Alumni Questionnaire ← Back to Index

Stephenie Mayer:

What is your name?

Stephenie Mayer

To which institutions were you sent?

Escuela Caribe, Mountain Vista Academy (girls' summer program)

How old were you?

17-18 years old

When were you enrolled in The Program?

I was enrolled June 8, 2005-July 31,2006.

What was the highest level you attained?

3rd, but only for less than a week.

Please describe the circumstances that got you sent to The Program:

I was a high school dropout, was arrested when I was 16 on serious drug charges, battled with severe drug addictions, and was engaged to a crack addict.

In which house(s) did you live?

Starr

Please describe instances of abuse you experienced while in the program, if any:

The only thing I experienced was staff members playing favorites a lot (I was usually on the better side, while others weren't). Scrub days were hard, but they no longer make you exercise all day, and you actually clean the house, not just one tile.

Describe abuse of other students you witnessed, if any:

Same as above, but also the way they handled one girl while on seperation support. They made her stand and scrub for almost a week and not talk to anyone, all over something trivial.

Do you have any good memories of The Program? If so, what are they?

Oh yeah. I learned a lot in the summer program, like how to build structures and how to use power tools. We traveled a lot, and went exploring. I loved climbing pico; what an accomplishment! I also went to the Haitian villages twice, and Christmas was actually nice. I also had great houseparents who acctually put into the house along side us girls.

What is your overall impression of The Program? Did it “help you”?

I think my parents had had enough of my problems. They tried everything to save me, and this was a last resort. It really helped me take a “time out” in my life and really think things over. I've changed a lot, I would think because of the program and my own will to change. I had an excellent counselor who helped me overcome a lot of my issues (even the ones I didn't know I had) and found that the groups I was in helped too. The only problem I see with the program in regards to me was that it didn't really help my parents. It only took two weeks for them to kick me out when I got home because they didn't think I actually changed.

What do you think of the quality of education you received?

I actually did very well down there. I learned so much, more than I did at the other schools i attended back home. I graduated with a 3.66 GPA, and feel I'm pretty prepared for college. The teachers were great and so willing to help.

How old are you today?

18

Did you go to college after attending The Program? If so, what degrees do you have?

I'm starting college soon, so only time will tell how long I'll last there. It's only a two year program at a community college, but it might be too much for me.

What is your profession?

Student

Do you consider yourself a Christian today?

Not really. Christianity has been more than forced upon me all my life, but faked it all through the program.

What effect did “The Program” have on your faith?

Again I was sick of hearing it, and it confuses me how they judge your progress on your relationship with God. I did enjoy some youth groups.

Please feel free to add comments here:

From what I've read here and on other sites, I've come to the conclusion that the program has changed a lot over the years. I believe that this should only be a last resort for extreme cases; I mean like my extreme case. I'm not saying it's heaven on earth; in fact, it sucks, but it's an option. Now, if I had to send my kids down there, I might think twice.

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