The selection of a student is based on willingness and ability to participate in the program while considering a spiritual component in her restoration. and. The spiritual part is probably the most important for preventing recidivism. The success of our graduates is the reason we believe our students are exceptional.
The first step in selection is by an interview that is done over the phone. It may take an hour and a half to complete. At need, it can be done in person or by mail.
If there is a medical, psychological or legal issue that could impact the student’s success in the program, additional information is requested appropriate to the issue.
The Family-Like atmosphere makes the Life Change portion of the program effective because it models godly love for one another. It is created by living life with the students.
We get to know them better by sharing meals and empathizing in their joys and sorrows. Through this they learn to trust and follow our lead. This facilitates healing of brokenness from abuse, abandonment, relationship problems and poor choices.
As the students are healed, they contribute more to the vitality of the family life.
Contact is maintained with students after completion to encourage them and provide help as needed. Students may return for visits and we may visit them. Social media is also used to stay in touch.
There are the ordinary rules of human behavior. In addition to these are house rules that are designed to preserve order and harmony in the life of our Hope family. A secondary purpose of rules is to teach obedience and discipline. Success in all work and family environments depend on these.
Discipline brings peace and joy in living because it keeps corrects behavior and thinking for success. This also will guide students through adversities and afflictions that all experience from time to time. A graduate will consider these opportunities for growth and maturity.
The students are always supervised. Work programs, which create an attitude for success, are done on the campus. Since everything needed for this is in our facility, we avoid risks from the real world until they are ready.
Students go for supervised neighborhood walks and have supervised outings for special education, events and recreation.
The structure is built of our expectation for behavior and a schedule. At the highest level students are expected to cause no physical, emotional or spiritual harm to other students. Harm caused by a student is dealt with swiftly and will result in dismissal if the behaviors are serious or repeated. The schedule is described below and is attached at the end.
The program is operated in an exceptional facility with a 14,000 building on three acres of ground in a quiet residential community. Also, there is a 7,000 sq. ft. building for community activities. Everything needed for the program is on the campus.
The schedule provides the structure for each day of the program. There is a time for everything and everything has a time. There is free time. However the students are strongly encouraged to use this time effectively in personal study, devotion and developing godly relationships.
The morning is for core education, spiritual activities, and personal hygiene. The afternoon and evening are for spiritual and practical development and enhancement. A detailed schedule is attached at the end.
There is a mandatory period each day for exercise, which is usually done by running or walking for the period. In inclement weather, there are treadmills and other equipment.
Attention is paid to a healthy diet that will heal and strengthen the student. There is enough variety to provide for some variation in preference. Nutritional supplements are permitted in the program. The student can also purchase specialty items with her own money and keep them in her private food box.
Medical and dental care is from local specialists
Education focuses on the spiritual Christian truths and disciplines needed for a moral life. Remedial education, including GED, is provided for mental improvement. Many opportunities are offered inside the program to practice what is learned. The daily schedule gives more detail on this feature.
Work skills for employment, and leadership are practiced. Students learn how to follow directions for employment and take initiative that is required for work advancement or management. The opportunities are practical. For example there are opportunities in cooking, grounds keeping, home maintenance, hospitality, cleaning, printing, and graphics design.
Immediate feedback provides the first level of practical transformation of the student. It is given when correction or improvement is needed in physical, mental moral or spiritual practice. Staff has the primary responsibility for this.
Senior students who are in leadership have a limited responsibility for this. Examples are big sisters (mentors for new students), room captains (wake up, bedroom order, lights out, overnight distress), study hall monitor (keeps students focused on studies and records their accomplishments), chore checker, head cook, and so froth. Students are rotated through positions for widest development.
Personal studies focus on specific issues a student may have. Each assignment is done privately. The education director or mentor will meet with her during the study to discuss what she is learning and to answer questions.
Encounter groups are for helping students overcome what controls their lives by sharing experiences and struggles with peers in a place of safety and love. Each group is composed of 12 or fewer individuals including two facilitators. These are trained and experienced.
The facilitators do not act as clinicians or counselors. Rather they practice accurate empathy, encourage balanced participation, practice beneficial communication, model self-disclosure and insure meetings follow the guidebook for the Encounter Topic.
The first Level for participants is Awareness. It is composed if five videos. One is shown in each of five sessions. Following each video is a review and guided discussion on its application. The purpose is to portray characteristics that may lead to life controlling problems. Every participant will identify with one or more of the characteristics.
The Insight group follows this. It helps the students to assess their problems. Persons who are discouraged about the possibility of change may directed to the Free to Grow encounter group before proceeding to the Appropriate Encounter Group topics.
When a student is ready to move on, the facilitators will determine the Appropriate Encounter Groups that will follow. There are several under each of these topics Addiction, Relationships, Mercy, and Emotions. Topics are picked that will help the most number of students.
Having finished all Appropriate Encounter Groups, the student will continue with Affirmations for Living Free. Under this there are a number of topics for continued improvement and growth. Some examples are Completely Free, Managing Money, Healthy Thought Life, The Search for Significance, Overcoming Codependence and Committed Couples.
Life coaching is one-on-one help for students. Cognitive Therapy guided by Christian biblical principles is the model Hope uses. It focuses on students discovering their notions that led to substance and behavior addiction. The addiction is used to alleviate painful emotions from her history. It may include destructive behaviors that distract one from solving life controlling problems and unprofitable strategies for avoiding future pain.
The history of an event is not changeable and not the root. However the notions that are usually established from the event before 13 are the roots of pain and can be changed. These are something like “personal beliefs and rules” for dealing with life as it comes. They form from an interpretation of events and environment.
Most students have notions such as “not valuable” or “not protected”, which, respectively, produce emotions of depression and anxiety. Alleviating these painful emotions with addictions and destructive behaviors become the Life Controlling Problems. These are complicated by strategies of denial, delusion or avoidance used to avoid people and events that affirm these beliefs.
The coach carefully listens to the student describe emotions and events. Answers to questions help fill in the blanks. Sometimes there is a word of knowledge or insight. All this provides the student with insights from which she can change her notions.
This guides students in becoming an exceptional.