The Words of the Hentrich Family
The Blessed Teens Academy (BTA) in Colorado is now accepting domestic and international applications for the new 2011-2012 school year as well as the 2011 Summer Program.
The Blessed Teens Academy is a program created to address the specific needs of Unificationist Second Generation. It was started by Steve and Jeri Tamayo in 2003 as a way to give Second Generation, generally fourteen to eighteen (high-school age), an alternative to public school and an environment in which they could grow their faith, spirit, and character.
The Blessed Teens Academy is an immersion experience program. Every action and direction at the BTA is done with the purpose of putting God first. There are older Second Generation at the program, up to 26 years old, who have developed a life of faith in which God and True Parents are real to them. Working together with the First Generation staff, they strive for all Second Generation to be able to discover what they have discovered. The teen years are the best years to discover one's value as a Second Generation as well as develop one's relationship with God and True Parents and one's own physical parents.
It is important to understand that the Blessed Teens Academy is not a school. Parents are required to enroll into an Independent Study or home schooling program. The Blessed Teens Academy promotes the American School of Correspondence and the Brigham Young University (BYU) Independent Study programs as academic programs that provide good academic education and, at the same time, complement the internal curriculum at the BTA.
Although the BTA is not a school, students are provided time from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to study their material. Also, staff members are available to tutor and provide assistance when needed. The staff will also work with the students to make academic goals for the year. There are many ways in which homeschooling is different than traditional schooling, and it is important for parents to understand fully what homeschooling entails. Just by searching online for information about homeschooling, parents can find a lot of information. Also, some information is available on the BTA's website.
If you are an international student, you will want to bring your own study material from your country, and if you wish to study advanced English, you will need to contact our staff about your plans and academic goals for English.
Besides academics, the main focus of the Blessed Teens Academy is internal education. The key educational tool is teaching the practical daily application of the Divine Principle. Every day begins with 5:00 a.m. Hoon Dok Hae/Morning Service and there is closing together at night with internal guidance and prayer. Each trinity (a small group of students, usually three to five) is guided by a staff member to help strengthen their life of faith. Every day, the students have meetings and cleaning responsibilities to do together. Students and parents guide them to do conditions as a trinity to strengthen their relationships in the most God-centered way. Just a few of the important topics that are taught are "True Parents and True Children," "Vertical Tradition," "Parent/Child Relationship," "Reporting and Consulting," "Cain/Abel," "Making Goals," and "Making Good Conditions." Throughout the year, the students have many opportunities to receive internal guidance and have experiential learning opportunities as well. Besides daily internal guidance, students will also participate in and organize workshops and participate in Divine Principle lecture competitions held throughout the year. At these times when the students themselves give the lectures or testimonies, each one of them focuses on having a more clear understanding of his or her subject in order to share it with others more concisely.
Home schooling is very flexible, because the student is free to go at his/her own pace and study deeply into the subjects that are interesting. It is possible to finish high school in two/three years depending on the student's motivation and focus. The BTA uses the advantage of this flexibility to take road trips, hold workshops, go on outings, and have fundraising experiences during the week.
This year at BTA has been the greatest year of my life in every aspect. I got to experience traveling, meeting new people, and making the best friends ever. Although I had awesome experiences, it all came at the cost of investment, sweat and tears. Putting together workshops for communities was a huge part of this last year. Through those experiences, I learned how to invest in something spiritual to set a foundation for what is to come. Getting to meet new people in those states and quickly build deep, God centered relationships is something that is priceless and unchangeable. I have made my faith in God and stand upon a deep belief in True Parents as my eternal True Parents and Messiah. My parents are so precious to me and I love them and my three other brothers so much. - M. Stewart (16)
There's no way to fully explain what the past two years have been like for me unless you experience it too. Coming here, I simply thought it would be fun living with other BCs because I've haven't been around them for most of my life. Since then, a lot of things have happened that made it a lot bigger than that and I have changed things even for the rest of my life. One of the biggest things I've learned is that in order for the relationships I have in the future with God, True Parents, my central figures, and eventually my family to be real and true, I have to be really honest with myself and with them so that things will be clear and I can actually grow wherever I am. Sometimes I really have the habit of struggling with something and not wanting to bother anyone, so I kind of ignore it, but I've learned to just be myself and be honest. Because of all the big bros/sis's and staff at BTA, I've learned to be a better daughter to my parents, a better sister, a better wife for my future spouse and most importantly someone that can make God happy. That's what's so amazing at BTA. You can prepare for any part of your life because here you get a taste of relating with all different people in many different situations. Anyway, I have a super long way to go to get it all right, but I know that no matter what struggles I go through, no matter where BTA goes, this is the best place for me to be. - Felicia Bratti (16)
Please visit the website at BlessedTeensAcademy.com and register for a free account to get additional information as well as view additional testimonies, yearbooks, newsletters, application forms, tuition information, staff and student photos, and videos.