His Future Is Bright

His Future Is Bright

As another successful school year comes to an end at Cunningham, we wanted to share a story from our newest campus, CIRCLE Academy-Vermilion in Rossville.

Kaleb, a sophomore at CIRCLE Academy-Vermilion, says history is his favorite subject. "I like to learn about things that happened in the past."

This may be true, but Kaleb doesn't like to dwell on his own past. "I used to be a dangerous kid before I came to Cunningham. I was very angry and would run away a lot. "

Assistant Principal Paula and Kaleb enjoy an end of year school outing.

Today, Paula Dowling, Assistant Principal at CIRCLE-Vermilion, describes Kaleb differently. Kaleb is a model student and focuses his energy on more positive things: getting above average grades, playing sports and serving as a mentor to some of the younger students at CIRCLE Academy-Vermilion.

Recently, Kaleb has earned a very distinct honor. He will be the first student at CIRCLE Academy-Vermilion to transition back to his home school district in the fall. When classes resume, he will be taking half of his junior year classes at his hometown high school. Kaleb's story reminds us that history does not have to repeat itself.

In 2010, Kaleb came to Cunningham's Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in Urbana because of his persistent patterns of tantrums, angry outbursts, and disruptive behavior toward people in authority. He would often blame others for his mistakes and misbehavior. Kaleb's father had his son's best interest at heart but didn't know how best to help him.

While living at Cunningham, Kaleb learned more effective ways to manage his emotional challenges. Cunningham staff helped him begin to heal by teaching him the proper coping skills for a variety of situations. Kaleb's behavior turned from being out of control to using his newly found abilities to manage his angry outbursts. He started thinking rather than reacting. Kaleb was able to leave the RTC to live with his father and with the opening of CIRCLE-Vermilion he continued to receive services from Cunningham in a school setting.

Kaleb's future looks bright. Jean Ann, Kaleb's social worker, remarks that his self esteem is higher and he's much more confident. "He's a caring, young man who is learning to develop relationships and a trust in others," she says.

Kaleb is creating new pages in his history book, a history that will be worth remembering.

Kaleb spends his free time shooting hoops.