Alumni Questionnaire ← Back to Index

David C. Saunders:

What is your name?

David C. Saunders

To which institutions were you sent?

Marion, Escuela Caribe

How old were you?

I was 17 upon entry, 19 @ graduation

When were you enrolled in The Program?

May 15th 1997 6/99

What was the highest level you attained?

4th level

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

Pre NHA I had family problems, I was rebellious, and doing poorly in school. I also had an anger problem. However I had never been arrested. Minor marijuana use, I could count the times on one hand.

In which house(s) did you live?

Huyck house

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

Emotional degradation on a daily basis, physical abuse regularly, the day before new years of 98 was my worst experience spent 9 hours holding push up position, with Nate Olson, and Drew Deboer. The staff found out that while we were being forced to dig a garbage pit we had been talking about standing up for ourselves. Well they put that to an end. Subsequently I spend 12 hours scrubbing the same one foot by one foot asbestos floor tile. There was literally dozens of incidents equal if not worse than this. At one point, another student accidentally poured 5 gallons of boiling water on me. I was severely burned head to toe and had to be carried to school, and church. However I was not taken to a hospital, or properly cared for. They did not tell my parents the truth or magnitude of my injury. Other occasions were: being forced to crawl "bear crawls" for at least 1 mile in laps on the houses gravel driveway. It so happened that Tim blossom was walking up the hill with a family on a Parent Visit, the family stopped to stare at me in horror, when Tim Blossom saw this he quickly got me out of there and severely reprimanded my house father. My Hands were profusely bleeding; I had been crawling for 2 hours or more. I could continue for pages, the abuse that I endured was inhumane and intolerable.

Describe abuse of other students you witnessed, if any:

I witnessed sadistic abuse on a daily basis there were two students in particular that I feel were tortured. Josh Hamilton and Sean Mowharr. Sean was a mentally damaged person. I witnessed him defecate in his hand because he was not allowed to use the bathroom. The house father made the entire house aware of this by making jokes constantly. Sean's clothes were in tatters and was forced to use a rope tied around his shoulders that pulled his pants up in a painful and humiliating way, because a higher ranking student reported that he was “sagging” his pants.

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

Yes I do, my first house parents were decent, how ever being a past student, he was overly brutal. My house mom Andi Spence was wonderful! In fact most of the internal changes I made I owe to her kindness. I did enjoy the scenery and the frequent rain storms at night, that was the only way I was able to sleep well, because of the lack of air conditioning. If we did not pass house inspection Ben Spence would remove the fan from the bedroom, in the sweltering Dominican summer heat.

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

No the program itself did nothing. It is all based on who can lie the best. Like I said my house mom was wonderful. And I know that she did not agree with what was happening to us.

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

Absolutely worthless. Treasure Island for senior reading? Think about it...

How old are you today?

I am 25 years old

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

No, I did not attend college, I am doing just fine. That's the joy of being self employed. NHYM taught me that a school is nothing more than a business. Just to make money.

What is your profession?

Profession: licensed Illinois mortgage broker.

Do you consider yourself a Christian today?

I do not feel comfortable talking about that subject

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

Extremely negative

Please feel free to add comments here:

New Horizons is an extremely dangerous institution. Parents should refrain from enrolling children in the Dominican program. There is no regulation, no outside supervision and is deceitful with children and familys. There is much more that I could say, about the things that took place in Escuela Caribe. To this day, this is all that I feel comfortable disclosing.

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