Before I came to Alpine I was in situations that put me in physical and emotional danger.  I was hanging out with the wrong people, lying to my family and even lying to myself sometimes.

While I was at Alpine I felt angry and yet so loved and cared for.  I was frustrated most days because I was so home sick and I missed my negative life that I lead back at home.  However, I felt so much support from my family and from the staff, students, and house-mates.  I felt heard and understood which made my time at Alpine much easier and more comfortable.

Some important things I learned at Alpine are, first, to think positively.  Life is going to be tough and there will be times when I may feel down, but I decide how I am going to handle things.

I learned that it is ok to have a rough moment or to struggle and make mistakes, but how I react and bounce back is more important than anything else.

When I came home from Alpine my life changed positively because I was able to control my emotions and my impulses.  I find that I am able to communicate my feelings, needs, and wants to others in a positive way.  I can easily relate to others and help them handle various struggles and situations because I can think clearly and have empathy for them.  Since I have been home I have been happier than I ever was before going to Alpine.  I still have my rough days, but I can process my thoughts which help me understand what I may need to do to feel better.  I recently graduated high school and I am attending college in the fall.  In August 2011, if anybody had told me that I would be where I am today, I would not have believed them in a million years.