Colleen Kenney and her husband, Phil, have been a part of Hope Academy for many years. You could even say they built the recovery high school from the ground up—literally! That’s because Phil Kenney’s company, Wilhelm Construction, built the Fairbanks Recovery Center—Hope Academy’s original home.
“Through Phil’s involvement, I was introduced to several staff members of Fairbanks and Hope Academy,” said Colleen. “Substance abuse and addiction issues have impacted our families, and I was at a point where I was ready to get involved in some manner in addressing the issue. I have always had a passion for education, so Hope Academy Recovery High School was, for me, a perfect match to get involved in a new community effort.”
In 2012, Colleen answered the call to help Hope Academy as a volunteer on the Taste of Hope event committee, which at the time, was the high school’s signature fundraising event. She served on the events committee for several years and eventually elevated her responsibilities as the co-chair before joining the board of directors in 2016. Over the last several years, Colleen has served as the chair of the development committee and is excited to embark on her new journey as chair of the board.
“I have big shoes to fill! Marissa Manlove is simply a rock star Board Chair, and I am blessed that she is continuing on the board, and I know that she will be an excellent mentor to me in this role,” said Colleen. “Hope Academy has an outstanding group of individuals serving on the board, and I am excited to step into this leadership role. The future for Hope Academy is bright.”
In addition to serving as a leader for the school, Colleen, and her husband Phil, also enjoy opening up their lake house each summer to Hope Academy students participating in Guiding Paths to Success.
“My favorite Hope Academy event happens each July when the students participating in the summer program at Hope come spend a day with us at our home on Sweetwater Lake in Brown County,” said Colleen. “I witness teenagers simply being teenagers for a few hours. They swim, ski and tube behind the boat, soak up some sun, and snack and eat to their heart’s content! It is one of my favorite days of summer and I hope they feel the same.”
Through and through, Colleen is committed to Hope Academy’s mission. She’s an incredible board member, donor and advocate for the school. According to Colleen, one of the best ways to support Hope Academy is simply by spreading the word to eliminate the stigma associated with addiction.
“I love wearing my Hope Academy apparel when I’m out and about in Indy and having somebody ask me, ‘What is Hope Academy?’” said Colleen.
Colleen recognizes that our community has many teens struggling with substance use disorder and is eager to help more young people and their families find all that Hope Academy has to offer.
“Hope Academy provides an excellent academic education and recovery support program for these youth,” said Colleen. “They leave Hope Academy empowered with the life skills to remain in recovery and a high school diploma that allows them to pursue further education or various career opportunities. Their success at Hope Academy positively impacts our communities as they become successful, contributing citizens.”
Colleen, we are grateful to have you as part of the Hope Academy family and can’t wait to see what you do as you lead our school, students, teachers and administrators into a new era!