LEARNING TO GROW TOGETHER
Teen Challenge is a 12 month residential care facility that helps men and women aged 18+ struggling with alcohol and drug addictions by teaching character and leadership skills through its curriculum and by encouraging students toward a more healthy lifestyle.
Within this 24-hour program students live and grow together toward healthy lives free from addictions. Separated from influences that previously triggered the need to turn to drugs or alcohol, students have the opportunity to start fresh in the company of others in the same situation. New students are able to draw strength and encouragement from other students nearing completion of the program. Lifelong friendships often develop as a result.
Going through the program in the context of a community means that students must learn positive conflict resolution skills and how to express themselves in a healthy way rather than by turning to drugs. Students break old habits and replace them with new patterns of behaviour such as learning to be respectful of others, learning to sacrifice for others, and learning to be accountable to others.
Typically students rise early and have little free time, due to a busy schedule of personal devotions, classroom time spent working through Teen Challenge curriculum, meals, counselling, work detail, job and life skills training and recreational activities.
CHARACTER & LEADERSHIP
DEVELOPING IMPORTANT LIFE AND LEADERSHIP SKILLS
Character and leadership skills are developed as students work their way through fourteen group studies (GSNC) and seven customized individual learning units (PACE). During this time students participate in about 3-4 hours of classroom study every day.
GROUP STUDIES FOR NEW CHRISTIANS (GSNC)
Group Studies for New Christians is composed of 14 learning units. Each unit takes about 3 weeks to complete.
• Growing Through Failure
• Anger and Personal Rights
• Love and Accepting Myself
• Personal Relationships with Others
PERSONAL ACCELERATED CHRISTIAN EDUCATION (PACE)
Students must also complete a customized individual program called ‘PACE’. Guided by his teacher/counsellor, the student decides which units would best benefit him and signs an accountability contract promising to complete the units.
• Self-image and Identity
• Spiritual growth
• Future plans and next steps
Individualized tutoring is available for students with learning difficulties. Students who have not completed their GED will receive tutoring in basic math and/or literacy if necessary.
In addition, students learn to give back to the community through community service projects such as volunteering at a local day camp or by participating in other programs that help raise awareness for other local or international charities. For example, students have the opportunity to participate in Drug Proof Your Kids, a presentation designed for local schools.
HEALTH & RECREATION
A POSITIVE OUTLOOK ON PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL HEALTH
Prior to coming to Teen Challenge, many of our clients have neglected their health and as a result, the 12-month program gives them the opportunity to restore their physical bodies as well as their mind, soul and spirit.
Students learn positive behaviors that nurture their own well-being, set personal goals and live successfully as self-sufficient adults.
Residents are taught proper nutrition and are encouraged to participate in recreational activities that will help develop fitness, a positive use of leisure time, reduction of stress, appreciation for the environment and social and interpersonal skills. Taking part in recreation and sports is key to the transformation that accompanies the renewal of mind, body and spirit.
WHAT IS LAKE CHAMPION?
Once a year our program takes a trip to Lake Champion. Lake champion is a retreat where the entire program will experience nothing less than “the best week of their lives!” Not only will the week be full of fun activities, games and fellowship but they will be able to have their own intimate encounter with God like never before. About 4 hours away from our facility, our staff and students spent the week rock climbing, tubing, zip lining, playing volleyball and worshiping during chapel nights. It is a place where we take the time to let our students and staff knows that they are greatly appreciated. Apart from the variety of activities, we believe that it is good to spend time together as the body of Christ in one accord.
HELPING STUDENTS DISCOVER THEIR CREATIVITY
The arts program enables students to develop their creativity and cultural awareness through knowledge and appreciation of the performing arts.
Residents enjoy participating in the Teen Challenge choir and practice two times a week for about two hours. Some Teen Challenge sites have the facilities to encourage students to enjoy drawing or painting, or to learn photography skills. Other sites are able to encourage students to join the worship band, or to learn how to play an instrument such as drums, bass, electric or acoustic guitar, or keyboards.
PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE
During their stay with Teen Challenge, students are exposed to new people, experiences and opportunities that will expand their worldview and will guide them toward a more positive, hopeful way of thinking about life.
A Teen Challenge Student Life Coordinator (SLC) works with students to give them the tools they need to live a healthy life. The SLC meets with students once a week to introduce new experiences and opportunities, to encourage students to learn about themselves and to expand their worldview. The goal is to help students to discover their own creativity, skills and talents so that the allure of their addictions is replaced by something more attractive. These activities range from learning how to balance a tire to improving parenting skills to learning public speaking skills. All students are encouraged to complete their GED so that they will leave the program with the life skills they need to care for themselves and others.
Our life skills component is customized to the interests and needs of the student. Students are sometimes paired with other students to learn a new skill or may learn a skill from a volunteer or staff. The new skills are as diverse as,
• Culinary Arts
• Vehicle Repair
• Graphic Design
• Time management
• Team work skills
• Drywall repair
• US open
• Car Show
• House painting
• Basic car maintenance
• Grocery shopping
• Vocational Training in our Discount Stores
• Tire Shop
• Livestream and Broadcasting
• Media & Sound
During the last 4 months of the program transition phase students receive career counselling and learn resume writing, interview skills, budgeting, goal setting, and job finding tips from a local government-funded Occupational Skills Development agency. Here students may take skill and personality tests so that they can learn more about themselves in order to assist with career planning.
A GRADUAL TRANSITION BACK INTO SOCIETY
Upon completing our year-long program, graduates are offered the opportunity to become Teen Challenge Interns. Internship is divided into two phases each lasting about six months. If the intern and Teen Challenge decide that more time would be beneficial the internship may be extended.
Becoming an intern is a benefit for both the student and the Centre. Students benefit because it gives them the opportunity to continue to grow as a person and it further eases their transition into society. Interns continue to be accountable to Teen Challenge while at the same time they are given greater responsibility. Interns make a valuable contribution to Teen Challenge as role models for new students.
Interns receive an honorarium in the first phase of their internship and a small wage during the remainder, plus free room and board.