Another way for parents to gauge the effectiveness of the Summit Achievement program is to talk directly with other parents and hear what they have to say about their own experience with the program.
Summit Achievement maintains a list of parents who are willing to share their experiences with parents who are considering the program for their son or daughter. This list is available from the Admissions Department.
You can also click here to read a recent blog written by a student 3 months after leaving the program.
I am glad that my daughter wants to attend the Summit Reunion. She now treasures and attributes the time she spent at Summit, and the support and help she received, as instrumental in her self-awareness and starting her journey to turn her life around. She says it is where she did the most work and where she had the most growth.
I am so grateful to all of the kind and caring staff at Summit. My gratitude for all that you do. What a special place!
What can I say to you? What a leap of faith I took in giving my girl over to you and how unbelievably fortunate we were that I did. You collectively embody that remarkable combination of insight, concern, generosity, toughness, conviction, warmth, professionalism, wisdom, perseverance, and integrity, and we were the very lucky recipients as you applied it all in your work with Julia.
Julia seems to be thriving at her new school and as I am wowed by the work she is doing. I am grateful for the tools that you gave her with which to tackle that work. The enabled her to push the wall far enough to see the possibility. I send sincere thanks to all of you! Lucky are those who don’t yet know how much help is awaiting them.
With awesome respect,
My wife Linda and I cannot tell you how much nicer it is at home now with Benjy. He has so much more awareness about himself and a willingness to work with Linda and me in a more appropriate way to discuss and compromise on differences. Likewise, Linda and I have much more awareness of Benjy and his strengths and challenges. If I had to quantify it, there is a 95% improvement in his behavior and our home environment. If misunderstandings or differences of opinion develop (which they will periodically), our family is much better equipped to deal with it constructively. While we realize that Benjy needs a school environment to support his needs and that while our family will benefit from ongoing coaching support, the foundation for an almost entirely different family environment has been established. Linda and I cannot thank everyone at Summit enough. In a relatively short time, Benjy’s approach and demeanor is so much more reasonable. This is obviously great for his self-esteem and our family happiness. Words cannot express the depth of our gratitude.
Steve and Linda
“Thank you” seems too simple a phrase for the gratitude in my heart. Whitney was such a lost soul and you have helped her find herself. In so doing, she has a new perspective, maturity, and sense of her future. Throughout the time that Whitney was with you, your support, responsiveness and, most importantly, genuine concern for my daughter was evidenced. From my original contact with the admissions department, I felt a sense of calm reassurance. With the initial conversation, [Whitney’s therapist] established herself as first and foremost a professional. On-going conversations revealed how she cared for and respected Whitney; and that was truly reciprocated from Whitney.
The challenges of weekly expeditions and corresponding upward movement afforded Whitney much needed structure and positive reinforcement. Each guide provided Whitney a gift—for the simple fact that these are folks who have passion and compassion in their daily lives. Qualities which set a wonderful example. Finally, learning that Whitney’s issues were chemical imbalance rather than solely behavioral was efficiently addressed.
We are all on a journey of self-discovery and actualization. Thank you for being part of ours, for you all have made a difference.
Last week Nicholas graduated from high school here in Thailand. As he proudly strode across the podium to receive his diploma, I recalled the day he and I landed on your doorstep three plus years ago. I was bankrupt as a parent; my son was in rebellion, but scarcely knew about what. I had turned to Summit as a desperate last resort. Frankly, at that point I had little hope of his finishing high school, much less attending college. But now Nicholas has been accepted at the University of San Francisco and will begin there this fall.
Our family credits the program at Summit for making all of this possible. I dropped off damaged goods and our son came back to us transformed. I was scarcely prepared for the self-assured leader of men and self that your program had crafted and returned to me. I recall well Nick’s confident response when I challenged him whether he had the wherewithal to be successful back on his home turf: “Summit did not change my behavior. Summit gave me the tools I need to make good decisions in life. I want to stay out of trouble.”
Many thanks to Summit for rescuing our son.
Greetings from Southern NH! We are almost a year since we dropped George off with you. Wow, we have such a different young man than we dropped off with you. He is engaged at school (same school he came home to), he is on the soccer team, he has his license, he has a part time job, he has passed every drug / alcohol test (given weekly), and I think he is much happier.
I think Summit was successful for George because he wanted to change and his parents were willing to change too. George deserves all the credit, but if we as parents weren’t willing to modify our behaviors, it would have been very difficult for George to succeed. The parents have to be willing to be reflective, to listen and to change…
Thanks for your help with George. His time at Summit was critical to him turning his life around. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
How does a mother begin a letter explaining the heartache of suddenly not being able to even recognize her own son before Summit came into our lives? And how does she then express the depth of gratitude in getting her upbeat, happy, goal oriented, boy back after Summit? Our Son Tim was always the type of boy teachers wanted in class. He was a smiling, laughing, good natured boy, from the minute he was born. My husband and I had our little buddy and did tons of family activities with Tim, so we were shocked when suddenly in high school we had multiple calls a week from school, suspensions, arrests and a child who no longer was engaging in school or life.
The counselor kept mentioning Summit but I didn’t think things were that bad. My husband and I tried to make the counseling work and hold Tim responsible for his actions. Things were only getting worse by the day. I spoke several times throughout the year with the admissions person at Summit and compared it to many other places. One night it all came to a head…very painful to look back on but we thought we had lost our only son. We made the plan and brought him up (boy was that a horrible ride…) to Summit. I called later on to see if he ran away, or was violent or making trouble and the counselor said, “I am looking at your son through the window right now and he is playing games with the other guys.”
It was the peer to peer feedback that resounded with our son, it was the environment, it was the amazing counselors and the guides that changed his course and our lives. Tim is in his second year of college, on honor roll, playing sports, and he loves life again! He said to me recently that he feels life is made up of experiences and how you look at those. He will be a guide after college!
Grateful to the core
Where does one begin to explain the positive impact that Summit has had on our daughter and our family as a whole? Looking for a structured, therapeutic and nurturing program is not an easy feat, especially when this may be the first step in your child’s therapeutic process Our daughter is an amazing child that just experiences life in a more sensitive and painful way. We were looking for a therapeutic setting that would not set her back emotionally, or even, physically. We did not want her to develop any new maladaptive behaviors. We were immediately drawn to Summit because of their 100% volunteer policy. No child would be escorted to Summit against their will. This mission spoke volumes to the integrity of the Summit’s amazing staff and the families attending the program. We quickly learned that not only was our child going to grow but so was our family.
Communication was also an important piece. We were not sending our daughter away as a punishment but rather as gift to her, to help her develop insight, confidence and self-esteem. Having a child leave the home for this program is not a selfish act, but rather a selfless act of kindness to your child. Realizing that Summit would fill the gaps in our daughter’s emotional growth that we were not trained to fill, was one of the most rewarding discoveries we allowed ourselves. We have never looked back with regret, nor has our daughter. She actually looks back with pride of her accomplishments. Summit helped us all communicate in a better way. In all our years of exploring various therapeutic modalities, the counselor we had at Summit is by far one of the best therapist we have ever had. Her calm, supportive and nurturing approach was much needed and was incredibly effective.
The other piece that was critical to us was the educational piece. This helped fill gaps in our daughters learning, both filling her learning requirements that she would be missing while at Summit plus, additional support in strengthening areas that she was already doing well. Our appreciation for Summit is difficult to summarize in three paragraphs.