(Elora, April 23, 2012) – Portage Ontario hosted a Recognition Celebration and Family Day on Sunday, April 22, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. at the residential rehabilitation centre in Elora, Ontario. It was a day filled with emotions as the graduates, along with their families, peers, and caseworkers came together to celebrate Freedom from Addiction.
Thirty young people from across Ontario were recognised for what they have accomplished while at Portage and for leading positive lifestyles in their community since leaving the residential program. Graduates and parents gave touching testimonials about their experiences at Portage and about the impact that drug addiction treatment has had on their lives.
“Drugs brought out the demons in my life. I ignored the people who cared about me, rejecting their love and support,” explained David. “At Portage, I learned how to take control of my life and to work for what is most important to me; family and a successful future. Now I want to use my experience to help others. I will be starting college in September to become a Social Worker.”
The scholastic success of residents was also recognised. Like many of the youth, Jordan had lost faith in his academic ability prior to coming to Portage.
“I used to just do Tech classes and physical stuff in school. I didn’t think I could do the academic stuff, but at Portage I learned I could do English and Science,” he stated “The teachers were just amazing; they really care about our success.” A huge smile radiated across Jordan’s face as he reported having completed the five credits he needed to finish his high school diploma at Portage Academy, the on-site school operated in partnership with the Upper Grand School District School Board and the Ministry of Education.
Commenting on the day, Michael Howlett, Chairman of Portage Ontario, stated:“It gives me great pleasure to celebrate the successes of all our residents, past and present. Portage opened this facility in 1985, in cooperation with the Government of Ontario, and since then we have treated more than 4,000 youth from every region of Ontario. When these youth leave Portage, they are empowered with the tools they need to succeed and to take back control of their lives.”