Northwest Academy alumni student, Richard S., checked in with us recently to update us on how he is doing and where he is now. Richard graduated in August of 2014 and here is what he had to say:
“We were so happy to be able to attend the last day at the old campus, and would love any other opportunities to come up and speak to students and parents. That was my second time visiting, and I do believe that, however brief, the impact we could make on current students hearing from alumni on the other side would help those students finish strong.
I am doing well, and will be finishing my Business Degree at the College of Charleston next spring. I owned my own business for a year – a smoothie bar – and just sold it to my partners so I could finish school as quickly and strongly as possible.
I have been a personal trainer for 4 years now, and have built a successful network of trainers, gym owners, and other professionals in the fitness community which has greatly contributed to my success. I competed in the State Championship Bodybuilding Competition in SC last year, where I placed 2nd. I write articles for a health and fitness magazine – Oblique Fitness, and have a total of 8 published articles. I actually helped another alumni to lose over 70 lbs in the last year.
My relationship with my family is great, but I think everyone struggles with their families from time to time. I pity the past students that were never able to get over their experience of getting sent away. My experience wasn’t the worst, but it wasn’t the easiest by a long shot. We all had struggles, as I think everyone does throughout their lives. But it’s about how you handle those struggles – you can either choose to blame those around you for your situation, or create your own situation for yourself. There will always be ups and downs in life, but getting through them makes you stronger every time. Boarding school was definitely a hard time for me, but 4 years later, I can honestly say I’ve been through a lot worse since, and I’m still plugging away. A good quote I’ve heard: “Depression is the fear of the past, and anxiety is the fear of the future. By staying present, you will find a happy and successful existence.”