Freedom Academy takes students from every kind of background. Some students are just falling behind in school and need a fresh start. Others are experiencing much more trouble or difficulty in their lives. Some students are here because a court says they have to get help, and others are just looking for a place to start over. The key is that a young person is willing to come and cooperate with the program.
Freedom Academy opened in 1981 and has been in continuous operation for over 33 years.
Every student that comes to Freedom Academy is asked to commit to the program for one year. Many young people and their families find it beneficial to stay longer than a year. After twelve months, it is up to you.
While many new students enroll in the summer, we accept students all year round.
Freedom Academy is in a little town called Lakemont, NY. It is in a country setting directly overlooking Seneca Lake in the middle of the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY. We are between Elmira and Geneva, close to Watkins Glen (the home of an annual NASCAR race).
While it costs us over $3500/ month for each student, our wonderful supporters allow us to only ask for $1850/ month tuition. On top of that, many of our students receive additional financial aid, depending on their personal financial situation. The important thing is that MONEY WILL NEVER BE THE DECIDING FACTOR in whether a student comes to Freedom Academy or not.
Yes. Every student will continue their education and work towards their high school diploma while at Freedom Academy.
On a daily basis, once homework and chores are completed, students who are eligible may go to the recreation room and play games (pool, ping pong, video games), go to the weight room, watch a movie, or enjoy the outdoors. On special occasions, the students enjoy outings to special ministry events or local sporting events in Rochester, Syracuse and Elmira. Freedom Academy also fields teams in soccer (boys and girls), basketball (boys) and volleyball (girls) against other private and Christian schools. There's a lot to keep busy.
You don't HAVE to go to church, you GET to go to church! Jesus Christ and His Word are the heart of everything we do. Students must respectfully participate in everything we do, especially church service.
Nope. We have students from all kinds of church backgrounds and some from no church background at all.
Yes, Freedom Academy has both boys and girls. But no, you are not allowed to interact with each other until you have earned that privilege and can be trusted to handle it properly. And that takes a while, trust me.
Students communicate with their parents regularly. They have to write a letter home every week and may call home one time a week. After three months, students in good standing can begin to receive one weekend visit a month.
Students do not go home during their first year in the program. If they choose to stay longer, students who are eligible may visit home in the summer and at Christmas.
The summer gives opportunities for a lot of work and a lot of fun. Students help spruce up the campus and spend more time working with the horses and other animals. But the summer allows time for a lot of fun, too. Trips to the local parks, time on the lake, and other fun activities keep the students busy. And the highlight of each summer is our week away at summer camp.
At Thanksgiving and Christmas, students break up into groups and spend the day with staff families in their homes. At Christmastime, families send gifts along with many of our supporters. Most students find that some of their best memories come from spending Christmas at Freedom Village.
Every young person has a different situation. While we expect each student to keep their commitment, we cannot force anyone to stay against their wishes. We just hope that their motivation to be here and desire to change would be strong enough to help them succeed, even when things get difficult.