Christian Boarding School
for Girls Who are Struggling
Lakeland Girls Academy is a residential home and school specifically designed for girls who are struggling with life-controlling issues. LGA student residences, kitchen/dining, and school are located in a 10,000 square foot home-like facility on acreage nestled in a middle-class community. There are ample areas for physical activities on the property, an inter-campus athletic department, and a screened-in pool. Lakeland employs fifteen female team members and counselors, each with the appropriate education and experience suited for their roles.
Teen Challenge provides this residential program for adolescents who have sought to fill the void in their hearts, only to reap destructive consequences in its place. Our program provides an opportunity for each student to refocus and assess her life decisions and allows her the opportunity to choose the abundant life Christ has to offer. In the process, the student is taught indispensable lessons of strong work ethics, teamwork, patience, diligence, determination, communication, submission, and motivation, to name a few.
Some of the issues our residents come to us with include:
- Low self-esteem
- Loss of academic status, skipping school or dropping grades
- Manipulation/Blame shifting
When a student comes to Lakeland Girls Academy it is typical for there to be blame-shifting, avoidance of responsibility, and sometimes complete denial of wrongdoing. Soon after enrollment, the student begins to experience some regret for the consequences of her prior behavior. Essentially, she is “sorry” for being caught in her behavior but has yet to experience a turning away from her old sinful desires. This may be very similar to the ups and downs that parents have experienced at home, promises to change, periods of peace, that cycle back to crisis. Regret does not change individuals, repentance does.
Mentoring is ongoing – all day, every day – at LGA, with numerous opportunities for learning and growth. Individual sessions encourage transparency and self-acceptance. Group sessions help students develop problem-solving skills that will last a lifetime. Personal responsibility and respect for others are taught through our Christian Character Qualities training. As each student learns these qualities they start to develop a genuine concern and respect for others.
Lakeland Girls Academy also provides focused and individualized academic attention for the girls in its care. LGA is an accredited, private school registered with the State of Florida and a member of the Florida Association of Christian Child Caring Agencies (FACCCA). The focus is on improved study skills and performance, which gives a competitive advantage in college. Though education is not the main purpose of a girl attending the Lakeland program, parents have peace of mind knowing that they have provided their girl with the best educational foundation for life and for future advanced education.
Many times, teens have been spared the heartache of the full-blown consequences for their negative decisions. This is because at this age they are only beginning to experiment with behaviors that would later in life render them completely hopeless and unfulfilled in every area of their life; emotionally, academically, physically, and spiritually. In some cases, teens have been protected from the full consequences of their decisions by well-intending adults. For these reasons, teens are not always entirely certain of the need for change in their lives. However, the parent is convinced of this need for life-changing intervention. At Lakeland Girls Academy we consider ourselves an early intervention program, intervening in adolescents’ lives before they become an adult trapped in a dysfunctional lifestyle.
Here at LGA we have cultivated a positive peer culture. Students are encouraged to be responsible for their own actions and to hold others accountable for their actions. This positive peer element is a part of the Teen Challenge dynamic. Students influence other students positively as opposed to the negative peer pressure that so many of our students face before coming to Teen Challenge. As a student comes into our program and demonstrates obedience, she begins to recognize and reap the benefits that come with obedience.
1st Place in State Science and
Engineering Fair of Florida
We are proud of Grayson Huntsinger of Lakeland Girls Academy, who took first place in Engineering and then won the state Grand Award, meaning her project won above all other first-place winners. She won an invitation to the two international science fairs with all expenses paid to Houston Texas and the Intel Los Angeles Science Fair. She was also awarded the Grand Prize, including an $8,000 four-year scholarship to New College of Florida.