Five years ago in 2014, I bought a new car. I would never see this car when I was out and about, but once I bought this car, I felt like I was seeing it everywhere. This is how I felt as an educator, mother, and coach, but in this case it was about addiction. As I searched for article after article on what was really going on, as I raised awareness in our school and community, as I took over an amazing group of senior varsity athletes who were committed to being drug, alcohol, tobacco, and violence free, it became impossible to not see what was going on between every class change: to hear what the party drug was going to be for Spring Break or on the weekends, to hear and see how this was such a problem with our athletes and not just happening within one socioeconomic group or one popular group of kids. It was impacting ALL of our youth. This was happening, starting as early as middle school and escalating at an alarming rate.
My family has been impacted by addiction; I had students that I taught who stayed in touch for years who were also impacted. I lost family friends from New York all the way to North Carolina. I heard story after story of us losing amazing people at ridiculously young ages, and something inside me said enough is enough. It was time to act, and act fast.
Our goal is to open the Carolina’s’ first recovery high school. Our mission is to serve high school students in recovery from substance use disorder or co-occurring disorders. The school’s focus is on educating students through faith, fitness, and fellowship. We are community service driven and provide peer to peer support on a daily basis. We value after-school and weekend family activities in order to build a culture centered around honesty and trust. We will be in regular contact with the prevention and recovery community and local Collegiate Recovery Programs to provide support for all students.
This school will incorporate project and movement-based learning as well as the STEAM program which incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Creative thinking is important to us, and preparing students for any future goals that they have is at the core.
– Mary Ferreri –
President of Emerald School of Excellence