Phoenix House Career Academy opened their doors to a special group of visitors last week – students from the Citizens School of New Design Middle School in West Harlem. The special class trip included a tour of our residential substance abuse treatment facility and visits to our Culinary Arts Program kitchen, the Beyoncé Cosmetology Center, Building Maintenance, and Electrical workshops. Students met with members of our team and clients to discuss our mission and the dangers of drugs and addiction. Phoenix House Career Academy Clinical Director Vincenzo Panico and Counselor Inglefield Reid spoke directly to the group, encouraging the children to make positive choices and believe in themselves. Inglefield offered advice on the importance of studying hard in school, staying away from bad influences, and never succumbing to pressure. “If you teach kids early enough to stay away from drugs, reinforcing the danger, it becomes a part of who they are.” Vincenzo encouraged the children “to always choose your friends wisely, don’t listen to them if you feel uncomfortable, and stay focused on accomplishing your personal goals.” He also offered his past experiences and story when a student asked him how he got his job at Phoenix House. They also discussed the trend we are currently encountering at the Academy as we receive many young men mandated to treatment from the courts. Discussing the facts about drug abuse and addiction are important before children find themselves in a risky situation and this seminar certainly covered all the bases.
Cautionary experiences were shared by some of our clients currently undergoing treatment at our Career Academy. They stressed the horrible truths of addiction, the years lost, and the bright promises of a sober future ahead. A common theme throughout was the importance of resisting peer pressure and accomplishing personal goals since the visitors are young and have many opportunities before them. The students asked many questions in a spirited Q&A session after our team’s presentation. We are committed to raising awareness with prevention education to aid students in making informed decisions, in turn encouraging healthy lifestyle habits. We thank the students and staff for visiting, and wish them luck in their studies.
Find out more about the programs and services offered at our Phoenix House Career Academy, or call our toll-free number today: 1 888 671 9392.