Reviews - Abundant Life Academy

Reviews - Abundant Life Academy

Posted in the Central Forum

Since: Oct 12

Saint George, UT

#1 Nov 7, 2012
I wanted to share some reviews of Abundant Life Academy, located in St. George, Utah. It is a Christian, Therapeutic boarding school for struggling teens.

“One day soon I hope to give back to the program and people who helped save my life, Abundant Life Academy. I am proud to say I want to go back and work there and give hope to the teens there, just like there where staff there to give me hope. I want to help people and someday I hope that God will open up the doors to allow me to do so. For now all I can do is pray for that door to be opened.”– Stephanie S.(review of former student)

“I thank God for all He has given me and the people He has placed in my life at Abundant Life Academy. And I ask God daily to help me to reach my full potential as a daughter, wife, mother, and friend. Thank you, Abundant Life Academy, for my second chance at life.”– Liz G.(review of former student)

“At Abundant Life Academy I learned to love without emotionally attaching myself. I haven’t experienced that kind of love from other people in so long, it made me realize how much more I have to offer my family and friends. I am going to love my family with more love than I have. I will be more open to trusting people and letting them love me more than I was before.”– Amanda C.(review of former student)

“I learned at Abundant Life Academy that I have parents who love me with all their being. And I now have an amazing guy in my life, who for the first time, makes me feel respected and safe, I have friends that can’t get enough of me, and I have staff members and directors at Abundant Life Academy that have taken the time out of their lives to help teenagers come to Christ. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t ask for anything more. Materialistic things fade over time, but the love and the bonds that you build with the people that come into your life are things that will be there forever.”– Chris S.(review of former student)

“My life now has changed a lot from attending Abundant Life Academy. I know my life is headed down the right path now. I believe that God will be with me here on out.”–Anthony G.(review of former student)
“By the time my parents found out about most of my lies, I was addicted to alcohol and into drug abuse, sexually active, a liar, manipulator, and trouble maker within my family. The only one of those that my parents weren’t 100% sure on was the alcohol and drug abuse aspect, but I’m pretty sure they had their suspicions. At Abundant Life Academy I learned what my deeper problems are. I can’t say it was always easy because that would be very far from the truth. There was times when I wanted to give up, but I stuck it out. This program has made me realize how important my family is and I’ll never again take them for granted.”– Olivia W.(review of former student)

“Praise God!!! Praise God!!!! Praise God for everything that He has done in our life through having our teen at Abundant Life Academy. What an awesome place.”–Ginny S.(review of former student parent)
“Parenting is fun again after our son attended Abundant Life Academy. It is wonderful to watch them make bad and good choices and learn from them. We can’t thank ALA enough. We have a huge prayer list praying for the staff and every day. We believe in what ALA is doing. God bless all the staff.”–Robin G.(review of former student parent).

Abundant Life Academy ( www.abundantlifeacademy.com ) aims to transform lives and restore families through the love and hope of Jesus Christ.
ALA Parent

Torrance, CA

#2 Sep 21, 2013
Abundant Life Academy is under new management, and have relocated to a first class new facility in Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. If you are interested in learning more, go to their website. A wealthy New England parent of one of the kids who was going to ALA bought out the entire academy and has added everything he (or any parent) would love to see in such a facility and program, including top staff and all. None of the old staff or owners are involved in the academy any longer since it has all moved to Virginia. This listing in St. George should be removed, since ALA is no longer located in Utah.
Mary

Fredericksburg, VA

#3 Mar 23, 2014
Well what happened to it now? They fired the best people in Virginia with no notice! Not very Christlike.
Frances

Richmond, VA

#4 May 14, 2014
Mary wrote:
Well what happened to it now? They fired the best people in Virginia with no notice! Not very Christlike.
Mary - What are you referring to? Please explain.
David

United States

#5 Jun 20, 2014
Story in Fredericksburg, Va Says Staff at ALA academy being probed and 4 Staff members let go because of an assault . Now we find that a Nurse quit because proper procedures are NOT in place at this 'first class facility' with no First Class staff to go along with it..
Suggest you investigate thoroughly before putting your kids in here.. This place has not been open 6 motnhs and things are already awry....

http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2014/...
Herb

Allentown, PA

#6 Jul 4, 2014
Do not send your child here.. They promised it was almost impossible to get kick out.. Well seems they left a computer key board cleaner in an unlocked room and while my grandson distracted the life coach another stole the cleaner. They shared it with others in a huffing incident. Then asked both to leave in 76 hours. My grandson had been there for only 2 months and it cost 3500 initial fee, 2000 for transport there, 6300 to transport to next school, and another 3500initial fee. They would not even answer my request to get half of the initial fee back even though they should have keep the cleaner in a locked area. In discussions with several other schools they could not believe a cleaning agent was left in an unlocked room. What do you expect from children who are there because of misbehaviors.

Highly advise you not to send a child to this place they lack experience and by refusing to even answer the question how strong are their Christian beliefs.
Do your research

San Diego, CA

#7 Aug 11, 2014
Having worked for ALA in one of its previous versions, I highly suggest researching exactly who is involved and in what capacity as far as the staff - even if it's only in an advising position. This institution goes back a very long way and has had problems in every adaptation. I learned the hard way that it's the same people whether you see their names listed or not. I know there are kids that come out ok and everyone involved says their lives were changed. Keep in mind, these are few and far between. What is portrayed in the advertising sounds great but when it comes down to it, the staff just cannot put everything into practice, even if trained properly - which they are not. Also, I feel the need to mention that the schooling provided is not the kind of education needed to prepare for college. Even if your child was accepted into a good school, they would, at the very least, struggle their entire first year. Ultimately, there isn't enough stimulation provided for teenagers, and that's mainly because you would have to have a whole lot more staff to accommodate that.
i went there

Valdez, AK

#9 Oct 10, 2014
dont send your child here! It is an unstable, dangerous environment!
Shame

Phoenixville, PA

#10 Nov 30, 2014
okay being someone who went here i can tell you what happen form a male students point of veiw nothing more nothing less all i can say is that staff is underpaid (at least the ones who care about your child's wellbeing) and have to pull money form there own pocket to find ways to do the projects at hand which where assigned by the people above (the owner). The owner, paul, is driven by what most wealthy white older men are driven by that is the money. In order to get into a regular mental health ward you have to pass a psych evaluation (i should know i have been to several) but, to get into ala you do not have too have any sort of mental illness, all you have too have is angry parents that have money! i have seen a person sent there simply because there were gay that is pure and utter discrimantion right there. Paul also has a son who sells drugs and uses them (according to a student that knew his son personally) Which begs the question if ALA is so helpfull why can not he send his son there? I leave you to decide . I can also tell you that out of ALA i do have a better realtionship with my parents but thats because im scared of being alone. I just want parents to know ALA is not a good place simply because it goes about doing what they in the wrong ways
Michael

Lynchburg, VA

#11 Dec 20, 2014
As a former "student" at ALA, Virginia, I can safley say that the program needs to be shut down. The life coaches were very kind and so was most of the staff. But to be honest I did not learn anything from the actual program itself. I learned most of what helped me from 3rd phasers and close friends I made along the way. I was only there two months before my parents decided to pull me. Also it is NOT what they sell it to be. I was decived greatley. They make it seem as if life is perfect there, like we all got along. But in reality, there are physical fights, fights between staff and students, and no real help given. Paul makes it seem nice by investing his money into it, but he doesnt care about the kids or anyone. He is a gold digger. All he wants is your money. So please, if you are considering sending your kid there DO NOT.
Urs

London, UK

#12 Feb 27, 2015
I also went to the ALA in Virginia. I was one of the few people that actually graduated the program in the short time it was open. I came out supporting the program but i was used as a pawn. In reality the program didn't help me. I was only grateful to be able to leave. The emotional and physical abuse I experienced there leaves me still with nightmares and trauma. The school has closed in Virginia but I do believe they are trying to open a new one in North Carolina. PLEASE do not send your kids there at any cost. And if you are considering any other program for your kid, PLEASE do a ridiculous amount of research. "Therapeutic" programs have long been shown to be ineffective and a great deal of abuse has been known to occur. They tend to be very harmful and leave your child with greater struggles than before. Often times, the staff are untrained and underpaid. Not only that but in my experience, ALA was ALWAYS extremely understaffed. All forms of communication between the students and the outside world are monitored and censored making it impossible for the students to report any possible abuse or unsafe circumstances. Please be very careful and listen to your child in these situations.
Sven

Charlotte, NC

#13 Feb 27, 2015
[
Thank you for the thoughtful report. We put our daughter in there. We think that she would have died otherwise; because of the insane choices she was making - running away, etc. Yet when we were able to visit her for the first time, after the 90 day waiting period, we were shocked by the dreary looks on the faces of the kids, as they shuffled from one locked room to the next. The buildings and grounds were beautiful; but everything else there seemed like a huge missed opportunity. The activities, food, instruction material, lack of staff, etc. we felt that our daughter's spirit was going to be altogether crushed. We got her out very soon thereafter. There were some good-hearted Christian folks there. The website portrayal of the place was almost entirely false advertising. Even staff who had left for many months were still pictured on the webpage. At one point only two of the eleven staff members, pictured on their website, remained. I like the concept, and I wonder if there is any program that is really good. On a different note, when parents sign up for something like this they are in a state of panic for their child, and will freely sign anything. ALA wanted to continue taking $4,000.00 per month from us, even after we removed our daughter. They insisted that we had signed her up for a year. Thankfully we were able to find a good lawyer in the area. We paid no more money, even though Paul told our lawyer that he always won in these matters. If you are reading this, and wondering where to send your child...I am so very sorry for what you are going through. May the Lord give you wisdom and peace.
aaa

San Diego, CA

#14 Oct 12, 2015
i attended AlA in both the Virginia facility and the Saint George facility. It is not a place I would have chosen to go, but it helped me a lot. There were many health risks at the Saint George facility. For example, there was mold over most of the food, and when a couple of the students got sick and asked to see a doctor, they were refused. There are also rumors of physical abuse of the students in the Virginia site. This was blown out of proportion by students who were trying to find any way possible to get out. I am still in contact with a couple of the staff members that were accused of physical abuse, including one on the video. SO I have gotten both sides of the story including from students that were present and the student was out of control and threating the well being of others. So although I do agree that The saint George facility was unsafe as far as medically goes, however the Virginia facility was not.
Shelms

Raeford, NC

#15 Jan 10, 2016
aaa wrote:
i attended AlA in both the Virginia facility and the Saint George facility. It is not a place I would have chosen to go, but it helped me a lot. There were many health risks at the Saint George facility. For example, there was mold over most of the food, and when a couple of the students got sick and asked to see a doctor, they were refused. There are also rumors of physical abuse of the students in the Virginia site. This was blown out of proportion by students who were trying to find any way possible to get out. I am still in contact with a couple of the staff members that were accused of physical abuse, including one on the video. SO I have gotten both sides of the story including from students that were present and the student was out of control and threating the well being of others. So although I do agree that The saint George facility was unsafe as far as medically goes, however the Virginia facility was not.
Hello, by any chance did you know Meredith Thomas? I am searching for her for her sister Natalie Thimas. She was sent to the Utah location an Natalie was sent to another boarding school in KY. Didn't even know the school had closed until I started searching. Any information you may have would be an incredible blessing to Natalie. My email address is [email protected] God bless
Shelms

Raeford, NC

#16 Jan 10, 2016
Hello, is there anyone out there that knows or has contact with Meredith Rae Thomas? I am searching for her for her sister Natalie Thomas. Meredith was at the school in Utah but have no idea where she may be know. She turned 18 in November and that is why we are now searching for her. Natalie was sent to KY to another boarding school and has been astranged from her parents for the past 4 years.

A
Please any information anyone may have would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you and God Bless
Drscott

East Stroudsburg, PA

#17 Apr 16, 2016
Is this school still open?

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