Parent and Grandparent Testimonials
Shepherds Hill Academy has been privileged to serve countless families in times of crisis. Families have found that God as provided, through Shepherds Hill Academy, the transformation, hope, and healing their family was seeking. Based on our successful therapeutic methods in transforming the lives of teens in crisis, we are confident that your family will also find healing at Shepherds Hill Academy. If you would like to speak directly with our alumni parents, please feel free to let us know and we will put you in touch with them.
“You’re in the valley right now….You’re trying to find a light at the end of that tunnel and you don’t see it.” Shepherds Hill Alumni parent explains the tragedy that struck his family when his daughter experienced depression, self mutilation, addiction, and darkness in her life. He is amazed at the transformation in his daughter’s life after her time at SHA, explaining: “It’s absolutely the way to go!”
Familiar with Shepherds Hill Academy, these grandparents found a refuge for their grandson in turmoil. When the family was falling apart they were seeking someone to love him, show him truth, and turn his life around. “This [Shepherds Hill Academy] has met every expectation we had.”
There was anger, rage, self harm, and turmoil in her life. Her mother knew she was needing behavioral help. “She is smiling more and she is loving life…She’s like a whole different person.” Her mother explains the complete change in attitude and the joy in her daughters life that not only changed their relationship but their entire lives.
Shepherds Hill Academy family conferences are dedicated to offering hope and healing to the entire family by providing support and education for helping your teen succeed. SHA alumni parent explain, “It helps you work on the family unit as a whole. It helps you address the entire problem.This is the complete package because it includes the spiritual aspect of it. I think that’s what’s brought us closer together.”
“We were basically looking for a safe place for our daughter.” The parents were looking for a safe environment for their hurting teen girl. They wanted a place outside of the loud and distracting culture for her to really heal. They found this in Shepherds Hill Academy.
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Father’s Testimony – South Carolina
“SHA has helped us as much as they have helped our daughter. SHA is as good for the parents as it is for the kids. We thought we had lost our little girl. Now, I think we have gotten our little girl back.”
Mother’s Testimony – Florida
“We were doing everything at home that the professionals had told us to do, but to no avail. After SHA, he is like our old son again, joyful, pleasant, respectful and clear minded.”
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“SHA is a safe environment, with caring people. I’ve seen such a huge difference in the kids here.”
“Our grandson was diagnosed with ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Asperger’s syndrome. We tried school after school and no one could tolerate his behavior. Our son returned from his stay at Shepherds Hill Academy a changed young man. Instead of being obsessed with the internet, he was obsessed with homework. Instead of being insolent and defiant, he was courteous and well behaved.
The academic program at Shepherds Hill Academy is wonderful! The teachers are top rate. They make scholars out of intellectual dropouts. We met about 30 sets of parents and grandparents who had their kids at Shepherds Hill Academy during parent weekends. Every single parent and grandparent we talked to was DELIGHTED with this school.
I would be glad to talk to anyone who is thinking about sending their child or grandchild to Shepherds Hill Academy.”
– Grandparent from California
“By the time we decided to send our daughter to Shepherds Hill Academy we had by then spent over two years trying to get her back on the right track. Our daughter was always a very loving and sweet child who was involved in many school and church activities. However, towards the end of eighth grade her grades went down and her behavior began to change as she lost interest in church and school activities. By the time she was in ninth grade she became very involved with boys, drinking and drugs. She would sneak out of the house at night. This continued into tenth grade when she became involved in a theft at school. All during this time we battled with her with contracts and consequences, but nothing seemed to work. We spent two years working with therapists, but she just fooled them and herself into believing nothing was wrong with her behavior; she just couldn’t live with us as we were so unreasonable.
As time went on living with her became a nightmare for the whole family. Her behavior was having a negative influence on her younger sisters and she would not admit or take any responsibility for her decisions or actions.
As hard as it was to give our daughter to people we didn’t know, to spend a year of her life while still a child without her family, we had decided this was her last hope to have any life and future. She needed what SHA could offer — a chance to get away from all the distractions of the world and focus on what God intended for her life. At SHA she went from defiant and disrespectful to remorseful, appreciative, loving and forming a relationship with Christ. Our daughter even requested to be baptized. Seeing the transformation in her was miraculous. The peace and love that we felt during our visits to see her at SHA was encouraging to us that she wasn’t missing out on her childhood, but rather she was getting it back while at SHA. She was enjoying the simple pleasures of life again.
Our daughter appreciates her family now and the love they have for her. It didn’t take long to see that SHA was changing her, but what we didn’t expect is how our whole family would be changed for the better by this experience. We all saw how we could make more room for God in our lives. We cannot thank SHA enough for giving back to us the daughter we always dreamed we would have. The distractions of the real world are still challenging. But remembering the experiences and the lessons learned at SHA for dealing with these challenges is going to make the difference in her life.
We cannot thank SHA enough for what they have done for our family. God is truly working through SHA to change hearts and lives for families in crisis.”
– John & Diane
“We felt like we lost our youngest son to the drug culture and the lifestyle that goes with it at the young age of 15. He had decided to drop out of school and leave home. My wife and I turned to God and prayed for the answer on what to do next. We felt led to find a Christ-based program for our son and we prayed for guidance. Even though we looked at several options we felt most comfortable with the staff and approach of Shepherds Hill Academy. We took our son to Shepherds Hill Academy against his will and he did not want to be there for quite a while. Through it all he did know that the staff loved him and once the drugs were out of his system you could see God begin to change him. Each month we could see him getting stronger in his walk and we began to really enjoy being together. Our son was there for 14 months and when he finished the school year we were all so excited to have him home. Shepherds Hill Academy was definitely the turning point in his life and we thank God each day for getting our son back. What the devil has meant for evil God has turned into something very good. Our whole family is much closer to God and to each other through this experience. God Bless.”
– Mitch and Rhonda
“I’ve thought about writing this more times than I can count, but I can’t ever seem to get what’s in my heart on paper! At the therapist’s recommendation, I searched for a therapeutic boarding school for several weeks. Every time I spoke with someone I was literally sick to my stomach. When I finally gave the search to God, told Him I couldn’t do this, I needed Him to show me – boy He showed me! A new website pulled up – I had done the same search word for weeks! Trace answered and spoke with me the first time I called. I knew God had answered my prayers.
Leaving our daughter at SHA was one of the hardest things I have ever or will ever do in my life. I realize that although she is my daughter she is really Gods and He knows far more than I do and is very capable of taking care of her without me. Well, He used each of you to do just that.
Thank you for allowing God to use you in the lives of these kids! I know that you sacrifice much of your personal time, and lives to minister to the kids and their families. Have you ever seen the show Extreme Makeover? Where a family is really struggling and the show comes in and tears their house down and builds them a brand new beautiful one? They usually get a few more surprises throughout the show. Well, I think God has done an Extreme Makeover in our daughter’s heart. He got to all of the yuck, cleaned it out and began to build it again with things of Him. The time in the woods-away from the world, away from us-allowed that to happen. She’s not perfect ,never will be and I don’t expect her to be. She will stumble but she is striving to honor God in all that she does, in her thoughts, speech, actions and attitudes. She is now humble enough to admit when she’s wrong and ask for forgiveness to extend mercy and grace to others as Christ has offered it to her. We communicate – not always agreeing, but communicating in love. She accepts instruction and correction with a very respectful and submissive heart attitude.
God not only worked in our daughter’s heart, but the time away from her allowed Him to work on mine and Stuarts; well on a lot of people in our family. There was much healing that took place. God showed me I had some pride issues I needed to get rid of. He really revealed to me areas of my life I needed to work on, like how and what I communicate, extending the same love that God extends to me to others-even when it’s really hard! Being a better listener. The list could go on and on. I feel like I’m rambling anyway. We are all much more spiritually and emotionally healthy. Our daughter returned home off of all the medication she was on. Sometimes it’s hard to grasp how much she has changed! She knows how much each of you truly loves her. It was very difficult for her to leave you! She loves you all very much. She knows that God will use her past and her experience in some way for His Glory and she is willing to be used by Him. Know how grateful to God I am for bringing SHA to our lives.”
– Much love, Tami
“My husband and I would highly recommend SHA to any parent with a teenager who is having self-esteem, anger, and disrespect for authority and academic/social skill problems. The wilderness program helped our boys to learn valuable life lessons such as planning ahead, cooking/cleaning, respect for rules/boundaries, respect for themselves and others, the consequences of bad decisions, problem-solving and communication skills, and that they were loved no matter what their problems were. The transition program continued the supervision, but added the dimensions of more freedom, accountability sessions, re-integration into the family, college plans, job applications, budgeting, etc. We were impressed with the dedication of the SHA professionals, who were committed to helping our boys succeed. A family friend who has been our educational consultant since the boys were in grade school has visited SHA on two occasions, and was impressed with the quality of the academics offered by Shepherds Hill Academy. Trace and Beth Embry are wonderful Christian role models, and ensure a positive, encouraging, therapeutic environment.”
“Shepherds Hill Academy has become a part of my family. I have seen my son transform from a self serving, self gratifying boy to an appreciative man willing to serve others. Trace, Beth, Rebecca, Eric, William and the staff are without a doubt doing God’s work. The Holy Spirit’s presence is all over SHA. Not only has my son grown in the Lord for being at SHA, my entire family has also. I am very thankful for the opportunity to become a part of SHA.”
“Everyone, from the first email and phone call, have shown a heart to serve. They’re prayerfully finding ways to minister to our son and whole family as partners.”
– KN, Florida
“We can say nothing but great things about the whole experience. Our boys truly benefited from the positive, nurturing environment, and the intimate, but challenging academic program. Each child learned his limits & strengths, respect for authority, the importance of an education, and are self-confident young men.”
– LT Baton Rouge LA
“Shepherds Hill Academy began healing my family. We learned how God meant for our family to work, with the husband leading and the wife as his support, and all of us seeking God in every decision.”
– JR Georgia
“My husband and I felt God’s Love at SHA and the staff was wonderful and caring.”
– SC Hastings, NE
“Can anyone know God’s will all the time? Why can the things that seem to be doing the most to accomplish His will fall by the wayside and not be protected with His strong hand? The people who stretch themselves thin to help those in need with little or nothing to do it with are always on the front line battling not only the things of this world but the things that are unforeseen as well. It would be scary for those things I speak of to be visible to us as believers and maybe even scarier to those who are not believers but pave paths for them to corrupt and destroy. Being blind in our actions cause havoc to prosper and the good to fail in their attempts.
Shepherds Hill Academy has been a beacon of hope for many whose lives were turned upside down by the evils of this world at tremendous costs. I’m sure that all who have experienced the rebirth of their wayward child never look back at the cost, only the blessings bestowed upon them having surrendered it. My son was a Christian and lived in a Christian home but was still claimed as a victim to the inane thinking of our times. Do I worry about him now that I have him back? All the time. Could he fall back into the same snares? Not likely, because of the love and understanding that was poured out onto him at Shepherds Hill Academy – he now knows this part of his enemy’s attack strategy.
The walls that were created to shut us out were knocked down at SHA. Could he fall in some other way, maybe but if he remains true to his faith and lets God guide and lead him, he will be okay. The power of the Holy Spirit is strong at SHA – why do you think it is being attacked? The only true threats are the ones that are attacked relentlessly and made to look other than what it actually is.
I have been there with my son — sitting in a psychiatric hospital with my son spewing profanities at both my wife and I saying, “I don’t want to hear any of that God stuff” and him threatening to commit suicide when the Holy Spirit and prayer was the only option to save him from being taken from us. Whether you believe in that God stuff or not, He is real and loves you and your family. The enemy wants you to be forsaken and hopeless – SHA is one of God’s safe havens and can show you and your child the love of Christ. The world wants us to make decisions based on what we see with our eyes and hear with our ears but God speaks to your heart of hearts. You will know the truth because it will set you free from the bondage of the enemy and a peace will come over you – all you have to do is set foot on SHA and you will understand what I mean. May God bless SHA, Trace & Beth Embry, all their staff and you and your child.”