Alumni Questionnaire ← Back to Index
What is your name?
To which institutions were you sent?
I attended Canada, Marion, and Escuela Caribe
How old were you?
I was 12 when I was sent Canada, 15 when I was sent to the Dominican Republic.
When were you enrolled in The Program?
Canada- summer-fall of 1991
Marion- 5/94- 5/18/95
What was the highest level you attained?
Please describe the circumstances that got you sent to The Program:
Personality conflicts with parent
In which house(s) did you live?
Thomas house in the DR, two different houses in Marion because of a fire destroying one house.
Please describe instances of abuse you experienced while in the program, if any:
Canada- As a 75 lb 12-year-old in Canada, I was body slammed into the cabin wall then thrown to the ground by a screaming full-grown man <cabin leader> for not singing loudly enough in chapel.
Escuela Caribe- I was held to a wall via a choke hold < hands around neck > for not asking permission to enter/ exit a room.
I was on absolute silence for 2 weeks, forbidden from speaking to anyone, which I would characterize as psychological abuse.
The list goes on..
Describe abuse of other students you witnessed, if any:
I witnessed students being slammed into various objects (kitchen tables, chairs, dressers, metal window slats) for minor infractions. I also witnessed what I consider psychological abuse on a daily basis, such as the staffs' use of degradation and intimidation at Escuela Caribe.. Finally I believe putting a >>>child<<< into a small concrete cell (Quiet Room) with a coffee can to use as a toilet is also in the realm of abusive behavior..
Do you have any good memories of The Program? If so, what are they?
The Domincan Republic was beautiful, and when I was in Marion I did meet some staff that I respected and made some good friendships with some of them.
What is your overall impression of The Program? Did it “help you”?
No, believe that being in the program was detrimental to a lot of children who were there. I was fed a load of garbage, and told that I had issues I needed to deal with by counselors who had less experience than my cat in teen counseling. I would not recommend Escuela Caribe to any parent.
What do you think of the quality of education you received?
We were told to “self teach” ourselves using outdated textbooks, and even though the teachers were trying their best to help us, the quality of education was substandard at best. Most high schools in the States won't even accept credits from Escuela Caribe...
How old are you today?
Did you go to college after attending The Program? If so, what degrees do you have?
Yes went to college for a bit, no degrees.
What is your profession?
Owner of two small businesses.
Do you consider yourself a Christian today?
What effect did “The Program” have on your faith?
It left me with a suspicion of those who claim to be doing God's work,.. some were truly trying to help, but others used God as an excuse to justify any action they took against a student/ child.
Please feel free to add comments here:
I have spent the past 10 years trying to forget the nightmare I experienced in the Dominican Republic. But I feel that the need to inform prospective parents, and possibly save a child from the traumatic experiences I endured, is well worth re-hashing these memories.