Alumni Questionnaire ← Back to Index
What is your name?
To which institutions were you sent?
Escuela Caribe and Marion
How old were you?
When were you enrolled in The Program?
December 5, 1993 - December 23, 1994
What was the highest level you attained?
Please describe the circumstances that got you sent to The Program:
Even as an adult, I believe that I was dealing with some fairly normal teen issues. I did not get along well with my parents; I was trying to find my independence. I did stay out later than my parents would have liked on occasion and was dating someone that my parents didn't like. There were also some instances where I experimented with alcohol, but never to the point of being arrested, or driving drunk. My normal teen issues were compounded by the fact that I had been sexually abused by a family member when I was younger and did not have a close relationship with my father who worked a lot. I am also adopted and realize as an adult that I may have been dealing with issues surrounding that.
In which house(s) did you live?
Please describe instances of abuse you experienced while in the program, if any:
I was belittled by staff members in the DR. I was also not treated when I was sick. I was told that I was faking it and was forced to go about my daily activities (school, work time, etc.) When I was finally taken to the Doctor I was diagnosed with giardia which I had contracted from the water in the DR. I was subsequently accused of drinking the water in order to make myself sick. I was forced to do excessive exercises for minor infractions of the rules (ie. Left in push up position for extended periods of time for forgetting to ask to step in and out of a room)
Describe abuse of other students you witnessed, if any:
I heard many students being belittled and getting swats in Phil Redwine's office while I was at school. The student would be in the office with Mr. Redwine and all the housefathers and everyone at school could hear the housefather's and Mr. Redwine yelling insults at the students. I also saw a student come to school with the entire side of his face bruised, his housefather had stepped down on his back when he was doing push-ups on the concrete. I witnessed many students on different kinds of supports that I consider abusive, such as silence (they were not allowed to speak for weeks), push up support (they had to do push ups every time that they stepped in or out of a room). There was also a girl in my house who had bladder problems and wet her bed often. She was belittled and punished (exercises, etc.) for doing this and her mattress was taken away and she had to sleep on the wooden slats. I witnessed many more instances similar to these.
Do you have any good memories of The Program? If so, what are they?
The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country. I made some good friends when I was there and they are people that I will never forget. There were some staff members who I thought really cared about me and I will remember their kindness as well.
What is your overall impression of The Program? Did it “help you”?
No, I don't think that it did. I left the program disillusioned and confused. I used recreational drugs to deal with the pain that I felt during the program. I don't feel that I ever received any real counseling while I was in the program, I am unsure if my counselors were even licensed.
What do you think of the quality of education you received?
I believe that it was substandard at best. We taught ourselves (it was similar to home schooling). I got good grades, but there was no real teaching that took place, we just sat completely silent in a room with the other students in our house and a teacher and did our school work. During the time that I was there we did not have the use of any computers, and the library was poorly stocked.
How old are you today?
Did you go to college after attending The Program? If so, what degrees do you have?
I went to Word of Life College after leaving the program and then stopped going to college for quite some time. I currently go to college and am working on my Bachelors in Business Administration.
What is your profession?
Stay at home mom/home daycare provider
Do you consider yourself a Christian today?
What effect did “The Program” have on your faith?
I stayed away from church for a long time after leaving the program. I still have problems trusting those who claim to be Christian. I have come to the realization that the people who are in charge of the program are not an accurate representation of Christians, nor did they show Christ's love to me as a student.
Please feel free to add comments here:
These are my impressions of the program as I can remember them. I would caution any parents who are considering sending their children to NHYM to look beyond the hype and investigate what is really going on. As a parent, I realize when I was a teen, I was crying out for attention. NHYM was not the answer then, and it isn't the answer now. There are alternatives available to you and your teens that I believe would be much more effective.