Dealing With Being Different
Feeling like an outsider is always a difficult experience, and this is particularly true for children. Because they are still working to find their place in the world, feeling like there is no support network to rely upon can have a number of negative outcomes. This is exactly what happened to a young girl named Noam. She was born in Israel but moved with her family to the United States when she was 7. Because she didn't even speak English at this point, the move left her feeling isolated and like an outsider. These feelings made her extremely eager to earn her peers acceptance, and this would lead to trouble as she reached high school.
New Challenges Arise
As Noam entered high school, she was pressured by other kids at school to participate in drug and alcohol use. Because she wanted to desperately to fit in, she went along with it and eventually ended up being suspended multiple times. Though her parents tried to intervene, they weren't able to pry her away from the negative influence of her peers and she eventually started skipping class and using more serious drugs like cocaine and pain killers. At this point, her parents realized that she was seriously endangering her health and resolved to do something to save her. They found Wingate Wilderness Therapy and enrolled her.
Getting The Help She Needed
When she arrived at Wingate, she was initially resistant to getting help for her issues but this reluctance quickly faded. For the first time in her life, she found herself surrounded by girls who really cared about her and wanted her to make the right choices and this made all the difference. During the 8 weeks she spent in the program, she was able to really delve into the issues she had been experiencing and gain a better understanding of herself. This new mentality would guide her through the rest of her recovery. After leaving treatment, she eventually found herself attending a university in Israel, where she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology. Thinking back on her time at Wingate, she says "There is no way I would be sitting here right now if I hadn't gone to Wingate."