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I'm Ryan, and I'm from the San Francisco Bay Area; I recently joined this site because as a former attendee of both a wilderness program and therapeutic boarding school, this forum appealed to me. I have been browsing this website for a while, and I hope my perspective on the troubled teen industry can be both refreshing and helpful: I was always a pretty bright kid, but I stopped applying myself during the middle of my high school years due to my own personal issues; I wasn't in to anything sketchy, I was just isolating myself from other people because of my bouts of depression and lack of motivation towards improving my life.

I was escorted from my home June 6th, 2010, and spent two and a half months in Aspiro's Vantage Point group. Following my departure, I arrived at Boulder Creek Academy August 24th, 2010. I honestly must say that while both programs were frustrating at times, I got out what I put in; wilderness helped me re-discover the value in all things I held dear to me, and academically and program-wise, BCA was more beneficial than not. For one, because the school worked by terms versus semesters, I was able to recover credits and graduate from high school relatively on time; I left August 5th of this year, two days after my eighteenth birthday.

Although I had mixed feelings about the workshops (as I am aware of the history of CEDU and the initially cult-like religious connotations present in the ideas based on Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet"), they were insightful and the Brother's Quest trip was seriously epic; I was able to not only able to get to know my program friends and staff on a deeper level, but to also make peace with myself. As an advocate for youth rights, I am for improving the programs in the troubled teen industry to protect children's freedoms, but I am not for closing them down altogether; for example, if BCA closed, that could risk kids being sent to harsher places. It is never a solution to justify an organization's existence on the premise that there are worse places, but I sincerely believe where I went was the best place to be given the circumstance that you were going to a therapeutic boarding school.

There are good and bad people everywhere, and in both places I went there were staff that legitimately cared about us children. There is always room for improvement in all aspects of life, boiling down to even such as places as this forum; I think at the end of the day we are all for the same goal, and that is to ensure that parents/legal guardians go about the correct way in getting help for their children while protecting their individual liberties. One recommendation I have after reading this forum and wiki is to be better organized, and use concise speech and grammar (certain Fornits Wiki pages have terrible sentence structure and language, and we are largely judged by how we as youth present ourselves)! I can see why some parents and employees of said organizations would be turned away from this site, as it is a haven for irrelevant postings, spam, and venomous hate speech, which we should all agree on to be contradictory to our goal of being a forum dedicated to open discussion.

I come to this website in good spirits, and I hope this message finds the Fornits community well. I am privileged and honored to have this chance of getting to know people who were in the same boat as I was. Namaste to all!

Heyo, welcome.  I'd edit some but I don't have much information to contribute, knowing that the abuse I endured was not any of these private organisations.  I'm sure an admin would like another hand, especially when it comes to properly built sentences.

Much thanks for the welcome; at which programs did you attend? I'm curious to hear your two cents worth of wherever you attended!

EDIT: Sorry, I forgot to sign in before posting that comment (even though it's clear it's from me).

I didn't really go to a program.  I just went to a public school with below spec time-out rooms and abusive procedures, while the principals used the administration above them to maintain a fight with my parents.  Edmonton has very few private schools in the metropolitan region, so there was not much options outside of public schools.  Thing have been changing - the principal at that school is no longer there, the superintendants have changed a few times and things sound like they are changing.


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