To all of the OYCP Staff,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything that you do, there.
Choosing to send my son to OYCP was the hardest decision I have ever made as a parent, not only because he would be away from me for 22 weeks, but because I felt like I had failed him as his parent and thought our already strained relationship would get worse. I had printed the application more than once over the past year and a half and every time I would look at it, i would just set it aside. When I would discuss it with my son, he would always promise to improve. I knew better, but didn’t want to face the truth. I knew that sending him to a place where, he would have no choice but to go to school would be the best option, but since I didn’t know a lot about OYCP, I worried that I would send him to OYCP nd there would be no positive influences or he would just be around trouble makers and all of the other worst case scenarios that go through a Mother’s head. I am so glad I pushed past those worries and attended an orientation. My son still wasn’t on board, yet. He was resistant all the way until we left for in-processing. He told me I was wasting my time. I had given in so many times and I think that he thought I was going to give in, once more, but I was determined to follow through and not give up on my son. I know he is smart and hard working, but he needed structure, discipline and encouragement that he wasn’t getting at the “traditional” High school.
The public school system could learn a lot from OYCP. It is a shame that, there are not more programs like yours for kids who get “lost” and give up on themselves. I think every school district should make OYCP an option. So many kids would benefit from your program. I am grateful that my son was accepted by OYCP and while I know that he (we) still has hard work ahead of him as he returns to school to complete his remaining credits, his academic future would not be what it is without OYCP.
Thank you for not only the academic aspect but for the life skills and coping skills that you have helped with. If you ever have a parent who is considering sending their child to OYCP and would like a parent to talk to, I would be happy to share our first hand experiences.
I am anxious and excited to see my cadet graduate from OYCP on December 18, 2019 so I can have him back home. I am even more excited to see him finish up the remainder of his credits so, he can earn his diploma and live his life to the fullest. He can give all those who doubted him a little smirk and say, “I proved you wrong- I DID IT!”
Sincerely, Becky Shidner.
Proud parent of cadet Neuman- PLt#2, Class 58