Location: New York State
Gender: Boys and Girls
Freedom Academy is an affordable option for troubled young people to start over and have a second chance at life.
Since 1981, Freedom Academy has offered troubled teens a second chance in life through its affordable residential program. Whether or not your child is ready to get help, we work with boys and girls who have been in trouble at home, school or in their community. Boys and girls who were struggling and defiant are turned around and given academic, spiritual and personal instruction and mentoring to help them become confident, kind and trustworthy young adults.
Freedom Academy is a co-educational Christian boarding school for at-risk teenagers. Overlooking Seneca Lake in rural upstate New York, Freedom Academy’s caring, structured program has been helping teenagers make a fresh start in life for over 35 years.
Students at Freedom Academy are surrounded by a caring staff and given incentive for change through a level system that offers increasing rewards and responsibilities as they make progress in the program. It is our goal that every young person that comes to Freedom Academy leaves knowing Jesus Christ personally and possessing the tools to rebuild family relationships and build a healthy future.
The school seeks to help each young person find and reach their God-given potential through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Spiritually, we help the young people find peace and forgiveness through a personal relationship with the Lord.
- Physically, we help the young people get free of damaging addictions and learn the value of a positive work ethic.
- Emotionally, we help the young people recover from the hurt of a traumatic past and learn to trust again.
- And mentally, we help the young people learn to value education and pursue God’s plan for their lives.
Parents can be sure of a strong commitment to the Word of God as the foundation of the program. They can trust that their child is in a safe place and surrounded by team that will be personally involved in their lives; and they can know that their child will be treated with care as an individual child of God.
Our 3 Promises to Parents
- Your child will be valued and respected by our staff, treated with the same care and understanding that we would want our own children treated with.
- Your child’s spiritual well being is our top priority. Your child will constantly be confronted with clear teaching and preaching from the Bible.
- We will make it a priority to give your child the character, education and work ethic that will help them to become productive members of your family and lay the groundwork for future success.
Our students are taught responsibility; they will learn teamwork through sports and work; and they will gain character through the application of Biblical principles in everything they do. And through it all, they will enjoy themselves and get to be kids – singing, playing sports, going to summer camp, etc. – without the burdens of their past troubles.
We are blessed to have watched so many young people grow up to follow Him and to go on to lead productive lives. Some go on to college, some to the military, others to the workforce, and some go on to serve Jesus Christ in full-time ministry.
Freedom Academy is a place of non-stop activity
Young people in our care participate in a myriad of activities that go on at Freedom Academy. Along the way, they are taught responsibility through chores and service projects; they learn teamwork through sports and work; and they gain character through the application of Biblical principles in everything they do.
Through it all, they will enjoy themselves and get to be kids – singing, playing sports, going to summer camp, etc – without the burdens of their past troubles.
A Typical Day at Freedom Academy
Our schedule makes time each day for spiritual growth (personal devotions, chapel), academic study and chores. Each day also includes free time and recreational time for students to enjoy themselves and have a break.
Weekday, students wake up at 6:00 AM, prepare for the day, go to breakfast then chapel. After chapel, students attend school until around 3 with a break for lunch. After school, they attend to chores until dinner. After dinner, there will be time for sports/recreation and, depending on the day, either a personal development class or a group activity of some sort.
Students attend school for roughly six hours each day. They have at least an hour of recreation time in the evenings. There are two or three group times a week where personal development/character issues are discussed, aside from chapel times.
Students are to be in bed from 10pm to 6am.
Weekends are a little different – 8am wake-up on Saturday, we often seek out some form of service on Saturdays and have activities or movies at night. On Sunday, we attend church in the morning and sometimes church in the evening. The rest of the day is usually given to rest and recreation.
Chores are definitely a part of daily responsibility. Young people assist in lawn care, kitchen duties, upkeep of the buildings and care of the horses. Students do not each do their own laundry, but one or two assigned monitors see to laundry duty.
Students are required to keep their rooms clean and make their beds each morning. Their rooms are inspected at breakfast time each morning.
Students are required to attend all church and chapel services. Each weekday morning, there is a brief chapel service. There are also church services at the church sponsored by our ministry in the village of Watkins Glen. The students ride to services there Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.
Students are required to complete devotions each morning. There are also regular times of Bible study, most of which are done as a group and mandatory. All of our group sessions focus on character development, from a Biblical perspective.
During free time, students typically have the option of going to the recreation room (to play games or get a snack), watching TV in the dormitory (evenings only), or playing sports on the quad or basketball court.
Food is served in the cafeteria at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Outside this, students regularly receive snacks in coordination with activities.
One of the highlights of the year is summer camp. It is when our students pack up and head to a campground in Pennsylvania. For a week, everyone takes a break from the routine and enjoys the outdoors – camping, swimming, boating.
It is also a unique time of spiritual focus and renewal, as a special speaker and some school alumni join the students to share their heart and encourage them in their faith.