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November 9, 2009

For many Pacific Quest students, the chance to grow and learn are best continued separate from their home environment. Students enroll in programs and schools around the country and the world. One of these special places is the Southern France Youth Institute in Villeseque sur Corbieres, France. In October, I visited this wonderful school as part of a pleasure trip to France. While SFYI does not consider itself a “therapeutic” school, many students who are exiting therapeutic programs end up here for a transition or “gap” year experience.

My visit was enhanced by the fact that three former Pacific Quest students are currently enrolled at SFYI. Even though it was just the beginning of the semester there (and one student was on a home visit), I sensed that they were in the right place and were going to be successful. With many of the tools that they brought from their Pacific Quest experience, they seemed well-prepared to live in a community atmosphere that requires responsibility, maturity and curiosity. I watched with delight as they rounded up the group for meals, contributed to class discussions and spoke and wrote honestly about their experiences and emtions. When I consider how far these students have come since they first arrived on the PQ land, I am inspired.