June 13, 2019 by HCDE-Texas
Students and staff at Fortis Academy came together at the end of the school year to celebrate students on their road to recovery and their academic accomplishments.
Two students were recognized for completing their course work and graduating from their home campuses at the end of May. Another student was recognized for being sober for five months into sobriety.
Harris County Department of Education Superintendent James Colbert spoke to those in attendance about how his vision of Fortis Academy came about.
“Society is built around punishing people and somewhere we need to stop this cycle and start helping,” he said.
There are people and their families begging for help to get away from addiction, he said. School districts, teachers, counselors and principals want to help someone, but punishment is the only answer.
Fortis Academy is symbolic in a sense that it’s trying to change that paradigm and look at things through a different lens, Colbert noted.
“I have a vision to go big by having more than one Fortis Academy campus to spark and inspire others to do exactly what we are doing in Harris County,” Colbert said. “Maybe we can even inspire others outside of Texas.”
HCDE is positioned uniquely to help because of all the wraparound services it can offer to the community.
“We will think of it and don’t care what the obstacles are because we are going to try it and find a way to pull it off,” Colbert said.
Colbert said he is extremely proud of principal Anthony Moten and his staff, the parents who let them help their children, and students–especially those who sought out shelter and found it at Fortis Academy.
One parent spoke about her daughter going through a lot of changes after starting at Fortis Academy, but they were for the better. The mother never thought she would see her daughter transform in a positive way.
Fortis Academy Principal Anthony Moten marveled at the significance of a Fortis student’s pledge to remain sober. Research shows because of environment or friends the risk of relapse is higher when students must return to their
“Think about the commitment these young people are trying to make for the rest of their lives at 16 or 17 years old,” Moten said. “I’m so very proud of our kids and honored to be your principal, because you are doing something that a lot of people wouldn’t attempt to do.”