Mark Waters

“I was a troubled teen who was making bad choices that were effecting my family, my education and the society I lived in. At first, I despised being at Mount Saint John because I had my freedoms taken away from me. But I soon realized that for the first time I was actually free because I didn’t feel as though I had to do something to impress my friends or that I wasn’t being ‘cool’ because I did what was right or because I did something different.
The personal guidance and support that I was given while at Mount Saint John gave me a new found strength that helped me to start making better decisions which led to a future more successful that I ever thought was possible.
This may sound simple and appear obvious for some, but for me, as that troubled teen and even now, it’s a life lesson I still carry today. The choices we make give our lives direction and for me, Mount Saint John provided the GPS, I just had to choose the destination.”

Mark Waters
Mount Saint John student 1978

“Like the board game ‘Life’, I was at a crossroads in my life when I could have gone in several directions. Fortunately with the help and guidance I received at Mount Saint John I was able to take the right road. The lessons learned will never be forgotten.”

Ray A. Cooke
Mount Saint John student 1967-1969

I grew up in a tough section of New Haven called Newhallville. I was 15 years old and was hanging out with the wrong kids and made a very bad decision one night and was caught in a stolen car and was in possession of a gun. I was blessed due to the fact that I was only 15 years old at the time that the court sent me to Mount Saint John.

Mount Saint John had a huge impact in my life. I was able to get treatment and support from staff on how I could change my life around.

I was so caught up in the street life that I didn’t even like to play sports. While at Mount Saint Johns I decided to start playing some basketball and joined the MSJ basketball team.

I then went on to play at Hillhouse school in New Haven and then to Winchendon Prep for a year. I then was blessed to become a University of Rhode Island Basketball player. I am graduating this year in Sociology.”

Keith Cothran
Mount Saint John student 2002

“My aunt was having a hard time with me and called my Parole Officer to kick me out of the house. That is when I was placed at Mount Saint John.

It was different at first and I had to go to school. I had only gone to school 20 days the year before so I didn’t know much, but I caught on during the second semester at MSJ.

I started to pray for a new life and received many blessings at MSJ. The staff was like a new family and the students were like brothers. I clicked with them.

I have been at MSJ for one year and I am a changed person. I have forgotten how it feels to be angry for no reason and act with violence. All of the steps and problems I had to go through at MSJ have shown me that there are a lot of people in the world worse off than me and I have come to believe that God is my Savior and can protect me from evil. I realized that gangs cause harm to families and friends.

Throughout my time at Mount Saint John I have gotten Baptized and remain close to God. I go to AA meetings in the community and out of town. I have built a trust with Mount Saint John staff that allows me to go to these meetings by myself and that enables me to go out with friends from those meetings and have dinners and talks.

Mount Saint John changed my life and is saving others children’s lives as I speak.

I’m not trying to persuade anyone that MSJ is perfect, but it works and serves a great deal of purpose in our lives.

Daprice K.
Mount Saint John Graduate of 2010