From Teen Graduates of Our Residential Program
“I want to thank everyone at Crosswinds for sticking by my side and helping me through this difficult time in my life. My life was going to be ruined if it wasn’t for Crosswinds and the support from everyone there. Thank you for the amazing adventures that I have experienced and the skills I have learned. I hope to be back in the D.R. serving soon! Love y’all.”
“Caribbean Mountain Academy truly is a wonderful program that I would recommend to EVERYONE!! The year I spent there was the happiest year of my life, where I learned a lot of good life lessons. The staff there was very caring and helped me get my life turned around and onto a better path. It wasn’t easy, but all of the staff dedicated themselves to bearing with me through the rough times and getting me to a good place, and to becoming the person I am today. I’m very stubborn and hard-headed, so I admire the patience and determination they had with me! The country is beautiful, the food is delicious, and the local Dominican people are so friendly and welcoming! I didn’t want to leave and I would move back in a heartbeat. I built very good relationships with the staff, the students, and the locals – many of whom I am still in contact with. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be who I am today without the time I spent at Caribbean Mountain Academy. I am so thankful for the chance I had to spend time in the Dominican Republic! I am more than willing to share my experience with anyone who wants to hear it. No program is perfect, but CMA comes pretty darn close! And trust me, I know what a bad program is like. I spent 14 months in one. But CMA is honestly the best program out there! Thank you to all the staff members who helped me learn how to live a better life.”
“Truly a life changing experience. The hard work of all the staff to put in real one on one personal thoughts and ideas was fantastic. I always knew that there was a side to me that was better than just another “messed up teen.” Although the journey was long and filled with many challenges, I am so happy with the young man I am becoming. There is not a day that goes by where I do not think of all my former peers and staff [at Caribbean Mountain Academy]. There is no greater excitement than discovering God and His work in my life. There is no greater sense of pride than what I feel now as I look back on my past. I went from looking at my past as a kid who got expelled from military school for drug use, to a man who has now graduated high school a year early, is making remarkable accomplishments, and has discovered God, family, and life. For this, I have no words. Simply said, thank you Crosswinds.”
“After starting school here at Caribbean Mountain Academy, I finished high school a year and a half early. When I think about it, it’s just crazy. I can’t believe I really finished high school and I really did things that I never thought I would. One of the biggest lessons I learned here was that I really can have good relationships with people and what good relationships look like and how they affect everyone around me. I really love the staff here because a lot of the time I would get frustrated, but they wouldn’t give up on me or not want to deal with me. And I’m so glad that the staff stuck with me. They kept pursuing me and pushing me to places where they knew I could ultimately go.
When I first talked to my family when I came here, I was really angry and really bitter towards them. But after I got past that I started making progress in communicating with my parents. I started being honest and because I was honest with them, we began building trust. Just telling them what was actually going on helped a lot.”
“My life before I came to Caribbean Mountain Academy was bad. I didn’t get along with my parents, I missed a whole year of school, I had really bad friends, I didn’t want to do anything with my life, I didn’t want to go back to school, and I had no plans for my future. I was just messing up consistently, but that was fine with me. I had no desire to be a better person. Being here has changed my perspective on a lot of things. I appreciate my parents now and I see why they did all the things they did—they were trying to protect me. But at the time I didn’t realize that. I think I’ve matured a lot since being here. I’ve done a lot better with accepting my parents authority over me. I’ve also rebuilt my relationship with my mom a lot while I’ve been here.
When I first got here I didn’t think this place could do anything for me. And I gave up a couple times along the way. But now seeing the end result, I appreciate all the work that everyone put into me and all the advice and encouragement that everyone gave to me while I was here. I appreciate it all, so thank you.”