Follow Up Evaluations
Follow-up evaluations are conducted with parents up to five years later (including those whose student’s did not complete the program) and those evaluations reveal:
reported an increase in respect for parents, siblings, & other authority figures
reported an increase in healthy relationships and secured employment
reported a reduction (or elimination) of at risk behaviors
of graduates are currently enrolled in college
Ultimately, Ozarks Teen Challenge success rate is seen most clearly through the faces and testimonies of our students and families themselves.
Letter From A Parent
Defiant. Disrespectful. Angry. Irresponsible. Selfish. Arrogant. User. Chaos. This was Sam in the summer of 2013. Our lives were consumed by trying to tweak the world to keep our son on the straight and narrow. Just as we had baby-proofed the house when he started to crawl, our time was spent “Sam proofing” our lives. He smashed lamps in anger, kicked holes in walls, dented refrigerators and made us question ourselves. We were frightened out of our mind for him. We had supported him in all his endeavors 100%. He attended private schools, was a member of a Christian youth group, attended Christian summer camps, and had private tutors and coaches. We felt he was given every opportunity to succeed. What had we done wrong?
A few months prior, my daughter and I attended Winter Jam. At the concert, Matthew West showed a video of the story behind “Hello My Name Is”. The video highlighted the story of a boy who found himself at Teen Challenge. I didn’t see the young boy, I saw Sam.
The answers we were looking for came subtly over the next few months. Every time I drove my car, KLOVE would be playing and Teen Challenge was slowly making its way into my thoughts. We had tried another rehab the year before with hopes of “fixing” him. Something truly had to be done, for Sam was headed to either jail or the grave.
By July 4th weekend, things were truly coming to a head. By the magic of GPS, we had found Sam passed out in his car in a random neighborhood. We struggled to find a way to reach him. I took a trip to Teen Challenge in Branson West, Missouri. I spoke with Derrick, the intake coordinator, who spoke the words I will never forget. “The only thing that will change Sam is his heart and I can’t change that, only God can change his heart.”
The morning of July 8, 2013, we arranged for Sam to be picked up. We were heartbroken, yet relieved. Though we would miss our son terribly, God gave us the confidence to believe he was in the best place he could be. For the first time in forever, I could truly embrace this scripture, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
One year later, on July 18, 2014, he had his first home pass after being at Teen Challenge for one year. It was by no mistake that we were led to Teen Challenge. The ministry they do on Christ’s behalf shows their true love for their Savior. They share God’s love by loving lost boys and use His word to change their hearts. I am grateful to God for answering many prayers and to Teen Challenge for their self-sacrificing staff.
Positive. God-Loving. Family-Orientated. Motivated. Spiritual. Self-Confident. Happy. Loving. This is Sam today.
– Teen Challenge Parent