A Fine Ending and a Nice Homecoming
Posted by hyperpat on December 17, 2006
Got back from Oregon last night, with my son in tow. A very nice graduation ceremony, and one I think will mean much more to him than those that happen at traditional schools. The school he attended is one that specializes in emotional growth for teens that are having troubles. Those troubles can range from drugs, sex, and violence to complete isolation and down-in-the-dumps self-images. The school does its damnedest to give these kids new tools to handle life in all its flavors, and for the most part they are quite successful. When I looked at all the kids at that school, I was pretty much amazed at just how well the program had impacted them; all I could see were bright, cheerful, polite, confident, and well-rounded young adults (and I do mean adult). And it’s not just the kids that learn from this program, the parents do too: better ways to communicate and interact with your children, what works and what doesn’t, how to identify and de-fuse potential flash points, the list goes on for a very long way.
However, for those that need and can benefit from such a program, there is one major stumbling block, and that is the cost. I would imagine that less than 5% of parents can afford to send their kids to such a place, and very few health insurance plans will cover any of the cost. It put me deep in debt (to the tune of $100,000), and the whole thing probably won’t be finally paid till fifteen years from now. But certainly more than 5% of all kids need something like this, and unfortunately all too many of them will end up with broken lives, incarcerated, or have very short life spans, as they simply will not have the chance to get this kind of help. And that’s a shame and a tragedy, as by not providing some means to help these kids, America is unnecessarily squandering at least some of its future potential.