Portage Keremeos at "The Crossing" 2nd Recognition Ceremony
20-juin-2011Forty five Youth Celebrate Freedom from Addiction
Keremeos, June 20, 2011 –
On June 18, 2011, thirty seven young British Columbians were recognised for completing the residential phase of their addiction treatment at Portage Keremeos
at “The Crossing”, while eight graduates from last year’s ceremony were honoured for successfully maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the past year. It was a day filled with emotions as the graduates, their families, peers, and caseworkers came together to celebrate Freedom from Addiction.
“It is an honour for me to be here today to celebrate all the successes of our residents, past and present. Portage opened this centre in April 2009 and since then have been able to treat 129 adolescents in BC and empower them with the tools to take back control of their lives,” said Peter Howlett, President of Portage.
During the event, forty five young people stepped on the stage to receive applause and congratulations from their families, friends, peers, and caseworkers who supported them along their quest for Freedom from Addiction. Portage Keremeos also awarded the Employee of the Year Award to Bruce Farris, a dedicated clinical caseworker who puts his heart and soul into everything he does at Portage.
The Recognition Ceremony also celebrated the success of residents in Portage Keremeos’ academic program. Many of the young people that come to Portage seeking drug addiction therapy have lost faith in their academic abilities and many of them have left school. At Portage Academy, small classes and progressive techniques facilitate the academic experience and residents are supported by dedicated teachers. Where in the past they may have experienced failure and frustration, Portage Academy encourages them to continue with their efforts in school. Teachers help students with special needs to earn high school credits and to develop the necessary learning skills to succeed once they have left the Portage Program.
“Portage is proud to offer on-site classes and individualised curriculum to residents at all its adolescent centres across Canada. In British Colombia, we have a partnership with the Okanagan-Similkameen School District 53, which enables the teachers to provide residents with daily classes in all subjects. I am extremely proud to recognise today the academic successes of our residents, which are due to the hard work and dedication of our teachers, and the hard work and perseverance of the residents,’’ stated Portage’s Executive Director, Peter Vamos.
During the ceremony, graduates and their parents gave touching testimonials about their experience at Portage Keremeos and the impact that drug addiction treatment has had on their lives. A young man who has lived in group homes for most of his life explained how he realised that no one would be there for him unless he changed his behaviour and attitudes. Currently a resident, he is dedicated to completing his therapy at Portage and described how the program has opened his eyes to a new world. He is presently working on being open and honest and feels he is changing into a new person. “I have been thinking more clearly and decided to complete the program knowing that it’s going to be the hardest thing I will have to do in my life, and if I can do it, anyone can,” the young man said.
About “The Crossing”
Portage Keremeos at “The Crossing” is one of Portage’s ten substance abuse rehabilitation programs offered in Canada. Portage, established in 1970, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the reintegration of people with substance abuse problems into mainstream society. The Portage BC centre opened in April 2009 with funding provided by the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health Authorities. It offers long-term residential substance abuse treatment to young people between the ages of 14 and 18 years in a gender-specific therapeutic community setting. Using industry best practices, Portage helps residents develop self-esteem, confidence, and the competencies they need to overcome their substance abuse issues and seek Freedom from Addiction.