SRA graduate: ‘I think being there made me realize I wanted to be a voice for people that couldn’t have a voice’

Spring Ridge Academy has produced some remarkable graduates over the years. One such person is Molly Casson, who spent roughly three years at SRA. She looks back at her time as a learning experience that also brought a tremendous amount of personal growth.

“I think that first year was me figuring out that I wasn’t, that I didn’t want to be defiant anymore,” she said. “It was harder, life was harder when I went against the grain.”

She said she eased into her initial months at SRA with knowledge and reason.

“I think when you’re first there, you’re so shocked at everything that’s going on, I think you just have to absorb it,” she said. “And journaling, I think, is the biggest way to help you. But once you get through the first phase, you’re on phase two, you have more privileges and you can kind of breathe a little bit more.”

Years later, as she counts the many successes in her life, she credits her tenacity to SRA coupled with the help of SRA staff.

“It was very meaningful for me,” she said. “And the experience got me to a place where I was able to have the skills to move to the next phase of my life. And now, I’m in my second trimester of pregnancy. I’m in adulthood. I’m married. I’m a professional. And now I was able to use that foundation that Spring Ridge gave me, to foster new coping skills into adulthood, into further adulthood, now into motherhood and being a wife. So I see that as a very great foundational building block,” she explained.

Molly has important words for new students.

“My biggest advice would be journal. I journaled everyday I was there. I wrote about how I was feeling,” she explained. “Don’t be afraid to talk things out. Putting up your walls is going to keep you here longer.”

Molly has used her experiences from SRA to develop a desire to help others. She received a Bachelors and Masters degree in Special Education and attributes that success, in part, to SRA.

“I think being there made me realize I wanted to be a voice for people that couldn’t have a voice for themselves. And because I realized my voice and I realize my story and my journey and how being there makes you realize you’re not the only one with problems,” she said. “I have a really great experience. I know everyone has their own different experiences. For where I was in my life, I needed that structure. I needed that type of environment where you start from the bottom and work your way up.”

These days, she faces life with a strong foundation and immense structure.

“My emotional intelligence is ridiculous,” she said. “And I attribute it to being there.”