Helping more people know that Hope Academy exists motivates volunteer, Tricia Zachidny, to stay involved. She’s been volunteering with Hope Academy since 2008 when her son, Nick, was a student here. She feels it is important that she gives back and plays a part in providing hope and support to other families who worry their high school students may not graduate.
“Once someone introduces them to Indiana’s only recovery high school, most people are surprised and very happy to know we have this valuable resource in Indianapolis,” Tricia says. “Hope Academy has created a school environment focused on recovery and academic success. It can be a life-changing experience for parents and students.”
She also believes that knowing about this valuable resource could be a life-saving experience for someone they love.
“One of the best ways to support Hope Academy is to start by visiting the school, meet the staff and students and begin to understand the mission of Hope,” Tricia says. “Be a spokesperson in your sphere of influence. Tell people about Hope Academy.”
What she loves the most about this recovery high school is the understanding the staff and teachers have for the unique needs of students in recovery from substance use disorders—and knowing it often stems from other issues in their lives.
“It is a safe place for them to show they aren’t ‘bad kids,'” Tricia says. “The teachers and staff listen to them and have the skills to help, not punish.”
In addition to working towards a Core 40 diploma, students at Hope Academy learn essential life skills to prepare them for life after high school. They also receive recovery guidance from recovery coaches who can help them maintain their sobriety.
For students who need Hope Academy, it can be the most important avenue to long-term sobriety. Tricia’s son, Nick, is sober and doing well—he lives near her and her husband, Bob, on the east side. They enjoy traveling and spending time with extended family and friends and their family lake house. She and Bob also serve on the board of directors for Circle City Dinner Church, a ministry dedicated to the near eastside of Indianapolis.
If you know a high school student who might benefit from enrolling at Hope Academy, you can start here. Hope Academy enrolls students, grades 9-12, year-round, so it’s never too late for a fresh start. If you don’t know a prospective student but would still like to help, you can make a tax-deductible donation here.