Riley belting out an Avril Lavigne song at the Anti-Bullying Day Talent Show

Riley, a 17-year-old teenage girl, came to Inspirations for Youth and Families to work on some life issues and after 83 days – she has left a new woman.

“It is amazing to see everyone shift from when they first came here. Because when they first came here – like for me – okay I really didn’t want to be here,” said Riley. “But then you come in here and you start working and then you say okay I understand why I am in here. This place is really helping me. I see what I worked on and I am a new person. This is a new me.”

“Ever since I have been here it has been wonderful. Everyone here has helped me a lot with all these issues. I have been able to bring up my problems and work on them instead of stuffing my emotions inside.”

While many people do not think of a teen drug and alcohol rehab as an online educational academy, Inspirations for Youth and Families prides itself in its educational program. Riley started her senior year – prior to entering Inspirations – with declining grades.  But once she started the Florida Virtual online educational academy at Inspirations she gradually improved her grades.

“I started here with four classes and I had to redo geometry for the third time in a row. So right now I am in geometry. I am also taking leadership too and economics and finance and chemistry. And I think I have all good grades in those classes. It is the first time I have been getting A’s and B’s,” said Riley.

According to Denise Achee, Inspirations for Youth and Families, director of Education, Florida Virtual really works well for the teens who enter the rehab facility to get back on-track academically.

“You see not everyone fits in the school box. Fortunately, we are not all the same,” said Achee. “So some of us work well in the school box and some of us struggle and it just does not fit who we are. When we are able to find a modality of learning and a way we can really move forward, we can see progression and it stimulates our teen’s motivation for learning.

Riley was not only impressed with Florida Virtual. She was equally pleased with Rosemary Venuto, the in-house math teacher. “She has been the most wonderful tutor and I think I am going to continue to tutor with her when I am discharged. She taught me geometry and chemistry.”

Listen to the entire podcast interview with Riley below.