Portage Atlantic hosted its eighteenth Annual “Recognition Day” on Sunday, September 28th, 2014 at Sussex High School.
Recognition Day has special meaning to youth and families who have been supported by the Portage program at Cassidy Lake. At this year’s ceremony, 42 youth from across Canada were recognized for having completed various stages of the residential and aftercare components of the program.
Much emphasis is placed on education at Portage and educational milestones were recognized during the ceremony. Of the youth who were recognized on Sunday, many are enrolled in post-secondary institutions and several have been awarded bursaries.
Russell H.T. King, Portage Atlantic Chairman, was pleased to introduce special guest speaker Judge Paul Duffie. Judge offered an inspiring message touching on this year’s theme “Because I am Worth it”.
Mr. Eric Rice, a graduate of Portage Atlantic had this to say about what the Recognition Ceremony means to him; “Recognition Day for me is coming together with fellow addicts and celebrating a new beginning at life, celebrating the memories of individuals who lost their lives to addiction, motivating the ones who are struggling with recovery and celebrating who we are today, without our addictions”.
The facility at Cassidy Lake is a residential treatment centre for youth between the ages of 14 and 21 with serious substance abuse problems. The residential Portage program is bilingual and offered to youth from throughout Atlantic Canada. The approach to treatment is based on the therapeutic community model which, through positive peer pressure and role modeling, helps youth increase self-esteem by developing coping mechanisms and transferable skills.
The 2014 Portage Atlantic Recognition was supported by RBC Children’s Mental Health Project as well as numerous local Sussex businesses.