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Posted: Apr 18, 2010 08:02

Kathy & John Batton
Letter To The Editor

February 2010

In my mind I have written this letter over and over to you, but I was not sure how to put it into words, but today I am going to give it a whirl.

Bridges Academy has been a god send to our family. Not an hour goes by that I do not think of all the things the school has done for all of us. We were hopeless and in despair when we sent our son to you. We had tried everything with Bryan and we recognized that we did not have the skills necessary to help him. It is clear to John and I that everyone at Bridges is
so very caring and has the best interest of the boys at heart. A scary prospect of sending our son away to be placed with strangers. But everyone at Bridges is no stranger now, we consider them family. The patience, the wisdom and the professionalism that everyone at Bridges has demonstrated has been nothing but exceptional.

The accessibility, empathy, and advice/counsel that has been provided to us, helped John and I through a most difficult time in our lives. It has been a difficult and emotional journey, but knowing that Bridges was working with the "entire" family, not just Bryan, is what we wanted. There are not enough words to put into this letter to describe the renewed hope that we have for Bryan and his future. Bryan has clearly learned new skills while at Bridges that will serve him throughout his life. He has learned more about who he is and what he is capable of accomplishing, an understanding of how he got himself into such a bad state, how to control his reactions, thinking things through, and he has learned to be self reliant. He earned his High School diploma, which we did not think would happen. Bryan is maturing into the young man we knew he could be. We know things are not always going to be smooth sailing with Bryan, but John and I have learned new skills in working and communicating with Bryan. We have more confidence in our decisions and how to approach issues with Bryan. Through the weekly sessions with your guidance, wisdom and insight, Joan, we have learned so much more about Bryan and how he thinks and feels. You have a way of really providing some incredible insight into the mind of a teenage boy. We know that Bryan learned a lot about himself during those sessions, as well. The way the program is set-up really provides such a good framework and approach in helping the boys. Nothing gimmicky, just good old fashioned common sense. The size of the school was also extremely important to us regarding our decision on where to send Bryan. He had been able to fly underneath the radar for several years, he was not bad enough to get recognized for what he was or was not doing in school, or good enough to stand out. At Bridges he was able to get so much individual attention and coaching in helping him work through his issues, he was not able to hide and had to deliver. We firmly believe that at a larger school he would not have been provided so much individual help.

John and I were totally committed to doing what we could to give Bryan a second chance with his life, and by our experience we found everyone at Bridges was just as committed as we were.

Now Bryan has that chance.

Thank you!

Bridges Academy carries a special place in our hearts!

Kathy & John
Marietta, GA


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