Stories from parents of grant recipients:
Words cannot express how truly grateful I am
Words cannot express how truly grateful I am for the generous scholarship you have given our family to allow my daughter to attend the Outback Wilderness Treatment Program. As an older single parent and sole provider for two children, I have spent most of the past 17+ years trying to balance the competing demands of work and family. In late 2014, however, my daughter’s self-destructive behaviors became evident and quickly began spinning out of control. As we sought therapeutic services, my daughter’s condition worsened. She was shutting herself off in her room, refusing to participate in routine family/house responsibilities, and self-harm. She was showing signs of dire desperation.
I quickly learned that the costs of an intensive wilderness program far exceeded any ability I had to pay. When I reached out to Sky’s The Limit Fund, I knew that there must be so many other deserving teens and families as well. Sky’s the Limit Fund contacted me within 24 hours of submitting my application, and immediately put me at ease with their compassionate, yet honest approach to the scholarship process. I knew that the Sky’s The Limit scholarship, coupled with the matching funds from the wilderness program, would allow us to piece together the means to give my daughter the intensive wilderness treatment experience she so desperately needed and deserved.
We needed help and you were there for us
My word- I am so impressed with the kindness we have been shown from Sky’s the Limit Fund. We are so thankful to be able to send our son to wilderness therapy. This would not have been possible without the [grant from Sky’s the Limit Fund]. To me it is a miracle that he has been able to go. We have already seen a few positive things happen to him; mostly we are thankful that he is still living.
In speaking with Sky’s the Limit Fund, I felt so much love, like someone really cared and shared that same hope for our son without ever meeting him. This kindness shown gave me peace when I didn’t know where to turn. When we received notification from STLF, I cried and was overcome with so much emotion. We needed help and you were there for us.
You’re giving us our children back and giving them their futures
My son entered wilderness therapy after a very long hard year of running away & drug use. One week prior to entering the program he overdosed on Xanax at school. Fast forward to one week ago, when I spent an overnight visit with my son in the mountains. He set up our camp and we talked more this one night under the stars then we have in the past year. I could not get him to stop talking about all of his accomplishments, things he learned, and the future he now wants. I have never seen him so proud and happy. My son cooked for me, kept me warm and safe, carved me spoons so I could eat. My son actually put me first. This will forever change our relationship.
Wilderness therapy is different; it’s not about behavior modification, but changing your heart. As a single mom of 3 boys I could never have afforded this opportunity without Sky’s the Limit Fund’s financial support and the generosity of the people who donate. You’re not just giving money, you’re giving us our children back and giving them their futures. I can’t thank every donor enough; there are no words to express the appreciation I have for you helping to save my son and changing his heart.
Transformations of grant recipients:
I learned how to find peace with others and myself
I have suffered with depression for several years. Sky’s the Limit Fund’s gift of scholarship money made it possible for me to enroll in wilderness therapy. I was on the trail for seven weeks and during that time I learned about myself and gained confidence that I had not felt in a very long time. Nearly everyday in wilderness therapy I experienced a “new awakening” and learned things that could be applied to my life in the future and realized that amazing opportunities can come disguised as tragedies. I am extremely grateful and feel very blessed that I had an opportunity to take part in this wonderful program, I couldn’t have done it without you. I found out who I really want to be in life and I learned how to find peace with others and myself.
I built confidence, patience and perserverance
While I was in wilderness therapy, I learned so many skills that can help me cope with my anger management and triggers. I built confidence, patience, and perseverance. I learned how to remain calm during stressful situations. Wilderness therapy taught me to focus on where my feelings are coming from and why by using “I feel” statements that follow this pattern: “I feel _____ about _____ because______.
I could truly accomplish anything
I experienced 8 weeks of wilderness therapy, which couldn’t have been at all possible without your gracious donations. I can’t explain with the simplicity of words how important this experience was to me. Before wilderness therapy, I was so close to death. Suicide and I had become such close friends. My body and mind were littered with filth and drugs. Spending 8 weeks submerged in nature cleansed my soul. I remember the exact moment it all came together. We had just summited Mt. Height, all 4,000 feet. I realized that if I could do this extraordinary hike in just one day with a 60-pound pack strapped to my back, I could truly accomplish anything. Thank you so much for giving me an experience that saved [me] and my [family members’ lives]. Thank you for providing the money to allow struggling teenagers this amazing opportunity with nature.
Forever grateful for my experience
I was traveling in dark places and didn’t have any direction or purpose. Probation and drug counseling had me up against a wall. I was in trouble for my bad choices including marijuana use, hurting a kid, trespassing, theft, and skipping school. I went to wilderness therapy of my own choosing and the challenges were all part of the lessons that the wilderness was there to teach me. We learned about the seven paths of life that taught me about gratitude. I learned that the Path of Light chases away darkness so you can have positivity. The Path of Animals taught me that having a heart at peace allows for happiness in the world. From the Path of Water I learned that kindness offers nourishment to the mind, heart and body. From the Path of We I learned that human needs do not divide us, they unite us. I miss wilderness therapy and the amazing people. I am forever grateful for my experience and have really enjoyed sharing my experience. I am walking forward.
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