By: John Huie
Mortanton, North Carolina
As parent of a son who attended Alldredge Academy,
I wish to share these observations with other
parents looking for the appropriate program
for their son or daughter.
Alldredge Academy enabled my son to turn his life around. He was
profoundly influenced by the compassion of the staff, the creative
program design, and the overall philosophy. The family program was
powerful not only for my son but also for each member of our family
as we all came to understand the need for personal growth and change.
After five months at Alldredge at age 17, my son moved on to complete
high school in New Hampshire where he earned all A's the last semester
of his senior year. He continues his passion for kayaking (the influence
of Alldredge), he is taking care of himself physically, and he is
working full-time for an outdoor outfitter. He communicates with
me honestly and openly and is well on his way now to living independently.
He plans to enter college after a year of full time work. His long-range
goal is to become an instructor in a wilderness therapy program like
Alldredge! He is setting and achieving realistic goals, living by
positive values, and making good friends. There is no question that
the foundation for this dramatic shift was laid at Alldredge.
As the former executive director of the North Carolina Outward Bound
School (1977 - 94), I am familiar with a wide range of wilderness
programs for struggling teens. Having visited Alldredge Academy approximately
six times in the last three years, I can vouch for the safety, integrity,
and exceptional creativity of this program. The wilderness and village
phases are designed to tap deep into the hearts and souls of the
students. This program does not skim the surface; it goes deep and
it challenges students to see themselves clearly, to make changes,
to embrace positive values, and to catch a vision of what they can
become. For my son - and for many others - the Alldredge experience
has evolved into an authentic transformation.
Programs across the country
are addressing the needs of struggling teens in a variety of formats,
and many of them have a positive impact
through behavior modification program designs.
By contrast, Alldredge aims for a genuine change of heart. It is
a profoundly spiritual
approach in which students truly experience "the love that heals".
All schools working with struggling teens face challenges and the
occasional crisis. Alldredge staff have moved through their own crisis
in the past three years - and the program today is stronger than
ever. I know all of the staff personally. These are people of integrity
who are deeply committed to help young people find the path to a
healthy and fulfilling life. I am forever grateful.
I welcome dialog
with anyone who is interested to know more about Alldredge from