We wanted to tell you how grateful French Camp Academy is for your faithful support and to explain how your generosity impacts hurting young people. But we think this young lady, a current student, expresses it better than we can. Like you, she understands the impact French Camp Academy has had on her life.
“I have lived most of my life with a military father. My mother, who was highly unstable, left my dad and me when I was eighteen months old. When I was five years old my dad married his high school love. I was physically and verbally abused for almost their entire marriage. Eight years later they divorced. My dad had to take on multiple jobs in order to help pay the bills at my grandpa’s house, pay child support for my little sister and care for my needs. He was always stressed and soon he became abusive. I started hanging around the wrong crowd and began looking for attention in guys.
My father worked in the evenings, so after school I did pretty much however I pleased, most of the time without him knowing. My reputation became so bad that even the teachers were pulling me aside and asking about things they had heard about me.
I started spending a lot of time with my dad’s girl friend, who introduced me to my first real drinking experience. I soon started sneaking alcohol every chance I got. My thoughts on suicide worsened and, I started becoming bulimic after my father and I had an argument about my depressive overeating.
I just wanted to die.
Finally, I broke down to my counselor. I took off my long-worn, fake smile and told her everything.
By this time, dad had already made plans to send me to a school called French Camp Academy but my counselor insisted that I be sent to a behavioral facility first. I spent 16 days there, during which time I told my dad everything about the past two years. After hearing this, going back to my old school was no longer an option.
I came to FCA two and a half years ago. When I first came, I was afraid that I would be unaccepted, but that fear was soon proven wrong. They welcomed me with open arms, and though I was hesitant in accepting the love of the faculty and staff, I realized that this kind of love was what I needed all along.
My whole outlook on life has changed. I have found my talents and learned how to release my thoughts through the arts. My daddy and I have become strong in our relationship and while he is serving in the armed forces, we are closer than ever. Most importantly though, I have come to know God and have let him work through me in many ways.
I know that many of the experiences and activities I enjoy at French Camp Academy would not be possible without the support of people like you. Thank you. With the love and support I receive from my house parents and staff at FCA, it is like having a new home.”