A letter from Greenbrier Academy’s executive director, John Grago, MA.
How does one describe the spirit of a place? Can an accurate depiction be conveyed through thoughtful language and detailed imagery? Parents often ask, “How can I be sure that Greenbrier Academy is right for my daughter?” The answer to this question is not easily articulated. After all, this question carries the weight of a parent’s heavy heart. You are considering not only a school, but also a home away from home for your daughter. Your decision will determine where she will live, learn, and grow. The Greenbrier Academy family would, for a time, become her family. You strive to ensure her health and happiness while advocating for her future. There are numerous programs that can provide comfortable housing, academic support, and therapeutic care to adolescents. To decide if Greenbrier Academy is the best choice for your daughter, I encourage you to explore what makes GBA so unique: our culture.
The Culture of Greenbrier
At Greenbrier Academy, your daughter will find purpose. Working collectively, our academic, therapeutic, and residential teams urge students to explore their individual talents and rediscover forgotten interests. We understand how discouraging it is to witness your once vivacious daughter becoming distant and unenthusiastic. At GBA, incoming students find a healing retreat from the social pressures that distract and exhaust the majority of today’s youth. Essentially unhindered by the tensions created by these distractions, students are enabled to reclaim their lives. With a newfound sense of confidence, a Greenbrier Academy student is empowered to realize her full potential. In our schoolhouse, your daughter could discover that she is a natural artist or writer. She may find significance in working with the GBA animals. Perhaps a touching moment experienced on a service project will inspire her to organize a charitable campaign of her own. At GBA, whatever her personal passion might be, your daughter will find the support she deserves to promote her vision.
As is the case with many of our families, an alarming behavior or pattern may have prompted you to consider therapeutic placement for your daughter. As counterintuitive as it may seem, we believe that many distressing behaviors exhibited by adolescents actually have a positive intent. Teens often act out in a damaging manner as a way to cope with uncomfortable feelings. At Greenbrier Academy, students learn and practice healthy coping skills to replace the unhealthy ones. While healthy coping skills will serve as a lifelong asset to these young women, our team understands that discovering the origin of a destructive behavior is key to our students’ progress. A belief about oneself has an incredibly powerful influence on one’s behavior. If a student harbors the belief that she is unlovable, she tends to exhibit unlovable behaviors, thus unconsciously perpetuating her belief. Our team will work understandingly with your daughter to uncover and process her negative beliefs and provide a context in which she can form new, constructive ones.
Quality human relationships are at the cornerstone of our culture at Greenbrier Academy. Here, your daughter can maintain and improve existing relationships while exploring and building new ones. As a father of two teenage girls of my own, I realize the significance of healthy communication skills within a family. GBA is committed to supporting your family as a whole. Our goal is for your daughter to develop vital interpersonal skills to support herself while at home and for the rest of her life. At Greenbrier Academy, your daughter will serve as a fundamental part of our community. Students applaud each other’s accomplishments but also hold each other accountable when necessary. Students and staff strive to support each other at all times. It is remarkable to watch these young women regulate their community with such maturity and humility. As students gain rapport within the GBA family, their relationships at home tend to improve as well.
While a comprehensive review of our website will provide insight into the suitability of our program for your daughter, ultimately your question will be resolved by something more intuitive: you have to feel it. As you contemplate what is best for your daughter, I encourage you to visit Greenbrier Academy. Your family is welcome to meet with current students, observe classes, and tour our campus. Spending time on the GBA grounds will allow you to experience our exceptional culture for yourself. On behalf of the entire Greenbrier Academy family, I would like to thank you for your interest in our program. We enthusiastically welcome you and your family to our campus and hope to be seeing you soon.
With warm regards,
John Grago – Executive Director