On June 24th, Wellspring honored 11 Arch Bridge School seniors as they embark on their new journeys to colleges, universities, and jobs near and far – even including a student exchange program in Japan. All of the 11 graduates have been accepted into colleges and universities where they plan to continue their education.
Unique and special at the annual Arch Bridge School (ABS) graduation ceremonies is that graduating students are invited to speak to the audience, sharing experiences, expressing appreciation, imparting lessons learned, and recognizing anyone special who has contributed to their progress during their time at Wellspring. Graduates also choose which teacher writes a speech in their honor and presents their diploma.
A central theme was clear throughout many speeches that the graduating seniors delivered: the students were profoundly grateful for their experience at the Arch Bridge School and for what they had gained as a result. Faced with many struggles, obstacles and challenges prior to attending ABS, several students believed they would not make it to their graduation day and called Wellspring a lifesaver.
One of the graduates shared, “This school, these staff, these teachers and these kids…This is home to me. It was at this school that I learned who I am. I am not kidding when I say you are a lifesaver. Honestly, without you, there is no way I would be where I am today.”
The students have done the difficult work, clinically and academically, created healthy lives and now see a bright new world and a shining future. “You took me by the hand and held it until I was ready to let go,” another graduate said in her speech.
Attendees at the commencement include all students, residents, their families, teachers, behavioral specialists, administrators including Wellspring’s co-founders, Richard and Phyllis Beauvais, and residential staff. At such an intimate and special celebration almost every employee is in attendance to hear the speeches and cheer on the graduates.
Breakdown of Graduates by Program:
1 Beauvais House (Adolescent Residential)
1 Transitional Program (Adolescent Residential Alum)
2 Angelus House (Adult Residential Program)
7 Day School (includes 2 Alum of the Adolescent Residential Program)
Grade 8 Moving Up:
2 Day School
2 Shiloah House (Children’s Residential)
Graduates were Accepted to the Following Schools:
New England College
New York University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Western Connecticut State University
University of Connecticut
University of Illinois
University of Maryland
University of New Hampshire
University of Rhode Island
University of Vermont
Northwest, Norwalk, Tunxis and Westchester Community Colleges
Congratulations to our graduating class of 2014! In the words of Dr. Seuss, whom one of our graduates quoted in her commencement speech, “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”
New Women’s Group in Middlebury, CT
A Journey to Discovering Your True Self
Beginning October 7 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
WELLSPRING COUNSELING SERVICES, 850 Straits Turnpike, Middlebury, CT
A 12-week series of group workshops designed to help guide women as they explore creativity, self awareness, and inner spirit. This group will work from the book The Artists Way by Julia Cameron and will examine a different theme each week. The series encourages personal growth, empowerment, and confidence among participants.
Facilitated by Renee Alberino, LMFT.
About Renee: Renee Alberino is a licensed marriage and family therapist, who enjoys working with groups, individuals, couples and families. She sees clients at Wellspring Counseling Service’s Middlebury office and is a certified Gestalt therapist.
Registration Information: Participants must pre-register and reservations will be taken on a first-come-first-served basis. The group is limited to 10 participants. The cost will be $250 for the 12-week series, which includes a copy of the book, supplies and refreshments.
To register, please contact Wellspring Counseling Services at 203-758-2296.
The Culinary Program at Angelus House nurtures important life skills while encouraging transformation, self discovery and healing in our young adult residential program.
Angelus House kicked off the new year enjoying much needed kitchen upgrades for their robust Culinary Program. Thanks to the generous support of donors, the Angelus kitchen now has new cabinets, counter tops, microwave, pantry and two matching refrigerators. An inviting, functional space is important as the Culinary Program is an integral aspect of treatment at Angelus House, for the way in which it can provide the platform to nurture and heal.
“The Culinary Program is unique as it can often represent the Mother, either nurturing, critical, authority figure or all of the above,” said Joyce Rubinstein, Milieu Counselor and culinary coordinator at Angelus. “Often the feelings that emerge for residents while participating in the program are directly related to their familial relationships, especially with Mom. This gives us the perfect opportunity to incorporate this element into their treatment plans to help them learn how it fits right in to many aspects of the whole in treatment.”
“Many of our residents are diagnosed with eating disorders and have adversarial relationships with food, the kitchen and nurturance,” Joyce said. “They benefit from the opportunity in the Culinary Program to gain confidence and strength, learning a new relationship with food.”
The Culinary Program teaches life skills such as:
- Problem solving
- Relationship building
- How to nurture self and others
- Healthy relationship to cooking and eating
- Caring for the environment
With over 100 cookbooks, endless recipe websites at their fingertips and guidance from Joyce and a nutritionist, the residents are the drivers of the program, planning and creating healthy, delicious meals from soup to nuts. Residents rotate cooking two meals a day, with lunch as the main feature, for everyone in the house throughout the week.
Angelus holds an open kitchen philosophy with food available at all times. This philosophy utilizes common sense guidelines, as residents are adults learning to think independently, make their own decisions and transition back to living independently in healthy ways.
On Sunday evening 60 Minutes featured a segment that was of special interest to the friends and “family” of Wellspring. Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds shared his very personal experiences battling the healthcare system when attempting to get treatment for his son and the stigma of raising a mentally ill child.
While there is much work to be done to end the stigma of raising a mentally ill child, and provide better access to mental health services – we applaud the efforts that Senator Creigh Deeds and others throughout the nation are organizing to help others in the struggle.