The ASPIRE Program at Alpine Academy is gaining new momentum. The program started three years ago as a way to provide a different experience for older students who would be graduating and going on to college or living on their own. At that time it was temporary and we hoped that someday it could become a fixture. At the beginning of this year out wish came true and the ASPIRE program became a permanent feature on campus.
In this program students are able to continue working on their treatment goals and family relationships. However, they also get the change to experience independence and real life learning opportunities that will launch them into young adulthood. Under the supervision of the Family Teachers the ASPIRE girls learn valuable lessons through managing their own money, setting daily schedules and study time, problem solving and negotiating in peer relationships, and much more. Earlier this month the ASPIRE program had an open house for prospective students. All of the girls approaching the age of seventeen were invited to a presentation and tour given by the current girls in the program. They were full of questions and excited about the opportunities available to them.
With the upcoming graduation, several new students applied to be in the program; and on an early Sunday morning the new ASPIRE girls were “kidnapped” from their homes and taken our to breakfast to celebrate their acceptance into the program. These new students have already started moving in and are eager to become immersed in their new treatment setting.
Because of the success of the program Alpine has decided to expand and increase the number of girls that can participate. Currently only give girls can be enrolled in the ASPIRE program at any one time. We broke ground last week on new construction that will result in an 8,000 square foot home designed specifically for the ASPIRE program that will house up to 10 students. We are very excited for this development and expect construction to complete in the spring of 2014.