A Parent’s Point of View: Amy Ficklin DeBrota

A Parent’s Point of View: Amy Ficklin DeBrota

When your teen is struggling, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. That was certainly the case for Indianapolis lawyer Amy Ficklin DeBrota, whose son Eli had attended three different high schools without much success.

She wasn’t familiar with Hope Academy, but when a friend who worked at the Indiana Department of Education mentioned the recovery high school, Amy decided she should explore the option to see if it might be the right fit for Eli.

At first, Amy worried that Hope Academy might be a religious-based program, but those concerns were alleviated when they toured the school to learn more. Amy hoped the school would offer more individualized instruction and focus on sobriety, and she was pleased to quickly discover that was exactly the case at Hope Academy.

“Sobriety was definitely prioritized,” said Amy. “I was happy to find out about the accountability measures in place and the small class sizes.”

Eli began to thrive in the new environment, which offered something different from his previous schools—accountability and support.

“The small size of the school and the accountability measures the school has built into the program helped him to start to mature and understand the consequences of his drug use,” said Amy. “The staff really cared about him, and it was also useful for him to be with other students who were dealing with the same problems he was.”

In 2019, Eli graduated from Hope Academy, an accomplishment that Amy once believed was out of reach. Today, Eli is a sophomore at IUPUI studying in the Herron School of Art and has nearly two years of sobriety.

“Eli has continued to mature and develop into a wonderful, caring and emotionally intelligent young man,” said Amy. “He now understands that drug use could ruin his life—or even end it—and cause immense pain to the people around him.”

Amy is an advocate for Hope Academy and encourages parents on the fence about enrolling their child in the recovery high school to do it!

“Your child will get more individual attention from teachers academically, make more personal connections with staff and their fellow students and accountability is built into the program that will help any child who decides to take advantage of the opportunity Hope provides,” Amy said.

Amy adds that Hope Academy values academic and sobriety achievement which motivates students to strive to stay sober and graduate. But what if you aren’t sure your child is ready?

“If your child is not ready to seize this opportunity, just being at Hope could help them start to become aware of the possibilities that life has for them and get them into the mindset to make a change,” adds Amy. “I highly recommend Hope to any family who is experiencing the disruption, heartbreak and pain of having an addicted teenager. It will likely make a world of difference to your family and your child. Hope helped save my child’s life. It could do the same for you.”