Siblings Celebrate Success at Green Chimneys

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June 30, 2014

Achievements shine brightly throughout Green Chimneys, especially at this time of year, when graduations and moving up ceremonies give us the opportunity to acknowledge student growth and achievements.

Among those celebrating are siblings Anastasia and Alex. One of several students moving up from 8th grade to high school, Anastasia began attending Green Chimneys’ therapeutic day school nearly 2 years ago. She was no stranger to Green Chimneys as her older brother Alex has been a resident and student since 2010. Both adopted from Russia at the young ages of 2 and 3½, Anastasia and Alex are working individually and as a family unit to overcome social, emotional and behavioral hurdles.


Before Green Chimneys, attending school with any regularity was challenge for Anastasia. There were issues with mood stability, developing peer relationships, obeying rules, and maintaining personal hygiene. After about 6 months, Anastasia’s attendance became more consistent, and with the help of the school psychologist, she began responding to their “plan,” which included daily check-ins, personal goals, and rewards for positive behavior. Eventually Anastasia developed favorite activities on the Clearpool campus including caring for the animals and tackling outdoor adventures (especially hiking, swimming, boating, and the ropes course). Looking forward to the next school day became her new norm, and today Anastasia is a leader and role model, excelling at safe behaviors and always willing to help staff and fellow students. Although she’s sad to leave the Clearpool campus, Anastasia is looking forward to high school and reuniting with friends who moved up last year. 

Alex’s accomplishments are deserving of a celebration too. Initially coming to Green Chimneys because of struggles with poor impulse control, mood instability, and lack of coping skills, Alex has shown signs of great growth during his 4 years as a student and resident. Green Chimneys staff has seen significant gains in Alex behaviorally, socially and academically, and with a year of maintaining such progress at home, in school, and within the dorm, Alex is on track to be return home by the end of the summer. Today, Alex is better able to manage his emotions without resorting to unsafe behaviors such as aggression. In addition to individual therapy sessions and group therapy offered, Alex has also participated in a specialized group focused on Russian adoptees.  He’s most looking forward to living at home with his family and pets again, especially his dog Charlie. After discharge from our residential treatment program, Alex will become a day student and continue to attend Green Chimneys School which he’s grateful for, given the great relationships formed with peers and adults.

We can’t share Alex and Anastasia’s story without acknowledging their adoptive mom who has actively participated in family therapy sessions on a regular basis to improve family interactions, increase Anastasia and Alex’s compliance, and maintain a safe home environment. We wish the entire family continued success!

See photo highlights from our 2014 Moving Up Ceremony and High School Graduation >

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