The Shaping of the Future

The Shaping of the Future

June 17, 2019, marked my sixteenth birthday. I was greeted with warm welcomes and boatloads of presents. Where all was good in my mind, in reality, I was failing nearly every class I was enrolled in, losing my relationship with my family, and empowering sadness to cloud my mind. Invincibility labeled my character - I thought that I could do anything I wished, with few ramifications. As life was slipping away from my fingertips, my family grew more concerned as the days went by. Yet, to me, it was as if they were speaking in a foreign language.

Summit Achievement was the choice for an in-patient program, filled with a trained staff that had open arms. Six enduring levels of progress needed to be achieved prior to graduating from the program. The loss of one's identity sprung upon me when being strip searched. As the search proceeded, I inquired what the craziest object they found on someone while doing this was. Matt responded swiftly with an answer that shocked me, that answer is a gun. As much as I attempted to refuse to hear the extent of what these people did to protect us kids in the program, the response made me dig deep, and feel comforted as if I was at a second home. Not only did you have to educate yourself on coping skills, but school and wilderness skills, such as tying knots, cooking, and navigation. Wilderness skills came into play when expeditions took place every week. Every Thursday, there was excitement irradiating throughout the grounds of Summit Achievement. It was time to put yourself to the test!

As memories flash back in my head, one repetitively stands out from them all, that being hiking part of the Appalachian Trail with my group consisting of eight boys. The trip kickstarted with the radio blasting in the van. Shortly after unpacking our gear, the hike began on a steep incline, with minimal breaks. Throughout the trek, there were mind-boggling thoughts that wanted to tell me to give up everything, but I had to learn how to overcome these thoughts. When it struck dusk, the horizon waned over the vast forest line. As we were sharing how our day was, a female moose appeared from the marsh beyond a pond. As she walked closer and approached the water, I blocked everything out except for that fascinating animal standing within viewing distance of me. As she dipped each leg in the leech-infested waters, my mind's awareness surfaced. How could such an animal make a human gaze for such a long period of time?

July 30, 2019, the program shaped an identity that I never thought could be acquired. Damn did it feel good to receive that proof of graduation! As it was a happy rush towards a new beginning, emotions swept through me, breaking me down into shock. The future was calling my name from all different directions, but the real question consisted of was I ready for this?

The fear of judgment immediately vanished from my mind when speaking to my peers. A pulse irradiated through my body when the thought of home was in my presence. A program was perceived as a failure in my teenage mind. My stay at Summit Achievement flipped the script for me personally. Not only did my experience at this program shape me as a human being, but it also sparked a motive that revolved around my business, that was to impact another human's life positively with my future occupation. I had all the tools needed to become the person I always dreamt of becoming, but now it was whether I wanted to apply those skills to my daily life or continue down that dark path that I felt comfortable on.

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