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Posted June 10, 2004 

Distance... “Perception is reality”

Dear Coronado faculty and parents:

Our son xxxxxxx is about to graduate from Coronado Academy. We all know that our young adult children have traveled a long road to get to this wonderful day. The day we brought xxxxxx to Coronado it seemed so far way from our home in Massachusetts. xxxxx told us after the first few days at Coronado that he did not belong there but yet he chose to stay. The decision to send xxxxxx to Coronado and his decision to stay represented a giant leap of faith for all of us, especially xxxxxxx. He had never been more than 3 hours driving time away from us, and Costa Rica might as well have been on the other side of the world. Perception is reality, and Coronado feels closer to us now than the boarding school that xxxxxx attended in Connecticut ever did.

The Coronado staff has opened many doors for xxxxx to choose to walk through. Heather and the educational staff have rekindled xxxxx’s self-concept as an interested learner. More importantly he feels like an important and respected member of the Coronado community. Mario and the residential staff developed a positive therapeutic plan of action with xxxxx that the entire staff followed through with caring, dedication and consistency. They figured out how to approach xxxxx in a way that would stimulate and reinforce his growth as a learner and as a member of the community. They worked with a unified, individualized approach that has had a significant impact on xxxxx. We were on the phone with xxxxx last week and a staff had handed him a “positive incident report”. How many of us are used to only getting incident reports when our child has gotten in trouble. This tells us so much about the attitude of the Coronado staff towards positively reinforcing xxxxx’s growth.

We speak to xxxxx twice a week and we IM a lot. This is far more communication than we ever received at xxxxx’s former school. Coronado is all about communication. I talk with Dr. Zambrano regularly and I believe he has received better, more holistic medical care in Costa Rica than he does at home. Thank you Dr. Z.

Mario, xxxxx’s counselor calls us once a week and is always organized with his updates, insights and next steps. Our conversations are not only informative, but include us in the xxxxx’s therapeutic plan. We feel like people really like xxxxx at Coronado and care about him very much. When I am worried as mothers can be, or just need to talk, I call Elena. I know she is very busy, but she always makes me feel that she has all the time I need.

The first day we brought xxxxx to Coronado, everyone wanted to hear everything we had to say about our son. We felt like they were soaking in every bit of information we had to give. xxxxx told John Brown that he was seriously concerned that no college would accept him because of his grades. xxxxx has a history of, probably like most of our kids, inconsistent grades, negative self concept, underachievement, poor study habits and lots of emotional baggage. John Brown said to xxxxx “I know that a college will want you.” xxxxx didn’t just get into any college - he got into one of the most respected and competitive art schools in the country. Heather worked closely with xxxxx; and we all gave it our best shot to get him into a good college. Ringling School of Art and Design “wants him”.

Although Costa Rica is far away, it feels much closer than Connecticut ever did. xxxxx has thrived. He has positively stepped into his own sense of who he is as a learner and a person. When he came home in April for a college trip, he was a young man who could now see his future in front of him. He knows that his future is his to make. We wish we could express in words, the deep appreciation, respect, awe and gratitude we feel for all the staff at Coronado. They opened the doors, and helped xxxxx walk through them. “Perception is reality” and ours is that Costa Rica is only a “stone’s throw” away.

Most sincerely,
Rhonda and John Page
West Newbury, Massachusetts

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