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Derek’s Story: Riverside School

Derek was struggling.  He wasn’t attending school and was spending too much time alone in his bedroom.  He was depressed, non-communicative, and as his mom says, “a shell of the boy I knew.”

Derek got back on track with the support of the Riverside School.  Located in Needham and Milford, these two schools for grades 6 through 12, provide not only academics, but support students through therapeutic groups so that they can build self-esteem and develop coping skills.  The schools, which follow regular high school hours but run year-round, offer  a small group setting that allows for a high staff-to-student ratio so kids can get the individual attention they need.  Some teens stay for a few months, others stay for a year or more.  The goal is for the students to gain confidence, strengthen social and communications skills, and return to their communities and schools in the future.

See how Derek made a remarkable transformation in this video.  Thank you to Derek and his mother, Denise, for sharing their story.

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