Students

"It was in the tenth grade that I was first introduced to marijuana. Using the drug made me feel good. It made me into someone that I wasn’t. I didn’t have to deal my issues. I pushed my schooling aside and made friends my top priority. I began drinking heavily, every day. I started using harder drugs: meth, cocaine, ecstasy, etc. I seemed to become popular and everyone wanted to be my friend. I overdosed and almost died twice. I ran away and the police ended up tracking me down and arresting me. I was taken to the station where my mom and dad picked me up. I was then placed at West Ridge Academy. Little did I know that the Academy would help me more than I ever thought possible. Overcoming and working on my issues has helped me to understand the importance of why making the right choices is so important and how my choices can impact my future. Living in the light and staying on the right path is so much easier and provides a lot more blessings and opens more doors than accepting the “dark side.”
— WRA Graduate

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Parents

"We were at our wits end, our daughter had developed serious behavioral and emotional problems. We could see that she was headed down a self destructive path. We tried all sorts of different things but nothing seemed to reach her. We enrolled her at West Ridge Academy, and after three months we started noticing changes in her. She began cooperating with her therapist, and even started swimming and singing again, which she hadn’t done for years. West Ridge taught her principles and strategies to cope with her problems. At Jenna’s graduation from the program she stated, “When I arrived at West Ridge I was completely lost. Then slowly things got better and better, and now I am happy again. I just got certified as a lifeguard and I’m loving school. I have my days, but when they come, I now understand how to deal with them. Life is good."
— WRA Parents

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Mentors

"It’s amazing to be a part of a team that continues to improve our program to offer hope and healing to the families that walk through our door. Our staff here are incredible! I enjoy working with a team that is so open to change. Our team supports one another and our students day in and day out. One of the main things I love about West Ridge is every single student that we come in contact with. These students’ come to us from different walks of life and to be apart of their journey to healing and watching the hope in their eyes brighten is the most rewarding thing to be a part of."
— Charnelle

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Therapists

"Working with families at West Ridge Academy brings great joy to my life. It is a pleasure to see the kids and their families transform from coming in unsure about what they are walking into and finding their way from being angry and hurt to discovering that they can be happy and peaceful again. I love that I can come to work each day and help these families find new ways of communicating and relating to one another, building stronger bonds and healing the wounds of the past. I am grateful every day for the opportunity to work at a place that cares so much and offers such hope."
— Melinda Talbott | LMFT, Therapist

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Staff

"I have worked as legal counsel for West Ridge Academy for approximately 3 years.  During that time I have come to know the dedicated staff and board.  They bring more than their respective professional skills to the table... They bring their hearts.  They truly love the youth they serve.  This shows in everything they do, from when they work with them individually to when they make general business decisions.  Everything is focused on how West Ridge Academy can best serve their kids.  I have two children and if either one of them were struggling, I would insist that they attend West Ridge Academy.  It is a special place."
— Calvin Michael Hatch, Esq. | HATCH LAW, LLC

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Teachers

"Everyday I smile at the thought that I can be a small part of the lives of these beautiful young people. Each one that I’ve met is uniquely different and yet all are on the same amazing journey of learning, growth and discovery. It's awesome."
— Tom Hewitson | Music / Art / Marketing

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Coaches

"I am very passionate about the athletic program at West Ridge Academy. It is not always about the wins and losses but how we can make each player better today. I have seen so many lives grow and improve over the last 10 years and athletics has a been a big part of their success. Players that have the opportunity to play a high school sport at West Ridge might not have had that opportunity elsewhere but have had the chance to play and developed great skills for the game and life to take back home with them."
— Jamie Keefer | Athletic Director

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