Dustyn’s Story

Dustyn’s Story


“Hope Academy taught me that anything is possible. I just needed a good team of people around me and a little bit of hope to realize I could accomplish anything I wanted to.”

Growing up on the southwest side of Indy, Dustyn moved often as a teenager. He lived with different family members and struggled to find a place to call home. At the age of 14, he was prescribed narcotics, and from that point forward his young life went on a devastating downward spiral.

Dustyn, who had started working at an early age, began missing work and school. Even at the age of 16, he knew it was a problem and took it upon himself to seek help. He found a facility and was soon admitted to treatment for substance use disorder. During that time, he learned about Hope Academy and quickly enrolled in the recovery high school.

But like most who struggle with addiction, Dustyn’s journey had twists and turns, not a straight path forward. Still, he persisted. When he was 19 years old, after multiple relapses, he achieved several months of sobriety and decided to re-enroll in Hope Academy.

“I was 19 years old and my life wasn’t progressing,” said Dustyn. “I wanted to better myself and I decided I was going to be the first person in my family to graduate from high school.”

As an older high school student, Dustyn embraced his new role as a mentor and leader to other students. He came to class, which he enjoyed, and began taking his recovery and academics seriously.

“I’ve always felt like a leader and Hope Academy allowed me to show my leadership qualities,” said Dustyn.

Hope Academy offered Dustyn the resources and support he needed. With one-on-one attention, small class sizes and recovery support, he exceled. He also attributes his success in school to the personal connections he made with his new family of administrators, teachers and classmates.

When graduation day came in May of 2018, Dustyn was ready to celebrate this significant milestone in his life—something that at one point he never thought would happen.

“Walking across that stage was my greatest accomplishment,” said Dustyn. “I felt like after 20 years, I had finally accomplished something. I feel like my whole life set me up for that moment.”

Today, Dustyn has three years of continuous sobriety and is the general manager at a popular restaurant franchise, where he puts the skills he learned at Hope Academy, and in his recovery, to use daily.

When you invest in Hope Academy, you invest in the future of young adults like Dustyn. You make a statement that our young people matter, and that recovery is possible.

We are excited about the future of Hope Academy in our new building, near the campus of the University of Indianapolis, just minutes from downtown Indianapolis. With our new location comes greater accessibility and opportunities to serve more students.

With your support, we know we can help more students like Dustyn get on the path to achieving sobriety and academic success.

The Hope Academy community is strong, and we thank you for being a part of it.

Make your secure online donation to Hope Academy here.