Bea Earned Diploma, Lifelong Independence at Bradley Schools
For adolescents with emotional and behavioral health issues, the interpersonal relationships and day-to-day interactions and experiences that many of us take for granted can be overwhelming. Add academic pressures to the equation and life can seem unbearable.
That’s the point Beatriz Medeiros had reached when she was introduced to the staff of Bradley Schools in 2011. She was in crisis. Suicidal thoughts, cutting, and panic attacks had become part of her life, as did hospitalizations.
Understandably, her academic performance suffered greatly. But for the next four years, things changed for Bea. With the help of Bradley Schools’ expert staff, she flourished academically, and she graduated from high school.
While at Bradley Schools, Bea earned not only a diploma but a better understanding of herself.
“I feel blessed to be living an easier and healthier life,” said Bea, now 19. “I give my thanks to the Bradley staff for all of their support and encouragement. They never gave up on me and they helped shape me into the young woman I am today. I can't thank them enough.”
Bea added that she has not attempted to harm herself since high school.
Bradley Schools provides individualized educational services that are innovative and comprehensive. The education supports the academic and social-emotional development of children and adolescents, enabling them to keep pace with their grade-level peers and achieve their full potential.
Greta Francis, PhD, clinical director of Bradley Schools, says Bradley Schools is in the unique position to help kids like Bea.
“We have doctoral-level psychologists, masters-level licensed clinical social workers, and a lot of people with clinical expertise in helping kids with psychiatric issues,” Francis said. “We know how to help those kids within the context of school.”
As a child, Bea was diagnosed with ADHD and moved from school to school. She had problems adjusting and couldn’t find success in the classroom. By her freshman year of high school, Bea started skipping class; she said she was failing and had given up trying.
“Bea is a good example of someone who needed a lot of support and a lot of help clinically, and it came not only from clinical staff, but from all the staff who worked with her,” said Francis.
The staff and doctors at school helped Bea realize she had sensory issues that could be controlled. She learned to use sensory items at her desk when needed and asked to go for walks as necessary. Bea asked for "check-ins" with staff and learned to calm herself.
“Bea became better at self-management and she started to feel better about doing well. By the time she graduated, she was so independent,” Francis added.
Bea said senior year was her year to shine. “While I still attended therapy and continued my medication, that was the year I was free of hospitals, free of shots to calm me down, and free of ‘the demon.’ Everything started to turn around. I began to help staff and other students at the Bradley School. I even started arts and crafts and wrote from time to time.”
As Bea’s senior year ended, she was worried about entering the real world alone, but knew she could handle whatever life threw her way.
Bea, now working, said she has a clear goal: “To be able to support myself financially and start my life in the real world independently.”
Bradley Schools provides innovative, comprehensive, and individualized educational services. The program supports the academic and social-emotional development of students, enabling them to achieve their full potential. Bradley Schools currently serve more than 400 students from Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut at sites in Portsmouth, Providence, South County, Westerly, East Providence and Montville, CT, as well as several community classrooms within other school districts.