My journey to ESCAPE began when I was suspended for 90 days after getting in a fight in the school office. While I realized this was a bad decision, the opportunity to come to ESCAPE was ultimately one of the best decisions I have ever made. Pastor Willie and the staff at ESCAPE have taught me to reflect and look at things in different ways. Most importantly, the ASAP program has helped me get over my childish behavior and understand that getting in trouble all the time or trying to be cool wasn’t the way to go. ESCAPE has changed my way of thinking. I have a better mindset and I truly want nothing but the best for myself. Rather than being caught up in trouble, I find myself caught up in schoolwork. Since starting at ESCAPE 3 months ago, I have finished five classes with all passing grades. I have two classes left and only three weeks left here at ESCAPE before I return to Holland High School. ESCAPE allowed me to stay on track and not fall behind…the incredible staff wanted nothing but the best for me, helped me push through this difficult time and encouraged me to strive to do my best. I am truly grateful for this second chance and that I’m getting closer to graduating.

Jaden, age 16, sophomore at Holland High School

 

Here is an excerpt from a letter by Steve Grose, President of Holland Board of Education, who wrote to ESCAPE after a reinstatement hearing for “Lex”, a young man who was expelled from school:

Willie,
You and ESCAPE can be proud of the way you have shaped that young man’s life. It isn’t often that we see kids in reinstatement hearings that show the poise and maturity that Lex showed. I was impressed with how he could state his goals, and he wasn’t willing to sell himself short in terms of what he can do with his life. I’m sure Lex, like all kids, is a work in progress. But the work you have done so far is awesome and if you are having half the impact on other kids that you have had on Lex, those kids and our community will come out as winners. Thanks so much for the work you are doing.
– Steve Grose, President of Holland Board of Education

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