"Freedom Academy was has been a Godsend my entire family! We thought that we had lost our son a year and 1/2 ago. Not physically lost him, but spiritually, morally and mentally lost him. We knew that it was only going to be a matter of time before we would have physically lost him if he would have stayed on the same destructive path. We found Freedom Academy through extensive research and prayed that this was the right decision...to send our son away from home for the first time for his own good. In the first 6 months, we could see the changes in our son through phone calls, letters and emails from him and the counselors (and trust me, he had a couple of hiccups). Always a leader, our son became one that led others in the right direction versus the wrong direction. He had expectations and goals to meet at Freedom Academy that were based on a moral foundation. He learned to become humble in his experiences of being helped and helping others at Freedom. The biggest test of what he's learned at Freedom has been since he's come home. When he saw his old friends at the gym, the first thing that he told them was his legal name...he told them that he no longer will answer to his old street name. He shocked them into silence...but there was a newfound respect for him in their eyes! They were curious to learn more about their 'new' friend. Since he's gotten his FaceBook, he posts a Bible verse every morning and his friends have told him that they look forward to that every morning.Our son has now learned to appreciate his family since being at Freedom. When he came home, we had a celebration of his return with his family and he was overwhelmed at the love that was shown him. Before he left, he was too angry to see the love that surrounded him..to see his smile again was “Priceless”!! There is so much that I can say about the turnaround that my son has made...I'd never stop writing. I thank the Lord and Freedom Village for bringing my son back. The young man that he has become is commendable. He is teaching us what he's learned and we are grateful to have the chance to learn through him."
"Growing up, my dad was my best friend and I didn’t have a relationship of any kind with my mother. When I was eleven years old, my father got arrested and hit rock bottom. At this time, my mother became heavily involved in drugs and alcohol and began to physically, verbally and emotionally abuse me. At the age of twelve, I started cutting, burning and piercing myself because I didn’t know how to deal with the pain. I then realized that self-mutilation wasn’t enough so I began smoking and drinking on top of that. I hated my life so much and wondered where I was going and what I was going to do with my life. I tried to commit suicide and couldn’t bring myself to finish what I had started. Later that year, my sister was involved in the murder of her ex-boyfriend and we also lost our home. My aunt, who I started living with, introduced me to Freedom Academy and I now have hopes and dreams for my future unlike before, which is really great because I was miserable! Even though I have been through so much in my past, I can have hope in a bright future."
"When I was younger, my dad killed himself so I lived with my mom until I was 9 years old. Up until then, I was in and out of schools and foster care because of my mother’s problems with drugs and other addictions. While in foster care, I was molested and it affected me in many ways. I’ve always had the wrong friends and a part of me just wanted to end the pain somehow. There were many twists and turns throughout my short life and that is what brought me to Freedom Academy. Since coming to Freedom Academy, I have surrendered my heart and life to Jesus Christ and I am changing my life though his power. I have found hope and a chance to start my life over again."
"I was a troubled teen before coming to Freedom Academy. Since I was a child, I searched for affection and approval from my father, brother and any other dominant male figure I was exposed to growing up. There was an emptiness in my heart from the time I was a small child, which I believe came from being with my Mother constantly, while my Father worked long hours, leaving him emotionally unavailable and detached from the family. I grew further and further away from my family as the years progressed and grew closer to any substance or person I felt could numb my unhappy, empty life. I committed myself to an unhealthy, physically and emotionally abusive relationship where I was taken advantage of and hurt daily. As an 18 year old, high school drop-out and drunk, the “high life” was not all it was cracked up to be. After I was hospitalized twice, my family had an intervention with me. It wasn’t until this point in my life I had truly fessed up to being “messed up”. I decided to leave my destructive past behind me and try a new way of living. I accepted the help being offered to me and God used Freedom Academy as solid ground for me to stand on where I could learn and grow in the Lord. I have the world ahead of me now and a confidence only God can provide for his children. I thank God for the opportunity that was given to me at Freedom Academy!""
"Growing up, my parents never had a lot of money and this made my heart bitter. Both of my parents were incapable of working. Although they tried their very best to raise me according to Biblical principles, faith was where I struggled. I started getting involved with a gang and I started hustling. The way that I was living caused me to make some bad decisions, I started skipping school and eventually I ended up in jail. Through a series of multiple events, God orchestrated a path that lead me to Freedom Academy. I came to Freedom Academy and God began revealing himself to me. I began to know Jesus as an individual and a friend, I no longer see him as a symbol. As a result of God's work in my life at Freedom Academy, I will be graduating high school this spring and plan to attend college in the fall."
"Both of my biological parents sexually and physically abused me and my sister. My grandmother found out and put us into foster care. I wasn’t there very long and when I was just six years old I was raped in that foster home. Eventually I was adopted by a good Christian family. When I started 7th grade, I started being bullied and as a result, I began cutting and burning myself. When I got into the 9th grade, I continued to be bullied and eventually, even tried to kill myself--- I tried cutting my throat and another time I tried hanging myself. My mother had found out about everything going on and decided she had had enough so I was sent to Freedom Academy. Since being at the Acaedmy, God has been doing great things in my life, working on me and helping me heal from the past."