CADRE members visit Appalachian Teen Challenge

Julia Day, Reporter

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On October 11, the students participating in CADRE went and toured the Appalachian Teen Challenge in Athens, WV. Appalachian Teen Challenge (now called Applachian Adult and Teen Challenge) is a Christian faith-based organization that provides residential care and a program to help young people with their life problems, such as drug and alcohol addiction. There are centers all over America that focus on specific genders and age groups. The Challenge in Athens focuses primarily for adult males 18-49. This program is completely free, and ATC runs on donations from various groups. 

The members of CADRE were given a tour of this facility where they learned about the everyday activities and lives of the residents there. Jordan McFarland (11) said, “My day at Appalachian Teen Challenge consisted of one of the advisors telling us a back story, touring the campus and being told a little bit about each part of the campus and what they’re about. I also got to hear some of the students testimonies of how it had changed them.” 

The favorite part of this day for many students was the stories and testimonies about ATC and the residents or graduates there. Peyton Kiser (12) said, “My favorite part was getting to talk to the people in the program and hearing their success stories.” Macy McBride (11) also added, “My favorite part was learning that the staff had recovered and were helping other people.”

In addition to their favorite parts, the students found many interesting things in ATC and its program. Everything at the campus is completely run and maintained by the residents there, which was surprising to many. Benjamin White (12) explained, “The most interesting part was probably the dorm because of how neat and clean everything had to be.” Payton Kiser (12) added, “The most interesting thing was learning that the people in the program maintain everything there. They even sweep up the leaves and stuff.”

If there was one subject all the members of CADRE could agree on, it would be the importance of Appalachian Teen Challenge to this area. Jordan McFarland (11) said, “It’s important to the people it helps. Without it, who knows where those people would be.” Benjamin White agreed, saying, “ATC is helping people who have real problems by providing an alternative to rehab. I also think it’s important because it’s a Christian organization and helps expose people to the Gospel who may have never heard it before.” 

For Macy McBride, her perspective was changed by the tour. “I didn’t think that ATC was that hardcore, but I think that being hardcore is a great thing, especially for people struggling like that.” The “hardcore” things that Macy is referring to are some of the 

All-in-all, the day at Appalachian Teen Challenge was an eye-opening and important experience.