My journey with Venture Academy started with complete frustration with my son’s delinquent behaviours, activities at home and away, and his choice of friends. I spent many sleepless nights, worrying like crazy and shed many, many tears.

From the initial contact I had with the intake coordinator (L.), I immediately felt a sense of relief that I could get help from this program. I was treated with the utmost respect, care and concern regarding my situation. After I heard the words “he has been accepted”- I felt like a ton of weight on my shoulders had been lifted. The preparation to travel with my son and my ex-husband to Kelowna from Edmonton caused some anxiety for me as I knew I would have to do in order to help the rest of our family. I am still working through that all these months later, having my son in Kelowna was both heartbreaking and a huge sense of relief. I know without a doubt that I made the best, right and possibly the only choice at that time. I was terrified knowing as I drove away that my son was in total strangers hands- but I trusted. The staff that I met on intake day were in one word- AMAZING. The support and warmth that I felt was overwhelming. For the first time in a long time I felt that my son was safe.

As the weeks passed by, a trusting relationship was formed with all of the staff that I interacted with. The questionnaires were thorough; however, we discovered that many underlying issues needed to be addressed. These issues were significant attributing factors as to why my son’s behaviours were as such. We all needed to go back to the fundamentals of family values, trust, open-heart, communication and respect for each other. We had somehow lost that, but with the experienced, educated staff at Venture Academy we were able to move forward. I was coached to help my interaction and behaviors be different. B’s admittance to Venture Academy made me realize that this is for all our family members. B is not the only one benefitting from this program. The more information that we shared helped the staff to appropriately counsel B and support him where needed. The information conveyed to me weekly was always truthful and at the same time was very hard to hear at times. I always felt that I could ask questions and discuss concerns with all the staff.

The awareness of my relationship and interactions and support given to rebuild this relationship is appreciated beyond words to express. I can only again thank you for helping me be honest with B and myself to build this new relationship- the support offered was exceptional at all times. The tools we learned will be tested on a daily basis- I have been able to effectively use these new methods with success with my other children. I hope this will continue with B.

I truly feel the staff at Venture Academy are an exceptional group of professionals. Your expertise has given me back the hope of having a warm, trustful, loving relationship with my son. I have always believed in him- he needed support to believe in himself.

Our journey has not yet come to an end. B is coming home now- we need to work together to ensure all that we learned is applied effectively. I know that we will have bumps in the road yet to come, but hopefully they can be repaired earlier and not as painful and destructive as before.

The investment in my son’s future has been made- I would not hesitate to try this path again if needed. I would say to all parents out there struggling with difficult teenagers- “Do what it takes and hold onto your kids” (the most amazing book I have ever read). This taught me that we are not alone with these troubled kids- we can support each other- these kids are our future, they are worth it!

We will now go on our own; I will always remember and be forever thankful for the support and education that we all have received. Those who have touched our lives will forever be remembered.

Thank you to those who opened their homes and lives to support my son. This has been an awakening for him to see that families do and can work together. The parent counselors have been amazing.

I will continue to pray!

– TM, Edmonton, Alberta