Monday, December 17, 2012

Transitioning Home from Cedar Ridge Academy Therapeutic Boarding School

Cedar Ridge Academy works to provide a journey for each student that allows them to achieve their potential as a person. Each student’s progression towards home is different.  However, as parents await their arrival with excited anticipation, the students go through a bittersweet experience.  This blog post was written by Katelyn about this very experience that she is going through:

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Katelyn poses under the shade
Preparing for home is an exciting process at Cedar Ridge Academy, except once you’ve been here for almost two years, it’s actually kind of hard to say goodbye. I’m writing this with the knowledge that I’m leaving in one week. It’s stunning to see how far I’ve come throughout my stay here. When I came in, I was a drug addict, always running away from home, and I had no relationship with my family. When I look back on my first few months here, it doesn’t even seem like I’m looking back on who I used to be. After 22 months and leaving on level 800, preparing for home in a positive mindset is so unreal, yet so fantastic.

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Katelyn at Halloween with the scarecrows
When I leave on the twentieth of December, I will have two weeks of winter break at home and then I will start college in January. That alone was a journey I had to figure out. I had to look at how much school was left to finish here and the time limit I had, then I needed to pick out my college classes and register for them. I also had to look at my home contract and all of my plans for staying stable at home to make sure I’m successful. Other than that, I really wanted to spend my last three weeks helping the girls out in my home and acting as a mentor. That is part of what makes it so hard to say goodbye. On top of that I have to say goodbye to staff, students I’ve made friendships with and karate - it’ll even be hard to part with the llamas - as funny as that seems. I think the main thing is that the relationships I’ve built here are like nothing else I’ve experienced before. They’re vulnerable, honest, and caring. Everyone I’ve come to know here I’ve come to love. They know the true me: all my fears, all my joys in life, what I want do with myself. Nothing can replace what I’ve felt in my stay here.
  
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Katelyn poses with a friend in the school
Like I said before, it’s hard, but still exciting to be leaving for home. I know it’s time for me to take my next step in life and move into the unknown. I will keep a place in my heart just for Cedar Ridge and the people in it, and know that they gave me the strength and courage to create who I am today.

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Katelyn is now a brown belt in Karate

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