Richard was a 17-year-old Junior in High School with a world of opportunity ahead of him. He was a top athlete on his school’s swim team, in honors classes and seemingly doing well. As the oldest sibling in his family, Richard even helped his single mom take care of his younger brothers and sisters. He was responsible and smart. It took just a few friends and peer pressure to lead him down the wrong path.
When classmates from his sports team all began using marijuana, Richard started up too and within a year, began selling. His grades slipped, and he flunked out of two classes. He was eventually kicked off the swim team and expelled from school.
That’s when he was sent to Lad Lake’s behavioral reassignment school and given a second chance to succeed. At Lad Lake’s school, and with the help of an alcohol and drug counselor, Richard stopped using and started focusing.
“It’s helped because it’s given me one-on-one with teachers,” explained Richard, “It helped me understand some of my more challenging classes like math – and get back on track. It also helped me realize my mistakes. Most of the people who I’ve seen do it [drugs] don’t really succeed in life. I don’t want to be like that.”
In just 4 months, Richard was able to recover the 3 credits in Biology and English, and bring his GPA back up – getting him back on track in school. Because of Lad Lake, Richard is no longer involved with drugs and is set to graduate high school on time next year. He understands the mistakes he’s made and is committed to turning his life around. He is considering joining the ROTC and possibly even going to technical school for mechanical engineering.
- National research shows that nearly 1 in 3 high school dropouts use drugs. Left untreated, these youth are at greater risk of adult poverty and compounding health and social problems later in life.
- Every year, Lad Lake gives over 300 students a second chance in school. Lad Lake counselors help teens struggling with drug addiction, while teachers help students recover lost credits to get them back on track toward graduation.