Turning Winds Academic Institute Reviews
Don't send them there
Parents naturally think this is a good school because kids can't tell them what really is happening to them. The kids that go home that are good is only because they are scared to be sent back, but most end up maturing on their own and many end up worse than before with many psychological issues. I went their and instead of being reunited with my dad, I was sent to live at my uncle's because my therapist thought it best. I was pissed and did worse things and am 20 and still am resentful towards everyone. My family relationships suck no matter how hard I try. When I was 18 I grew up and realized I had to get my stuff together and matured I am now a CNA and have a wonderful daughter and fiance. I would not sent your kids here.
This school made me want to be more rebellious.
I was sent to TWAI for ridiculous reasons. I hated being there so I learned how to kiss everyone's butts to get my way up and once I was up, I didn't really care anymore. Learning 12 words is not going to change the way a child behaves and trying to "break their spirit" was one of the worst possible things. I was not like the average TWAI kid and did not do very many "bad things" before. After I got out, I started to become more rebellious and started to also experience mental issues such as depression, anxiety, and extreme stress. I also became socially distant because I was not allowed to talk to very many people at TWAI. I forgot some of the basic social skills that a child needs. Also, at TWAI, they say they want to focus on reconnecting the family. How in the world can I reconnect with my family if I can only talk to them once a week (supervised) for 10 minutes and write them letters once a week that have to be read over. I felt even more distant with my family than I have ever felt before. Thanks to TWAI I am now on mental medications and I am not very happy anymore. This place needs to be shut down. This place is not safe for "troubled teens". There are many other ways to help your child and this is not it.
I had nearly all A's in school, and I had a job that made plenty of money for a 16 year old kid. The problem is that I was a punk and I disagreed with my parents generally just to do it. I wish that I could change this. If I had the chance I would go back and do things right, but I was, as I said, a punk and constantly disappointed and angered my parents. I didn't fit in at my high school and that affected me greatly. My parents panicked after realizing that my drug use was more than just weed, something that anybody would have done. I stayed there for nine months and accredit none of my current success now to what I "learned" at Turning Winds. I spent nine months of my life frustrated, lonely, and feeling hopeless. I have never hated in my life until arriving there, and worst of all is that I hated my own parents. People mature naturally. This is a fact. Upon getting out of Turning Winds, not only did I have to learn to socialize again, but I wanted to act out. I began using drugs heavily, for a time, before I realized that I didn't want to be just this. There was no moment of revelation at this institution, I had just matured. I was no long a 16 year old punk, and college was around the corner.
I began to use drugs as much as usual, once a month, for a few months before even that was something that I had matured out of. Now I have no will to even touch drugs. They have lost their appeal. I am currently attending the University of Arkansas where I study Pre-dental Biology, Chemistry, International Economics, and Management. I am living in Brazil for the year.
I think what is much more important than sending your child somewhere to learn as a last resort is to begin early with helping your child find out who he/she is and most importantly be comfortable with that person. Once they find something that they want more than drugs, your problem is solved. I would avoid this program at all costs as it is mentally damaging. There are a few staff there who are in it for the right reason, and they know who they are. The rest are like waiters who don't want to be at the restaurant they are working at. They go through the motions with no investment in what they do. They punish to prove a point. This is not a boarding school, this is a hostage situation. Nobody but three people ever actually sat me down and tried to take out the time to talk to me about why I did the things I did. The rest are staff; simply this.
To sum it all up: Academically, I was behind my peers. Emotionally, I was damaged. Socially, I was awkward. I matured naturally, as anybody does.
This place should be illegal
As a student who was there for my share of "time" I can say it did nothing but make me angry. The staff would have me sit and stare at a wall even for talking to someone they didn't want me to talk to. You could literally get in trouble for almost anything. I almost felt brainwashed as we were forced to tell on our friends even for the slightest of things in fear of us getting a consequence as well for not telling. It could be as simple as not finishing all the food the staff gave us or just "glancing" over at the opposite sex. I remember staring at a wall for 6 days with the entire group because a few girls took a jar of peanut butter out of the pantry and might I add this was around the time I got there so I had no clue what was going on other then the fact that I was getting in trouble for something I did not do. They liked to punish us as a group, which makes no sense because if they are doing what they say they are doing "raising us to be independent mature individuals" then how would that help?
did nothing at all after a year
After turning winds I almost instantly went back to using drugs and I'm not talking about some simple pot use.
shut it down
I worked at tw and honestly I am embarrassed to say that. It was nothing like I thought it would be. It is a total scam. I could go on for days about what that place is really like. Its an embarrassment to have that place in my community. I know for a fact that they are only interested in money and not the well being of the kids. I miss the kids that I worked with and I wish them all the best. Unfortunately some are no longer with us and that breaks my heart. I have also kept in contact with many of those kids and talk to them on a regular basis. Turning Winds needs to be shut down totally. It is not a safe place for your child. I personally know of a staff member working there right now who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near those kids. If tw really cared about the students they would do more research on people before they hire them.
Any person or facility that takes a kids family pictures or Other belongings from their home away from them,or tells them they can't tell their parents how they truly feel about any situation isnt helping but hendering them emotionally and spiritually. Its sickening. As a staff member I was told not to talk to a student one on one,not to let them talk about their past,not to interact with them after they leave the program and to discourage them from speaking about any spiritual beliefs or questions. Isn't that what I was there for?? Well I am still lending a hand to some of those kids and I'm greatful that I met them and am able to do so and will continue to do it as long as I can.
My point of view
My name is Carlos Rios and I attended Turning Winds Academic Institute when I was 16. Today I am 20 years old and beginning my second year as one of the top salesman for a local car dealership here in Minneapolis. My life is literally going the way of my dream life. I couldn't be happier. If I would have listened to the staff at Turning Winds and taken their advice, there is literally no way that I could have ever been this successful and thrilled about life. A staff member once told me that cars could not be my passion and my love for cars was materialistic. This staff member was highly respected at Turning Winds and had been there for much longer than many of the other staff members.
I was sent to Turning Winds by my parents. The only thing Turning Winds did for me was punish me and make me feel sad. I spent my entire 9 months on the brink of tears. Turning Winds will not allow your child to write how they are truly feeling in letters and the same goes for the phone calls. You are told immediately when you arrive at Turning Winds that you are not allowed to tell your parents that you don't like it and that if you are not positive with your parents you will have to face the wall for up to 24 hours at a time. Sometimes, even longer.
One of my best friends from Turning winds, Jesse, died of alcoholism after getting out. I can't tell you how much it pains me that Jesse was sent to a facility in Montana where he was not given the support he needed from true professionals. He had a real problem and I am telling you Turning Winds has no real solutions. They are not the solution for your child either.
Possible serious consequences that need to be considered
First and foremost you should acknowledge that turning winds is a business and their first objective is to create revenue. They may not be completely honest with you all the time to reassure you that your child is thriving in their environment. Although you are required to sign a contract guaranteeing full payment whether you pull your child or not, it is harmful to the other children's "progress" to watch a peer leave before completing the program. It gives a false sense of hope. The most effective way for TWAI to reassure you that you have made the right decision is portrayed in the hand written letters you will receive from your child every week that show a new sense of direction and expressing feelings of love toward the parent. Don't fall into this manipulation too easily. You must remember that TWAI is in full control of your child and can force them to do or write anything with threats of serious punishment such as long periods of isolation sometimes more than a week. These threats are not idle. Isolation is referred to as LOGP (loss of group privileges) You may be thinking that your child is in need of this kind of discipline but before you come to that conclusion take the time to look into the long term affects of putting a minor into isolation. There is a reason it's illegal. After returning home your child may seem better at first but this could also be symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder and a grave fear of being sent back. Another possibility could be a feeling of long term resentment toward the parent(s) that sent the child there. This kind of resentment would be a response to a feeling of abandonment. I'm not telling you not to send your child to turning winds. I'm simply urging you to make sure you have a full understanding of what goes on in these types of places and to consider the possible consequences. Practice un-bias research. This kind of extreme radical treatment could really make or break your child. To put it into prospective for you out of the 50 children that attended TW with me, 5 of them died in the first 2 years out. That's a 90% survival rate. Not good considering that we are talking about the lives of minors. In my opinion that was not a result of a failure for the program to reform these kids but I believe it was reform for the worse. If you are seriously considering sending your child to TW I truly wish you both the best and a bright and beautiful future.
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Turning Winds Academic Institute offers an innovative therapeutic program that will attempt to help the individual with their deficiencies. A fully accredited institute by the Northwest Accreditation Commission and the National Independent Private Schools Association, TWAI has a first-class experienced clinical team that leads one-on-one and group therapy sessions, while touting a diverse collection of teachers. Plenty of personal attention will be given to each teen, to ensure proper progress.
Thank you! Thank you!
"Turning Winds Academic Institute" is a co-ed, therapeutic, boarding school that is accredited by Northwest Association of Accredited Schools (NAAS). We believe that each student has the capacity to learn, that individual strengths have different learning modalities, and that high expectations are necessary in order for the student to reach their highest potential. Turning Winds Academic Institute stands out as an elite academic provider. Turning Winds Academic Institute is an official ACT and SAT testing site and offers these tests quarterly. Preparation courses are also offered for these tests. Furthermore, we are also an official testing site for the GED. Turning Winds Academic Institute also offers College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) preparation for students. CLEP provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate college-level achievement through a program of exams in undergraduate college courses. Students can earn up to six credits for each test. There are 2,900 colleges that grant credit and/or advanced standing for CLEP exams.
Thank you! Thank you!
My daughter has been at Turning Winds for 3 months now, the first thing I noticed was her change in attitude and her appreciation for everything in general. She loves the mountain hiking and the beautiful scenery in Montana. She has been hiking and camping on the river several times already. She loves being in the tranquil environment and close to nature. She tells me she is on a journey to self-discovery and is in the best possible place to do so. She is continuing to develop new skills to deal with whatever life happens to throw her down the road. I am very thankful to the dedicated and loving staff at Turning Winds.
This school is amazing in every way. I just wanted to say that even though this was difficult to go through, I am a better person for doing so. I am currently in college and doing exceptionally well. I hope to graduate next year. I would definitely recommend this to any parent. Turning Winds Academic Institute has an amazing staff and I wanted to say Thank You to Gordon.
My son is a different teen from the one I sent away - I am so excited to see him grow and become the man he is meant to be. I think he needed some time away to face his demons and evaluate what he wanted out of life. I am grateful to the program and continue to marvel at his growth. All of the staff at Turning Winds are wonderful and I couldn't recommend them more highly!