Suffice it to say, I would not be the adult self I am today if I hadn’t gone to MA. Mind you, I’m only nineteen years old, but my process at the academy has given me the opportunity to reflect on what truly matters to me long-term: my family, friends, and life ambitions. In my two years at the program, including Sky House, I have met some of the most inspiring people, who have helped my family and I work hard to get to a place of compassion and understanding. Moving forward, I feel like I have the tools necessary to deal with life’s ups and downs. That said, the State of Montana will always hold a special place in my heart, and I find new reasons to be grateful for my time there every day.
-Michael C – 2017 Graduate
MA allows your family to separate the emotional hardship of trying to solve a problem by giving everyone the space they need to think clearly, breathe, and become more objective and introspective. Trying to figure this out on our own with the support of local therapists, schools, and other local interventions was impossible as we, as parents, were too immersed in the day to day chaos to see anything clearly. Sending our son to wilderness, then to MA, was the best option for saving our son from a path of looming self destruction and undue stress on his family.- Montana Academy Parent
One of the most valuable and significant benefits that he gained is to trust others. While I think trusting the adults at MA was more natural for him, trusting his peers, and learning to open up to them honestly was very difficult. He has come a long way in this regard, and has realized that he can get support from his peers when he is willing to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable also allowed him to realize others needed support too, and that his input was valuable as well.
For me as a parent, the biggest benefit was learning that I had to “let him go”. What I mean is I had to realize that he was responsible for his choices, I am not. My now young-man has to make decisions about how he wants his life to be, it is not up to me. Letting go of any “power” I thought I had was the biggest relief ever. This does not mean I do not care, or will not offer my input when asked, but it means I am accepting of the fact that he has thoughts and desires of his own, and he must own those.- Montana Academy Parent
The interaction with the team leaders and therapists was the most important and valuable part from my perspective. The academic piece was not the priority, helping our son realize his worth and work toward accepting himself while learning to cope with life’s hardships and successes was the primary goal. Having him take responsibility for his decisions and outcomes was necessary. The team leaders and therapists, without fail, have supported him, and us, in this pursuit. There have been many highs and lows during the MA journey, but there has been tremendous growth in him as a young man, and an eye-opening education for us as parents.- Montana Academy Parent
Our experience with Montana Academy, and its in-town program, Sky House, has been outstanding. Our son has learned so much about himself: his triggers and his now healthier responses, his capabilities and responsibilities, as well as consequences, good and bad. For our family, having a place like MA for our son allowed us to regroup our own lives, giving us space to observe, learn, and participate in the program our son was experiencing. It proved to be invaluable for the family unit as well as for us individually.- Montana Academy Parent
I think the Sky House was the best decision we made after being on campus. Although my son matured and learned a lot on campus it was a huge asset to have him continue on to Sky House. He had the opportunity to put what he learned into practice plus identify where the difficulties would be likely to arise when out of the program. Having a job, going to school, studying, shopping, cooking, doing laundry, keeping his room clean are good skills to work on and be responsible for.- Montana Academy Parent
The therapists and team leaders were very invested in the boys. The boys also kept each other honest.- Montana Academy Parent
I would recommend MA to any student that is struggling with anxiety and or depression who is not getting any significant relief from weekly therapy. MA provides an academic environment that simultaneously provides therapy and the ability to connect with peers. These students develop the ability to honestly express themselves and learn that what they have been experiencing is not uncommon.- Montana Academy Parent
The team leaders are a huge component of MA and have an invaluable impact on the students. In coordination with the therapists and teachers the team leaders ability to befriend the students and at the same time help them develop the areas they need to strengthen is like having a personal mentor. The team leaders know the students in all situations because they spend the most amount of time with them and can help them navigate through struggles. They are typically a trusted person who the students can be completely vulnerable with.- Montana Academy Parent
This program cemented the work our son did in the wilderness and returned our little boy to us. We haven’t been this close since he was in grade school.- Montana Academy Parent
MA provided a safe, structured and transparent environment that enabled my son to mature without disruption of the outside world and away from his family. He learned about personal accountability and that he is ultimately responsible for his actions. He was able to understand his strengths and weaknesses and exercise the areas that needed to be developed with the help of the staff.- Montana Academy Parent
MA provided multidimensional support for our son — formal therapy, group work, medicine management, academics. The parent support is also phenomenal. We became very bonded to the other parents in our cohort.- Montana Academy Parent