Structure gives kids a sense of security and helps them develop self-discipline. That’s why Highfields encourages a daily routine to help students like Jermaine succeed in the program.
When Jermaine started his treatment at Highfields one thing stood out to him the most: the structure.
“Highfields has more structure in place for students,” he said. “After school, our time is scheduled with group sessions, work, and activities. It’s not like that at other placements.”
Jermaine explains that other residential treatment facilities give students more free time, but that isn’t very beneficial in the long run.
“It’s not even placement, it’s more like camp with consequences,” he said.
Jermaine needs a place with structure. It’s something that he struggled with at home and at school. He had trouble following the rules and made some bad choices. He committed a crime and was sent to placement for a year. After he was released, he continued to get into trouble. He violated his probation and the court referred him to Highfields’ Residential Program.
“The only person I could be mad at was myself,” said Jermaine. “It was my own choices that got me here.”
Jermaine had to adapt to Highfields’ schedule, but eventually became used to the routine. He realized that if he applied himself and took advantage of the opportunities, he could develop lifelong skills.
“One of the biggest opportunities I have is getting help from the staff and my peers in support groups,” said Jermaine. “Everyone expresses their feelings and people can relate to you in here. Certain people – even staff – have been through the same stuff!”
Aside from support groups, Jermaine was excited to join Highfields’ basketball team. He developed leadership skills and helped the team achieve their goal of winning the MAAA State Championship. He was even able to go on an off-campus trip to the Gus Macker Basketball Tournament and compete against other students.
Back on campus, he works in the kitchen so he can make money and gain experience for a job when he’s released.
“At Highfields, there are more opportunities for students,” said Jermaine. “It’s harder, but it’s worth it.”