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Posted May 18, 2005 

Mother Responds to Ivy Ridge Stories

Malaica Valiente
Davie, Fl

To Whom It May Concern:

It has come to my attention some controversial reviews that you had written about a specialty school named Academy of Ivy Ridge and even thought I believe in freedom of press this country has, I also thought it would be a good idea for me to tell you who I am and what has happened to our family since my daughter entered the School.

I am a highly respected professional in the music business; I had lived in New York City for ten years, now I reside in Florida. I am a mother of three children, single mother I may add. Two years ago, my now 14 year old daughter begun to show very irrational actions.

I brought her to AIR April 7th 2004. After almost one year of slowly loosing touch with her, not being able to connect and loosing control of my life as well and my other two children. It is amazing how one child can disrupt the entire family system. And we think it is a just “bad answer” or seeing them smoke or try drugs. For me, it was more than that, it was loosing it all; my health, my job, my relationship with the other children, it was my whole life.

Then I realized that it is not enough to try, to want to be there for her, to do the ultimate, to try to change things around and all over, to make it better the next morning when you wake up. We bring them to this world; no one gives us manual, or tells us how to do it. It is not enough to say that we give them love, comfort when we can, provide them with all they need. Then I used to hear people say how good of a mother I was, I never hit, hurt or did anything intentionally, in fact, I had worked so hard all my life so we can have a home. So what went wrong? What happened here? I have come to realize that yes I have to come to terms that “I cannot now”, that for now “I have to let go” and I found through a lot of search the program. It did not take me long to enroll her in AIR and to come up with the loan and whatever it was to do to get her there.

Let me add that I am not from this country, but from the far Latin South. I had faith in professionals who know how to handle it, they have done it for years with so many successful stories. Ever since XXXXX has been there, there has been never one time any complains from her about abuse, not eating right, etc… Soon after arriving, my daughter realized that what I did for her was to give the chance to live the life she was born to live. She did not love the strict rules, but soon thanked me because “she was safe” she had professionals helping her 24/7

Then I went to the seminars and tried it for myself. Let me see if this is all true. I struggled in Discovery a little because it was very intense. I learned how serious this was and how a part our family was, how we were living in one house, but so disconnected and so alone for so many years. Then I did second seminar, Focus, and made it so much easier. Along with the seminars came into my life amazing people that I love so much and mean so much today to me. I realized that there is way out of all this mess! This is major. I had a way out of all of this misery and getting through!. and weeks went by when suddenly I started reading letters that were saying to me “Mom, I will never forget what you did by sending me here, you have given me another chance to live, I feel so good here…” I don’t recall any letters really before that, remember I was catching on my relationship with my other kids and my sleep.

XXXXX has been there for over a year. I just returned from seeing her for Mother’s Day weekend. Our whole family is finally healing and walking the talk. She has explained to us how the program has taught her to look and find that excellence within herself, her beauty , to realized that there are working and non working choices, not right and wrong answers. In the program, she realized that it is not enough to live a mediocre life, but to stand strong on your integrity, to be around people who stand for your excellence, not your crap. It is not just her, but our whole family changed.

It is very simple in the program, you call you make the arrangements, they take your child (let’s say all the specifics fall into place), then immediately they call the whole entire family to be 100% of the program, or the program may not work. They are not fixing your kid, they are teaching your whole entire family.

It was only through this program that I started to think about me and my own life, where I chose to quit my job of 8 years that paid well, to go into something new, very scary, but that will give me the air to breath, the time to see what it is life has to offer or to smell the morning breeze. Not only I got a new job, I got a great job. Great boss, more freedom, my life has totally changed ever since this program started. One can say it is coincidence, but I learned different. What we resist persists. The only way out of something is to actually go through. What we fear, we create. I have also learned not to settle on my own lies and excuses not to step out and create something different for me

I could not have done this without AIR, without the seminars, the support, the family rep and the staff and AIR who stand out for XXXXX day after day and that they never give up on her, they never give into her crap, but into her excellence, into the amazing human being she is. And this goes for all of the kids, all the kids in all the programs. Do I struggle? Or will I ever struggle over and over again? Of course, but how can I not acknowledge the tools that I learned to over come the struggles, or to simply go along with them and use them to grow.

When I read negative articles about the program, I go ok! Being in the music business I am very used to this type of commentaries and let them go. Because they mean nothing to me and to another thousands of peoples whose program has changed their lives. So you can continue to talk about how bad they are, or how someone said this or that. I can just tell you I have been a part of it for over a year, very close and all I can say is: Thank you Ivy Ridge, Mr. Jason, every family representative, the dorm parents, the night and day supervisors, the teachers, the staff, the support groups, Premier for the great seminars for giving us such great tools to work with. And to let everyone know that something magnificent has happened to me and to hundreds of others, no matter who they are, where they are from, how long, how short or where they are in the program. And you know why? Because we’ve found a way out! Going thought it and this is huge. I have a daughter who laughs so hard and loud, who is happy to be alive, to love herself, to know she is capable of anything, to stand up for herself and others, and that her family is right there for her along this journey and we will never give up on each other.

I think you may want to look into what you are writing about. The program is all across the country and has been saving families for years. Is it perfect? Nothing is perfect. Does it work? Yes Sir, it does work wonders. So here to non-perfect, great program, to united families, healthy and happy. Cheers to you, if yours is the case.

Malaica Valiente

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