform can take on many guises, depending on the target population. This program targets kids who have already been softened up by other programs, or who just "need a little toning up." I wouldn't regard it as a good program, nor even benign. It has both CEDU and Aspen influences in its lineage. That it is not as physically abusive as many other programs is probably a given, however. My guess is this program effects a more insidious revamping of minds which are still somewhat malleable.

New Summit Academy arose out of the ashes of another Costa Rican program, namely Coronada Academy. The latter went belly-up due to financial reasons, and three or four of its key personnel started New Summit. It was a relatively smooth and amicable transition; students who were not able to finish up at Coronado just transferred over to the new program.

Coronado was Saul Rudman's baby. Rudman was previously Admissions and Marketing  Director at CEDU Middle School/Running Springs in the 1990s, Administrator at Northwest Academy - date?, Regional Director of Business Development at Idaho Educational Services (i.e., Ascent, BCA, NWA) in 2007, consultant to Cherokee Creek Boys School (CEDU spin-off) in 2007. He is currently at Brain-Works.Net, which is a marketing/PR firm which "specializes in visual communications and who pioneered Emotional Response Communications"; Rudman's area of expertise being education/government.

Lori Armbruster was also involved with Coronado as Admissions Director and Consultant Services Director (namely, selling the school to EdCons). She was CEDU's Director of Consultant Services for a number of years before that. After Coronado she was at Monarch School for about four years (2004-2008); most recently, she's been running the Admissions Dept. at Second Nature.

The key personnel who were with Coronado, and who started New Summit, are:

    Mario Duran - Clinical Director at Coronado, Personal Growth Director at New Summit; background psych, substance abuse counseling, and "mental milieu."[/list]
      Heather Tracy - with Coronado as Academic Director since at least 2002, same function at New Summit, but now as Executive Director; pet project is Howard Gardner's "Multiple Intelligences Theory," which I don't know a whole lot about, but about which I've read enough to know that it is heavily tied in with the Human Potential movement.[/list]
        Andy Myers - Experiential Education Director at both Coronado and New Summit; was previously (amongst other things) Assistant Director for the Costa Rica Program of the Academy at Swift River (a satellite program thereof).[/list]

        I don't know whether the fourth co-owner -- Operations Director James Woody -- was with Coronado as well. I suspect not.
        « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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        Offline Oscar

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        Re: Got a message from a kid who says he's in a program...
        « Reply #6 on: May 25, 2009, 04:20:25 PM »
        I digged a little and found a livejournal telling of the period just before the old school closed.

        An earlier story is found in another Livejournal entry. Please notice how quick people are back in their old ways despite a lot of money wasted.
        « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

        Offline Callista

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        Re: Kid says he's in a program, New Summit Academy, Costa Rica?
        « Reply #7 on: May 25, 2009, 04:51:14 PM »
        Yeah, it's sad. I wish families could just go and find a decent mediator and work out their problems together. Blaming a kid and sending him away won't help... I should know... of course I was lucky enough to be 17 at the time, knew how to think critically about mind games, had already had practice with abuse at home. Not nearly so easy for a 13-15. Some of the danger seems to be rebelling against overly restrictive environment afterward, just to prove you're free, going further than you ever would have if you hadn't been locked up in the first place. That, or carrying the place with you in your head, feeling like you're still there.

        I guess I'll e-mail him. Can't hurt.
        « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

        Offline Anonymous

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        Re: Kid says he's in a program, New Summit Academy, Costa Rica?
        « Reply #8 on: September 27, 2011, 01:38:29 AM »
        New Summit Academy is a voluntary program. Students fill out their own part of the application and do a phone interview where they can ask questions, speak with other students, and are asked if they want to attend the school. If a student wants to leave, they are not forced to stay, but they usually end up deciding that it's in their best interest so they can repair their family relationships and graduate high school. The philosophy is humanistic, strengths-based, not behavior mod nor "illness" based. The school works with families so students are not blamed, and the students have a lot of amazing experiences that usually end up as the topic of their college application essays and resumes. The students interact alot with the local community, including cultural immersion,working out at the local gym, playing soccer and baseball with local teams, and adventure trips throughout Costa Rica. They have daily access to email, the internet, and weekly phone calls with their families and friends. Although not all therapeutic boarding schools are ethical, this one is.
        « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

        Offline Xelebes

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        Re: Kid says he's in a program, New Summit Academy, Costa Ri
        « Reply #9 on: September 27, 2011, 07:14:29 PM »
        Quote from: "m34952t"
        New Summit Academy is a voluntary program. Students fill out their own part of the application and do a phone interview where they can ask questions, speak with other students, and are asked if they want to attend the school. If a student wants to leave, they are not forced to stay, but they usually end up deciding that it's in their best interest so they can repair their family relationships and graduate high school. The philosophy is humanistic, strengths-based, not behavior mod nor "illness" based. The school works with families so students are not blamed, and the students have a lot of amazing experiences that usually end up as the topic of their college application essays and resumes. The students interact alot with the local community, including cultural immersion,working out at the local gym, playing soccer and baseball with local teams, and adventure trips throughout Costa Rica. They have daily access to email, the internet, and weekly phone calls with their families and friends. Although not all therapeutic boarding schools are ethical, this one is.

        Hello, staff member or someone on the payroll at the PR firm.
        « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »