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Posted May 11, 2005 

Testimonial for New Summit Academy

Sanders Ergas

May 11, 2005

To Whom it May Concern:

I am adressing this message to any and all families who are interested in finding a unique, enriching, safe, effective, and caring academic environment for their teenaged sons.

Just under a year ago, my 17-year old son (then 16 years old) was graduating from an intense, 60-day wilderness program based in Utah. We had sent our son to Utah as the result of several attenpts to address his apathy, recreational drug use, and sense of entitlement. Following the wilderness program, we were fully prepared to bring our son back home for his senior year of high school. However, upon attending his wilderness program graduation, we quickly realized that he had acquired many new valuable lifestyle tools and behaviors that would surely be lost or, at best, devalued if he came back to his old peer group and envirnonment. It was then that we decided to look for a boarding school alternative.

We were initially introduced to New Summit Academy in Costa Rica (along with several other "stateside" boarding schools) through our educational consultant based in San Francisco. After fully investigating and interviewing a short list of outstanding schools, we were convinced that NSA most fully embodied the educational and lifestyle values we were seeking for our son. These included academic excellence, personal responsibility and accountability, personal growth through experiential activities, and respect for nature, others, and self. The only catch (isn't there always a "catch"?) was tha NSA was out of the country! We had heard horror stories about boarding schools outside of the US, and our concern was real and completely understandable.

However, we had also become completely enamored with NSA's philosophy as well as the dedication, care, and proficiency of the NSA staff, whom we had, by this time, spoken to several times by phone. We called current and former NSA student families and became more and more comfortable with the idea of our son living beyond the borders of the US. Long story short, we flew down to Costa Rica with our son for his first day at NSA. I am happy to report it was one of the best decisions we have ever made.

Our son has thrived at NSA. His GPA has gone from 2.5 to just about straight A's. He has built homes for the poor, taught local Costa Rican kids to swim, hiked into rain forests, kayaked amongst whales, worked in local businesses, and countless other activities he simply would not have had the chance to experience here at home. Most importantly, he has learned to value his own life, to fundamentally understand that he is an intregal part of a greater whole...that he indeed matters. In more tangible terms, our son has recently been accepted to attend several California universities, based upon the excellent academic program at NSA (and, of course, his efforts in the NSA program!) as well as the university entrance exam scores he received while attending NSA.

In summary, I reccommend, without reservation, NSA in Costa Rica for any family seeking a unique, truly life-altering experience for their son. The staff is completely professional, the academics are top-notch, the counseling services are incredibly caring and pro-active, the international experience is irreplacable, and the gift you will give to your son is priceless. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions at all.

Best Regards,
Sanders Ergas

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