Personal reflections from New Alliance Academy students in their own words
I credit New Alliance with turning my life around… I would like to thank all the teachers and learning strategists, past and present, for their help with getting through the challenging coursework.
Former New Alliance Academy student
Our students’ experiences in their own words:
I came to New Alliance Academy after a year in a residential program. I did more work in the couple of months here than in my entire high school career. It’s also the very first school that I wasn’t kicked out of and it is here that I received my high school diploma. New Alliance Academy gave me many unique and useful experiences such as the field trip to Montclair where I created a sculpture in the style of George Segal and where I also became interested in college. New Alliance Academy helped me in my efforts to get into college. I broadened my knowledge of music which I have loved since I was a little kid. I would even play the guitar for students and staff during break. It made me very happy. I had fun while learning.”
I credit New Alliance for turning my life around. I was sent out of district unwillingly and in the process lost every single friend I once had. I was angry for a long time. After time passed, I began to start my life over. I accepted myself for the way I am and worked hard to do the same to others. I would like to thank New Alliance Academy for letting me into the school when others wouldn’t and for everybody’s problem solving, can-do attitude. I would also tike to thank all the teachers and learning strategists, past and present, for their help with getting through the challenging schoolwork. I would also like to thank all the students that have attended New Alliance Academy while I was here for being considerate and helping me through the bad days. I would like others to get the same chance I had at the road to recovery. Most of all, find out who you are and strive to be the best you can be.
On my first day I fell in love with New Alliance Academy. The building was clean and beautifully appointed. The hallways were full of cool student artwork and photographs and the classrooms had plenty of technology. I didn’t want to go home. I stayed until 5:00pm the day of my visit and participated in a music class. I really enjoyed the one-on-one experiences with learning strategists and my therapist who helped me organize everything from my notes to my backpack to my thoughts. The staff and administration encouraged us to be active participants in the community.
My district required me to come to New Alliance after a hospitalization.My parents and I did not feel it was necessary and we fought it all the way. In the beginning we wanted to find ways avoid coming to school. I worked closely with my therapist and realized I was fighting against something I knew I needed to do. I needed to recognize my part in the work to get back on track. Sometimes it’s hard to deal with what is right in front of you. I was able to return to district in six months and had a great experience. I was challenged in my advanced courses and built wonderful friendships. I took advanced math and science classes, but also took art and music. My therapist, my caseworker and the faculty helped me to get back to where I used to be. I regained being a good student and I was well prepared to return to a high achieving school in my district.
When I came to New Alliance Academy, I didn’t want to be here, but I knew I needed something. While attending New Alliance Academy I was able to participate in my district sports. After a year, I felt I was ready to go back to district. New Alliance Academy helped me in the process. It was hard at first, being back at my district, but New Alliance Academy continued to support me in the future. I don’t think you realize how something can help you until you look back after you have been through the experience.
Last year I stopped attending school for a long period of time. It was agonizing because I not only shut myself out from the outside world, like school, I fought with anxiety on my interview the first day and my first month at New Alliance Academy. The day of the interview I didn’t know whether I was going to be able to come to school ever again. My mother and I met the director, principal and staff who made the process smooth and offered me the support I needed. Being a younger student in the school, I had to fight paranoia and fear of being around people. There was a lot to get used to. However, I received therapy at New Alliance Academy and I try and work hard on my academics everyday. Every week, I have been on Academy, the highest level of participation and commitment. But most important, I feel like everyone accepts me. I am comfortable, I interact much more and I feel much less afraid and confident in who I am as a person.
At New Alliance Academy, I faced the best of days and even the worst days of my life. However, I left here knowing how to face reality in healthier ways than before. I not only gained knowledge, but I gained confidence and patience. I have a better understanding of myself and the people around me. With that said, I am beyond thankful for the many friends I have made here. I have never had a friend care about me so much like everyone does here. Here at New Alliance Academy, was able to be myself for once and actually be appreciated for it, and that Is the one thing I really won’t ever forget. I was able to participate in my school prom back at district while participating in many activities at New Alliance Academy such as organizing suicide prevention activities at school, producing our school yearbook and hatching the cutest little chickens.
I grew up in an orphanage and came to the United States. It has been a lifelong struggle. I felt abandoned by my birth family and never part of my adopted family. I had trouble in school and started hurting myself and my family. I had to go to a residential program. I still struggled with thoughts of hopelessness. After residential, I came to New Alliance Academy. I am cared for here and began to get my life back together. I am now studying at college and continue to see my New Alliance therapist.
I was referred to New Alliance for an out of district placement following the completion of the CST evaluation process. I was always depressed, moody and anxious. I had been unable to consistently attend school because of being in the hospital and participation in a partial hospitalization program. I have been feeling like this for years. At New Alliance Academy, I see my therapist twice a week and sometimes more if I need. My family comes every week for family therapy, which was hard in the beginning, but it has really helped my family. My therapy sessions, as well as group, have helped me to improve my ability to cope with things. My attendance has improved and I am now actually smiling and missing school when we are on vacation. I am more willing to discuss my issues and I have a higher level of insight and motivation concerning my future.