Positve Impact

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Positive Impact was a behavior modification program located around Bahía de Kino, Sonora in Mexico.

It did open around 1999 [1] and closed because the program was not designed for low profile residents on Jan 2005.

The program was founded by John Andersen, who had a past at Island view. Several of the staffmembers were hired from the same facility.

Another staff member was Craig Rogers, who moved to Abundant Life Academy.

Around 2001 they were able to detain 62 male teenagers [2].

Program structure

Poisitive Impact had three houses all located in Bahia de Kino. The primary and most secured "locked-down," house was Breakthrough, which was primarily the house for run-risk and/or new kids just entering the program. Breakthrough was located directly on the beach about 150 yards from the beach and held 18 kids. Oceanography held around 23 plus or minus, and was located on the beach as well. Vida was the third house, the only to not be located on the beach. This house was the least locked-down, originally reserved for the highest STEPS level kids. Originally, there might have also been houses named Palacio del Sol and Libertad, but on or around August 2000, these were no longer around.

Entering Positive Impact, any house, all of your items we're searched and you we're allowed 3 pictures of family. you start on level 0, (New opportunity). Graduating from the program (after a year in the program, i never saw or heard of anyone graduating, or asking those who had been in the program from the start, i believe only 1 person had reached step 5 and held it long enough to graduate. The individual that i witnessed, who was molded into the perfect result of the owner's expectations, was sabotaged by the staff... and remained in the program another month after his "graduation" was dropped by the staff and his level was dropped to level 4.) The level system was called STEPS, with a 0 level of New opportunity, which any staff could give you, thus negating all of your earned privileges, and for an entire week, or the remainder of the week (your status changed every sunday depending on the scores, that other gave you nightly throughout the week. STEPS was an acronym for;

Level 0 New O: New Opportunity Level 1 S: Service Level 2 T: Transition Level 3 E: Education Level 4 P: Purpose Level 5 S: Success

Progression from New O to Success required initials on each "Service Chart" for each level, the sheets aren't the same, as for each new level, it requires increasingly more staff initials to get the sheet filled out, and you cannot apply for a next level promotion until the entire sheet is filled out. This was a daunting task as for some sections you would be able to fill out extremely quickly, however some sections you would be required to obtain say 30 initials, when you only have the opportunity to get 2 signatures a week at best. These we're the GGI's or GUided Group Interactions, where individuals we're encouraged to basically attack and pry (verbally) their other peers, the individual who was picked by the group to be the center of the GGI. A lead staff was required to moderate the session, usually lasting 1 to 2 hours. At level 3, one was allowed to make a home visit back to the states for a week, and at level 4, one was generally allowed to officially leave the program a "success." It usually took an individual 9-11 months to reach level 4 of STEPS.

Daily schedule

The week was divided into two. From Tuesday to Friday a sample of a daily schedule could look like this:

  • 06:00 Wakeup
  • 06:45 Physical Activity
  • 07:45 Personal Hygiene and Service Duties
  • 08:30 Breakfast / Cleanup and Service Duties
  • 09:00 Academics
  • 12:30 Lunch / Cleanup and Service Duties/FFA
  • 13:00 Guided Group Interactions (GGI)
  • 14:30 Experiential Activities (Daily Rotation): Community Service,
    Specialty Groups, STEP Groups, Experiential Art/Music, Leadership Exercises or Triad Game
  • 16:30 Substance Abuse Group
  • 18:00 Dinner / Cleanup
  • 18:45 Community Meeting/FFA
  • 19:30 Personal Hygiene and Bedtime Preparations
  • 21:00 Lights out

Sunday included "deep clean" which could range from 2-3 or more hours of house cleaning. Beginning in 2001 a sunday a month or every other month had event like beach days with the other houses.

Friday to Monday was less structured. The elements during this part of the week were:

  • Various tasks like: Community Meeting, Physical Activities, Camping/Hiking Excursions, Developmental Workshops, Church/Spiritual Reflection
  • Program Development elements like: Student Handbook Review, Positive Peer Culture Studies, "Mind Over Mood Group", Understanding the "Positive Impact Sayings", Focus on Covey's "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens"
  • Earned Activities like: Fishing Trips, Movie, Team Sports, Scuba Diving or Soad and movies. (Except the brief period of time soda was banned after two residants were caught trying to huff the CO2 fumes, soda was later reinstated after the resident leader of Palacio del Sol brought up the fact that kids who want to try to get high on CO2 can just hold their breath.)

Communication

One phone call per week to parents was granted when entering the program, but more could be earned. Parents were allowed every 2 months for a visit with family therapy included.

Education

They offered high school courses delivered by the Keystone National High School. These courses could be completed in a week to two weeks, depending on how much time was spent working on them. More time took waiting for the mail to return, telling you how you did on the various "tests," then actually finishing the course (if you powered through it). They also taught Spanish and expected all to be able to communicate in this language before they left the program, though few if any could. Spanish speaking was only required during clean up sessions after breakfast, lunch or dinner, during the designated "service roles" part of the day. Community outings gave a chance to speak with the locals but was not required as most of the staff were local inhabitants from Bahia de Kino and nearby Hermosillo, Sonora. Common spanish words were of basic slave like "asking" permission of "can i go up" (the stairs) or "can i go in the closet" to "open the gate" (locks on all of the doors, and bars on the windows etc. if you were level 3 or higher you might ask "can i borrow your keys please" to open a locked gate for a lower level (on the STEPS reward system) individual. Sometimes also, before lights out, you were only allowed to speak in spanish. However this was rare, yet if you were below step 2, you were not allowed to speak after lights out. Individuals could take spanish courses through Keystones, but staff members would usually help the individuals to complete assignments or correct tests.

External Links

Message boards

References

  1. Schools & Program Visits - Jan, 2000, strugglingteens.com - industry marketing firm
  2. POSITIVE IMPACT, Bahia de Kino, Mexico Schools & Program Visits - Feb, 2001 - strugglingteens.com - industry marketing firm