Ten months ago, I was a mom full of fear, sadness and despair. I kept ruminating over what we could have done differently with our son who had become distant, was a video game addict and had no interest in life. We had tried "Wilderness therapy"; with great results but they had recommended a Maintenance program prior to returning to college. The education consultant recommended one of the most expensive Aftercare programs in the country that she felt was worth the cost and we bought in. However things did not improve and actually got much worse. My husband searched the internet and came across Forte Strong and we hoped that they would help turn him around – it was our last hope as we were exhausting our funds. Given our experience of the past couple of years and the disappointing six months at the so called “Premier Aftercare Program” we felt it would take a miracle to turn our son around. Forte Strong was indeed that miracle. They achieved what really seemed impossible at the time. More
Our precious son is now a happy, motivated, mature, thoughtful and considerate kid. Those are adjectives that thrill me to use and it could not have happened without Forte Strong. We just had the most wonderful Christmas get-together and felt like a warm loving united family for the first time in many years. Forte Strong has been a God send not only to our son but to us as parents. They have three simple rules which seem so straightforward but they work! The coaches and therapists are not only skilled but truly care. I have never seen a group of more dedicated people who tell the truth, coach you in responding to your child and more importantly teach the kids how to be self-sufficient.
We can’t thank Brook, Tyler, CJ and the other staff at Forte Strong enough for their efforts with our son. Brook has been amazing not just for our son but helped us grow immensely. Their results speak for themselves and the transformation we see is bordering on magical. I feel Forte Strong is the best possible place for troubled young boys/men trying to find their way. One of the things I vividly remember Brook telling us early on was that the change will be gradual and that at first it will be like a sapling that just sprouted – very frail, in need of nurturing. It was indeed but now we feel our son has come a long way and we feel he is strong enough to withstand the rigors of the college he is returning to.
A diagnosis of adult ADHD at 21 sent our son spiraling into depression and truly had him defeated and lying in a mire of dark, sleepless days and nights where video games was his only salvation. Doctors had no solutions except meds and treatment centers we didn't feel were appropriate for his situation. When we found Forte Strong: we found HOPE. This organization didn't miraculously save the day; however, through their guidance they gave our son hope and understanding that his actions and his inner strength could shine and make a difference in his environment, and ultimately his life journey. They also guided his father and I, step by step to allow our son to walk alone. He has now graduated from the program and found a job he really loves. We know each day will offer challenges, yet we also know... that he is Forte Strong.
It’s been almost 6 months since our son graduated from Forte Strong. I would like to tell you about his journey there. Our son is a very bright boy, but never reached his apparent potential or even came close to it. He never got into any real trouble - never did drugs or alcohol or any trouble with the law. He managed to get by in high school, but college was a different story. By the time he was 24 years old, he was living at home and appeared to have little direction. He was delivering pizzas, and doing fairly well at it. At home, he was not very communicative and spent almost all his free time on the computer. He seemed to lack direction. Our relationship with him was becoming strained.
Both we and our son thought Forte Strong sounded like a program that could help him. Here are some thoughts about our experience:
- Forte Strong will not change your son. What they will do is help your son to change himself. Most likely your son will start the program expecting positive change to be somehow “bestowed upon him”. If things go well, over time he will realize that he needs to initiate change and he will make some needed changes. More
- Forte Strong will have weekly calls with you. The purpose is partly to update you on your son’s progress, but more importantly to work on the relationships you have with your son. This is done in various ways. First, they will help you understand the specific personality type your son has as well as your personality type and how that plays in your interactions. You will learn about the stages in personal change and where your son is on the spectrum at various times in the program. You will learn about parent – child – adult interactions and how they play out with your son.
- You will learn about the need for you to let go. You can’t control his life. He must make his own decisions and live with the consequences.
- When he gets out of the program, he should live on his own and support himself. This is a very important step that both he and you will know is coming.
- Probably the best moment in the program for me was when we had a conversation with our son on Skype about 4 or 5 months into the program. I remember thinking “I have my son back”. We had an adult conversation and he was focused and thoughtful.
- At Forte Strong he came to appreciate all that we had done for him and our relationship with him has improved immensely.
For the last six months, our son has been living in his own apartment and supporting himself. He went back to delivering pizzas and is doing a great job. He is planning to go back to school sometime next year. He got a puppy for himself and is handling it very well and it has been good for him. He still spends too much time on the computer and still procrastinates, but those issues are not as bad as they were. He also has finally learned the benefit of 7-8 hours of sleep each night. I guess you would say he has officially “launched”!
Six months ago I sent a "lost boy from Neverland" to Forte Strong to find himself. I can brag today that my son has learned to accept who he is and has begun to make plans for the future. I could not be more proud. I too have learned so much from this experience. Thank you FORTE STRONG!!
Judy & Ron S.
Our son Kyle is highly intelligent but socially awkward and immature. He was bullied in Jr. High and High School and we thought he was handling it well. In hindsight, it deeply affected him, He didn't feel good about who he was so he was trying to be somebody he wasn't so he would "fit in." He would put on a facade of being "Mr. know it all" to get attention, and he didn't realize what he was doing was actually driving people away.
Kyle graduated from High School with honors and received several scholarships to major Universities. He began college studying Engineering. Within the second semester he became depressed and began to fail. He had fallen into the habit of "telling everyone what they wanted to hear" and not being honest with himself or anyone else. He began e-cigarettes and light drinking just to "fit in." He already had ADHD and now the depression kicked in due to his failures. In addition, his Grandfather had a stroke. They were very close, having spent every summer visiting him in Mississippi. This further contributed to his depression.
After much research we found Forte Strong. After visiting with Matt several times we felt like this was the right place. Kyle checked the program out himself and through the interview, he too was convinced it was the right place. Kyle was ready and recognized he needed help. More
We have seen a huge shift. He has been off all medications for over 5 months and is working at a rewarding job. He has enrolled back in school and wants to finish his dream of becoming an Engineer. He has learned better social skills and built friendships. The transformation from a "boy" to a "young man" is astonishing.
Matt and Brook have an amazing program. The coaches really know how to reach each young man in individual ways. The "tough love" earned them respect while providing incredible mentorship for Kyle. CJ, his assigned coach, has been a great mentor, and we are certain will be a great friend of Kyle's for life.
Brook has always been there for us as parents as well. This has been incredibly difficult for my husband and I, as it is easy to blame yourself and ask "what did I do wrong!" The educational weekly parents call was incredibly helpful and gave us insight into what we can do differently to support Kyle as he "grows up" to adulthood. They also helped us "let go" enough to realize that it is about Kyle and him finding what it is he wants to do with his life. Most importantly, Forte taught Kyle to deal with his failures and pick himself up and move on and try again.
The balance of the program is fabulous, teaching life skills, financial responsibility, nutritional importance, and learning from each other.
I honestly wish there was a program like this for boys graduating 8th grade to take a "gap year" and attend this program before entering high school!
Forte Strong has helped my son prepare for the transition to the real world. My wife and I had attempted so many times to guide him and explain what can happen if he did not have the motivation to set goals and follow a path. He was very reluctant and had no motivation except to play video games and manipulate his family and friends to believe he was working when he was not accomplishing anything. We found Forte Strong through the web and after a few weeks flew out with our son to start the program. It has been several months and very emotional and trying at times but this program has had a dramatic effect on our son. The coaches have made such an impact on him that he has now changed his complete outlook on who he is and where he wants to go in life. The coaches have showed him how to not make impulsive decisions, control his anger and manage his time to have life long benefits. Setting short term and long term goals is now a priority in his life. I can't thank Forte Strong enough for their dedication and exceptional process that has not only helped my son be a better person but us as a better family.
I have two sons currently in the Forte Strong program and I want to share my experiences. Brook, Matt, and the other mentors have done a great job teaching life skills, building self-confidence, and encouraging my sons to take ownership in their lives. Their methods are well thought out and their use of positive reinforcement achieves quick results. The Forte Strong program is new, but the team has years of experience working with Failure to Launch teens and it shows. My boys respect the mentors and I appreciate the positive, ethical, and hard working example they exhibit. I truly believe that Forte Strong has the best interest of their clients always in mind and I trust them with my sons. For young men that are having trouble gaining their independence, needing to get their life on the right track, or are experiencing low self-esteem, I highly recommend that you talk with Forte Strong about how they can help.
Our son started the program in January and with the coaching he has received from Forte Strong he now has by far the best job that he has ever had and one that he really enjoys. Mathew and Brook really care about the young men that they work with and help them to get going in their lives and begin to take responsibility for themselves. They can make an impact in the lives of these young men that a parent for some reason just can’t seem to accomplish. I have been impressed with the changes that I see in our son, he’s really beginning to get his act together and these changes are very gratifying to a father.
My son is 23 years old and graduated from Forte Strong about 6 months ago. He has made so many positive changes since he started in the program, I hardly recognize him. He was a very insecure young man who suffered from Social Anxiety Disorder and ADHD. He was always afraid to try new things and face any authority figure which might result in conflict. This meant getting a job was almost impossible for him. He was depressed and hanging out with a loser crowd when I found this program on-line and he agreed to go. The Forte Strong coaches immediately started him working on his confidence and building his self-esteem. In a very short time he was able to go on job interviews and promote himself so that companies wanted to hire him. He is now working in sales and traveling to other States with his current job.MoreI don't know if this will be his forever career, but I am confident he will learn valuable lessons that will help him grow into a successful and confident adult no matter what he decides to do in the future. He still has a lot to learn, but he is not afraid to go out in the world and tackle the challenges that await him. He never could have done this without the help of the Forte Strong coaches. This program not only helped my son, but it helped me too, encouraging me to let him make mistakes and experience the consequences from those mistakes. Sometimes you can love your child too much and actually hurt them when you are always bailing them out like I did. If you have a son who is having trouble finding his way into adulthood, I absolutely recommend Forte Strong, 100%!!!
My son Brian, has gone to Forte Strong and has made some real positive changes in his life, ones that my husband and I were not able to successfully influence on our own. Parents have a tendency to enable their children and in the long run it’s a quick fix but not a life changing behavior. Brook and Matt are very good at knowing when to intervene and when to let the students fall and experience the consequences of their decisions. We all know as parents if the child does not experience pain from their decisions they will never make the necessary changes. My son was not working at all and now he has the confidence to go out and get jobs. He began to use the word ‘confidence’ which I thought was a very positive compliment for the program. My son can be stubborn and sometimes does not want to learn from past mistakes, so it did not take long for the Forte Strong coaches to figure out how to approach and work with Brian. MoreThat is also a plus for Forte strong. They treat each student individually to help solve these personal issues. And if a student does not want to be there or make the necessary changes Forte Strong will not let their decision be influenced by losing tuition if they feel having the student leave the program is the right thing to do. I am not sure how many schools would take that position which shows to me a certain ethical backbone that is to be admired. I know that Brook and Matt really care about my son and even though he has successfully graduated from the program, they still reach out to him and he’s still invited to the Forte Strong activities. The door is always open to him. Brian is at this point staying in the St. George area and Brook still stays in touch, encouraging him to participate and be involved in life and they are still there to give advice when Brian seeks it. This is a sincere gesture on their part which my husband and I truly appreciate. The program is small enough for the students to be treated warmly with them knowing that the Forte Strong coaches are there for them and on their side to become successful young adults. Forte Strong strives to give every student the necessary tools that he needs in order to solve their own personal problems now and in the future. Really what more can we ask for as parents?
Forte Strong was instrumental in assisting my son to achieve his independence! Two months after completing his stay in Utah, Tallis has move to Savannah GA (80 miles from home) and is working for a vending machine distributor. The move seemed very simple to him because of the challenges he conquered at Forte Strong. Sure there have been bumps along the way but he has been able to face the challenges and work through them, instead of ignoring them. He has learned to live on a budget and when offered assistance, he refuses it. He is confident, and is excited about exploring a new city. He has no, cable or internet but is hoping to work that into his budget since football season has started. lol Tyler was Tal’s coach and he was excellent at identifying the weak areas and bringing solutions for a more positive life style. Fears that he stuffed away were challenged. Tallis now knows the things that are going to work for him and as an adult, and will choose them because it is what he wants for himself! Any parent that would like more information about our experience, don’t hesitate to reach out.
My husband and I have 9 children. In October of our son Luke’s senior year, he dropped out of high school. He was depressed, alone, lonely and angry. Although he returned to school and got his diploma, he was still depressed and angry and without focus and without any viable goals. He was angry that he could not initiate his next step, his move out of the house and into the future. And he was angry at us because we were helpless to help him. I spent hours that turned into days that turned into months looking for a program for Luke. He was too old, he didn’t have problems serious enough for their program, he didn’t qualify for any number of reasons. I was without hope, but my husband persisted in looking and asking other programs if they knew of anything. In that search, there was a program that politely turned us down, but they gave us 4 recommendations. MoreAs I anticipated, the first three did not work. The last suggestion was a program that they were not familiar with but had just recently heard about. It was Forte Strong. After visiting their website, we felt like we had finally found the program that we were looking for. Forte Strong has given our son hope for a future. It has given us our lives back, and it has given our family peace. I am quite certain that Luke has brought new challenges to Forte Strong, but they have been unfailingly persistent with him as well as us. As parents, they have asked us to trust them when they knew it would be difficult for us to do so. They have worked not only with Luke, but with us as well. They don’t just focus on Luke, although he is their main focus. They have put in countless hours counseling us, encouraging us and believing in us. They have spent countless hours encouraging us that Luke was going to become a different person, and we are watching that happen. I do not believe that we were bad parents, but at some point we had become ineffective parents. And I do believe we are different parents now, thanks to our experience with Brook and Matt at Forte Strong. It has not been an easy journey for any of us, but it has been an invaluable one for our whole family. If you are considering Forte Strong for your son, all I can tell you is that you are so very fortunate to have found them. Forte Strong gave us and our son something we had all lost; they gave us hope.
Forte Strong has helped our son believe in himself. He has shown the character he has always had, but never fully realized. Their simple, caring, highly effective and proven methods allow the room for error that's needed to promote change and growth that our son needed to do for himself. The coaches are top notch, one of a kind, that inspire, motivate and make a difference. Without this amazing group of leaders, we're not sure where these able and incredible young men would find their soul and passion.
Our son Michael joined Forte Strong in May 2013 (coming from the UK). Michael has ADHD and has poor organizational skills and difficulties with social integration with his peers. Our main reasons for sending Michael to Forte Strong were to help him learn life skills, acquire appropriate ‘work experience’ and have him live away from home (amongst a group of his peers) with a level of remote supervision and mentorship, fostering development of personal autonomy prior to starting college in August of this year. Michael absolutely loves Forte Strong and has bonded strongly with Brook and Matt. He is sharing an apartment with 2 other boys and thoroughly enjoys the company and comradeship – a first for Michael who is not used to having friends. The boys are encouraged regarding personal hygiene and domestic chores along with planning meals, budgeting, taking it in turns to cook for the team, and other organizational/planning skills etc. Michael has also taken driving lessons and passed his theory test, he continues lessons aiming for passing the practical test. MoreHe has learned to ride a scooter while he has been at Forte Strong quite an achievement for him acclimatizing to the ‘wrong side of the road’! The program at Forte Strong also includes regular exercise with planned hiking and nature trips aimed at challenging and developing not only physical fitness but important character qualities. Michael has enjoyed and indeed done well on these excursions including the successful completion of a 1 week wilderness first aid course. Although we cannot currently comment on Michael’s ‘post Forte Strong’ approach to life we are aware that he is progressing well and is achieving a number of the goals we had hoped for. Matt and Brook have been ideal mentors and role models to Michael as well as a significant source of support and friendship. Both of them are highly committed to the Forte Strong ethos and are able to achieve that enviable balance between mentor/supervisor and friend. The Forte Strong program is outstanding and could have been designed specifically for Michael. This reflects the degree of individuality and the level of personal assessment that goes into creating the right balance for each student. It is not a ‘one fits all’ approach. We would highly recommend Forte Strong to all parents looking to expedite the transition from fully supported, unmotivated, home living teen to autonomous, responsible self sufficient broadened horizon young adult.
When my son had been out of high school for four years, he was no closer to becoming an independent adult than when he began high school. He attempted to go to college a couple of times, got and lost many low paying, part-time jobs, found it impossible to budget time or money, disrespected his family’s attempts to help him, and could not see himself doing anything different in the next four years. He was miserable, yet seemed unwilling to break the cycle of defeat he had created for himself. Realizing his reluctance to move forward was a way to avoid taking ownership for his own life, his father and I began to look for a way to propel him forward beyond what we had been able to do as a family. This is when we found Forte Strong and Brook Price. The program seemed to be designed to meet our son’s need to “unlock his potential.” MoreWe knew our son had many strengths: intelligence, creativity, easy going personality, and on and on, but we had not been successful finding ways to bring those strengths out. From the first days he spent with Forte Strong, our son was encouraged to change the way he thought about his time, money, transportation, and recreation, with the goal in mind of becoming a stronger man. This process was never easy for our son, as he was devoted to pleasure and dependent thinking when he arrived at Forte Strong. But after three months of struggle, he finally turned a corner in his acceptance that he is responsible for himself and he will face the consequences of his decisions-good and bad. Although many children learn lessons of cause and effect early in life, our son did not. The reasons for our son’s delayed independence and failure oriented thinking in the past are less important to him and us than the solution Forte Strong provides today. By sending him to work with Forte Strong, we chose not to continue repeating the same mistakes with our son, which were leading to the same results, and our whole family pushed forward toward new ways of thinking, acting, and reacting. In just 5 months my son is paying his own bills, taking pride in himself and his work ethic, and communicating with us in a positive, healthy way. He will be leaving the program soon to begin a life he is not only willing to own, but one he his is excited to live. Without Forte Strong he might have reached this summit on his own, but it would have taken years of his life to get there. With the help of Brook and Matt and all the mentors at Forte Strong, he is now honing his strengths to create a future for himself of fulfilled dreams and unlimited joys.
I found Brook and Forte Strong after several months of researching. Truthfully, I was at a loss and didn’t know where to turn anymore. I stumbled upon the site in a moment’s desperation. I picked up the phone and had an in depth conversation with Co-Founder Brook Price. I immediately knew this was the place for my son who had struggled with finding his place in this world battling with bipolar disorder and depression. The team at Forte Strong opened up my son’s eyes to a world of opportunities. Before arriving my son spent almost every waking hour in his room playing videogames or sleeping. He struggled to find a job and he struggled in college. He was unmotivated and disconnected. My son arrived in Utah in early July and started the program immediately. Exactly one week from the date he arrived and under the direction of his mentors he was able to find a job.MoreThe mentors at Forte Strong gave him daily and weekly goals and he has been able to achieve them. For someone as timid and shy as my son, he has come a long way in only a couple months. He has learned how to ride a scooter, learned how to manage a budget, gone hiking, gone fishing and accomplished many things that he would have been unable to do without this program. In the more recent weeks, he has picked up an interest in veterinary school and is currently shadowing a veterinarian at a local animal clinic. For those of you worried about the financial aspect of this program, I can tell you that we are a middle class family struggling in today’s economic times and we have had to make some serious sacrifices in our family to send him to Forte Strong but it has been the best money we have ever spent. Every day is a new adventure for my son and he is on his way to becoming a strong and independent young man.
My son, Kevin has had a wonderful experience at Forte Strong. When I found their website, after searching for years, both Kevin and I were amazed at how perfectly suited it seemed to be for him. Every time Kevin and I spoke to Matthew, we felt more and more convinced that the program at Forte Strong was tailor made for him. He was very excited to go! After reading the other reviews, I have to echo everything the other parents have all said. Matthew and Brook are very dedicated and caring, as well as experienced, and were quite adept at identifying this niche for this very special part of the population of young men which has been under served. My son, of whom I am so proud, is brilliant and has multiple talents and capabilities, ready to be developed, launched, and applied. I have been a single parent for 16 years, so Kevin has not had the benefit of two parents, nor that of a strong male role model, and in fact has always had challenges resulting from a harsh and critical father.MoreKevin had difficulties finding like minded peers who had avoided drugs and alcohol, as he did, which impacted his social interaction. Forte Strong is remarkably focused on all the areas in which Kevin could benefit from guidance. What has impressed me the most about Forte Strong is how they structure their program in such a positive framework, building on each student's strengths, instilling in each person a renewed confidence and a sense of purpose. Equally impressive is how they stress the importance of a healthy balance in all aspects of life. Their methodology of experiential instruction and individualized attention, based on their well developed pillars of importance, really postures these young men for success - it makes such perfect sense! When we embarked on this journey, Forte Strong readily recognized Kevin's tremendous potential and the application process itself set the wheels in motion for him. Prior to joining Forte Strong, it was as if Kevin was standing on a cliff, looking at friendships, college, graduate school, employment, and much more on the other side of a chasm, not knowing how to get to the other side. I know his enrollment at Forte Strong will help him build a strong bridge, over the course of his time there, to get to the other side so that he can reach whatever and wherever his heart desires. I've already seen great things happen! Thank you, Brook and Matthew, and all the other fine folks at Forte Strong, for helping my son and these other talented young men attain their goals. I am confident Kevin will emerge with all the tools he needs to be independent, happy, and successful! My sincerest gratitude goes out to each of you.
Steve & Penny C.
A few years ago, our son experienced some issues that we simply could not help him with. We researched places online to see what options were out there to help him. Our son was counseled by Brook Price. We did not know Brook, but we knew we had to take a leap of faith and let someone try to help our son. We were scared and unsure since we really did not know this man. However, my husband, Steve and I have known Brook Price for several years now and he is one of the most caring people we have ever met. He puts his needs second to others. His honesty and integrity make him stand out. Brook’s passion is helping others live their best life and to find their own passion. He has a stellar work ethic and is a honest and compassionate man. He has an ease and a calmness that can put any worries at bay. As parents, we wanted someone who would love and care for our son as much as we did. We can honestly say that Brook took our son under his wing, and bonded with him like a true brother would. For that alone we will be forever grateful. Have no doubts that Brook will be an outstanding role model or mentor. Quite simply, he makes this world a better place, and we consider him a part of our family.
I am wrapping up my final week at Forte Strong. It has been a hard journey full of ups and downs. There were times where I absolutely hated the program, as well as the staff. During each of the three stages, I made a plan to return home because I thought I didn't need the program. I can honestly say, however, that I would not be the man that I am today without Brook, Matt, Eric, Tyler, Braedon, and the rest of the talented staff of Forte Strong. The program is tough, I encountered some real challenges that I was able to work through. Staff will not make your problems go away. They will, however, sympathize with and validate what you are going through. If they just fixed all of my problems without letting me figure them out with my own problem solving skills and their guidance, they would just be enabling the inner child in me that I wanted so desperately to cling onto. More
It is because of the opportunities this program provided me with that I am the man that I am today. It has instilled in me a confidence in myself that I never thought would be possible. I have gone through many other programs that were very helpful in fixing what they focused on whether that be an eating disorder, addiction to alcohol, etc. However, I like to think of those more obvious problems as surface level distractions from the core issues with critical thinking and analysis of difficult situations be that at work, school, relationships with friends/family, etc.
With all that said, I would highly, highly recommend this program to anyone struggling to become the independent man they are capable of becoming. Assuming you put the work in, are open and honest with your shortcomings and struggles, and truly dedicate yourself to this program, there will be drastic changes for the better that come as a result.
Forte Strong was one of the better decision I have ever made in my lifetime. I've learned a lot from my personal coach CJ, Zack and from the head coach Braedon during my journey that started in January. Some of the guys that I have met will be life-long friends. It is an opportunity to actually change as a person and the tools needed to find direction, motivation and other problems. I hit rock bottom two times in my life, one time I was able to recover. The second time was more a surprise to me as well as my family. I was a burden living with them under their roof. They would give me great suggestions but I would put up a wall and become defensive about the situation/thoughts. I couldn't be more appreciative with them for helping me find this program. I know if I didn't do this, I would probably be still living at home with no motivation in getting a job and a direction in where I wanted to go. More
Since entering the program, I am able to learn and reflect more on my story, which was a difficult thing to talk about. This journey that your sons will be going on will have difficulties and frustrations, but as long as you stay in the format and keep challenging themselves everyday, they will become men. I personally had opportunity to challenge myself in entering a Spartan Race. The moments I've felt during and the burpees I had to do to overcome to finish the race. It was one of the proudest moments in my life, and I shocked myself that I could finish. The program as a whole has its ups and downs.
It needs to work on the communication to the students as well as the coaches from the higher ups. I felt a lot of times that I was ignored on some requests and the change of student interests in weekend activities was bothersome. But on the other hand, I wouldn't haven't challenged myself if it wasn't for the coaches, therapists and some of the students. Utah has some of the best parks around and highly recommend doing some exploring to see the natural beauty of the southwest.
So, if your son is looking for a program into changing his life for the better and he wants to do so, consider this program. The opportunity is huge, the change from wherever your living is better off for it. I wished I have done this program sooner. Thank you Forte Strong, the Staff; Brook, Matt, Tyler, Braedon, Miles, Spencer, CJ, and Zack!
Forte Strong is a tremendous organization that is extremely effective in building strong and healthy men. This is our generation, why not take care of them? Everyone here has a caring attitude that goes a long way. For young men who have such a strong desire to be the best they can be, the world can seem so barren at times. Forte Strong exposes you to life in a way that feels natural. Forte Strong is as real as a program as you can get. You are faced with difficult tasks that test your emotions and your abilities. Holding down a job and developing a consistent routine is just a fraction of the program. You will change yourself! Everything is done for a reason. I'll never forget my time as a student here. The opportunities are endless and the people are amazing. Forte Strong is a special place and has seen so much growth. These young men deserve the best!
Forte strong was a fun, new, and interesting experience, but above all it was eye opening. I was able to live in southern Utah for 6 months which should honestly be reward enough. The Scenery is amazing, and you are basically living inside a post card. Besides the amazing opportunity to hike and explore national parks, and camp in the mountains, I was living with a group of guys who were all trying to achieve something. For some of us it was independence, some simply wanted to build self-confidence, either way we were all working towards a goal, which was extremely motivating.
For anyone deciding whether or not Forte Strong is for them, I would say that anyone could benefit from this program. No matter where you are in life you can always become a better version of yourself, and this program helped me improve in ways I didn’t know I could. I’m writing this 6 months after leaving forte, because I wanted to see how my life had really changed after Forte before writing it. Some of my habits have faded, but the ones that mattered stayed, and I definitely changed as a person for the better!
“Strive to be the best version of you.”
These are the words that I live by and Forte Strong has helped guide and support me to live by these words. But most importantly, they were a huge part of kick starting my life.
Before I came to Forte Strong, I was an extremely unhappy, disappointed, and unmotivated 22 year old guy. I was living at home, completely dependent on my parents. Living at home as a 22 year old and going nowhere in life really doesn’t feel good! I was comfortable though. Who wouldn’t be? More
Forte Strong was a life changing program for me because they focused on my strengths and encouraged me to utilize them in every aspect of my life. The coaches are fantastic and really care about what they do.
I absolutely recommend any young man to attend Forte Strong if they need/want to better themselves in a similar way. I must emphasize that you have to be WILLING to change. One of the rules here at Forte Strong is “transparency,” and it is definitely key to unlocking the best version of you.
I’m going to be graduating at the beginning of February. And the really neat thing is that the end of Forte Strong is in fact the beginning of my life as a man who can take care of himself, is confident, and ready for anything that crosses his path.
When I came to Forte Strong I was a procrastinator, a manipulator, and unable to motivate myself without some sort of external threat or incentive. I can adapt quickly and so I would easily find myself comfortably coasting through life in whatever situation I happened to be in. At Forte that comfort was disrupted constantly, forcing me into situations where my only way to succeed was to grow up and start taking responsibility. I definitely had some rough times at Forte, but every challenge I faced resulted in a better man coming out the other side of that struggle. More
In hindsight I see that I would've ended up in a lot of these tough scenarios no matter what with how my life was going and I am thankful that Forte's staff and my peers were there to give me support and guidance to help me dig myself out of the holes I put myself in. There were many obstacles I faced over the last 11 months here in Forte Strong and I am proud to be able to look back at my path for what has been almost a year of my life and see that I have been able to change myself for the better. Now I'm looking forward to plan the next steps in my life and while I know there will certainly be bumps on this path as well, I now have the ability to overcome whatever difficulties I might face.
My only piece of advice for anyone considering Forte is this:
Like any program it has rules, boundaries you need to stay within if you want to continue progressing, but that is not the purpose of the program. The point of this program is to give you the environment you need to change what it is about you that is preventing you from succeeding in your life whether that be lack of independence, a struggle with dependence, laziness, procrastination, etc...; however, just following the rules and meeting the program requirements aren't going to make those changes for you. You have to make the program work for you, not the other way around. Find what it is you think you need and seek out advice accordingly. You have to want to be at Forte and you have to want the change for yourself otherwise you are just wasting your time.
I went to Forte Strong as a 24 year old with a rough idea of what I wanted - help with learning to set and achieve goals and practice living independently. The coaches there are really great - but a word of caution: they will only be able to help you if you want to be helped and put in the effort. I would also like to stress that they ask for willing students for a reason; don't force your kid to go! They put in just as much effort as the student does so if you truly want to better your life, it's a great place to be!
Before I enrolled in the Forte Strong program, I lost a great job at AT&T, I lost connections with friends that I had in college and high school and felt I was torn apart. Instead of looking for new jobs and new connections, I spent the large majority of the time playing video games because I had a social gap that needed to be filled. I fell into this hole and became consumed by this video game addiction, and I saw no way out. I was about to go onto the streets because I had used up all of my remaining money from my job at AT&T when my parents showed me Forte Strong. I saw this as a fresh start for my life. I had failed to launch after dropping out of college, and I did not know how to handle myself out in the real world.MoreAt the beginning Forte Strong gives you the bare minimum to build yourself up again, but along the way you have the whole staff of the program working with you on vital skills you need to work on to succeed in living independently. I had little to no motivation to get myself aground again with a job, I did not know how to cook, I have never kept a clean house in my life, and I would go out to eat constantly. Coach Hustead helped me learn how to cook for myself so that I could save money and eat healthier. Coach Arrington and Coach Price helped me find the motivation I had lost since I lost my job at AT&T. Coach Norton helped me beat my video game addiction by incorporating healthy habits such as going to the gym consistently, finding my love for basketball again, keeping a daily schedule, and preparing myself for the day. Coach Barclay helped me budget by keeping track of my finances, keeping me on top of rent and utilities, and keeping me on track for my goal to save money to go back home. Coach Erickson has been a huge help with my transition going back home. I realize I can’t stay here forever, but with the experiences I have had as a student of Forte Strong. I am 100% confident that I can go back and live the life I have always wanted. Before I came to Forte Strong, I felt lost, unmotivated, and I coped with my addiction to video games. Now as I enter the final phase of the program, I am driven to succeed, I am striving to meet my goal of becoming a manager, and I am 100% independent. Forte Strong has changed my life for the better.
Before Forte Strong, I was living in a friend’s basement; I slept all day, played video games and refused to get a job or go to school. I had no ambition to change my ways as nothing interested me and I was depressed. Forte Strong exposed me to reality and real life situations that enabled me to regain a healthy lifestyle. I am presently self-supporting, working 35+ hours a week at a job I really enjoy, pay for my own apartment and transportation, and have a active social life. Even though I am no longer in the program, I still participate in Forte Strong events. I find Brook and the coaches to be great mentors and good friends.
Being the first student in Forte Strong to come from Europe it was natural for me to be a little anxious about what to expect. But shortly after arriving I quickly began to realize that I had been wasting my life away at home in front of the television watching pointless programs when I could have been at Forte Strong living my life to the fullest. I have my family to thank for sending me here but have Matt and Brook to thank for helping me when I truly needed it most. They helped me find an amazing internship, endured countless trips to the DMV, taught me how to ride a scooter and listened to me talk about Scotland for hours. Forte Strong in my opinion is not just hard work although that is a big part, it’s also about having fun. For example, I really had fun rockclimbing because I’ve never done anything like that back home so it was great experiencing new things. Forte Strong has helped me learn that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of character than giving your all to a difficult task. The time that I have been with Forte Strong has flown by and I can go back to Scotland with life skills and knowledge that will help me in my life to continue to become successful and will help me when I start college soon. I will definitely keep in contact with Forte Strong, with both Matt and Brook and hopefully come back to visit and show them what my life has become. I know now that I am Forte Strong!
Before I came to Forte Strong I was living in an apartment paid for by my dad, working for Pizza Hut as a delivery driver but going nowhere. My entire paycheck was spent on video games and fast food and I would eventually have to ask my dad for money to pay for my car payment, gas and insurance. Then my parents found Forte Strong and it seemed like a program that was more specific to what I needed and what I struggled with so I agreed to fly out to Utah and check it out. I really liked Brook and Matt and though I was a little anxious about enrolling, I’m so glad I did. It’s been 5 months since I arrived and I’m completely independent now and for the first time in my life I’m not reliant on others to get by.
I was in a cycle of endless spending before I arrived, asking my parents for everything I needed. I guess the best way to put it is that I was stuck in ‘teenager mode’ yet I had been out of high school for years and was expected to be an adult. I’ve always been unconfident in my abilities to do things that I knew I could do, but I didn’t really see it in myself before. Today, I’m more confident all-around and I know my strengths and skills to a T. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and my parents are excited to see me grow as a man instead of a child.
Before I came to Forte Strong I was going down a bad road. I didn’t have my head on straight and I was getting into fights with my family. Depression was a huge factor along with many other things. My mom and I never had a great relationship after high school or during. I would always defy everything and all of the rules to make myself happy. Brook and the coaches taught me how to budget my money, manage my time, control my impulsive nature. They showed me the way and how to become the person who I wanted to be. I quickly got a job, got my feet on the ground, and when I did, I took off running, hitting bumps along the way but learning to overcome them. Forte Strong really helped me take flight. I now live on my own and support myself which I never would have been able to do. Now… I am Forte Strong!
Forte Strong has definitely helped me be more responsible. I’m more aware of my self-worth and also who I am as a person around others. Brook really helped me find a job I really enjoyed and taught me how to ride not only a scooter for the first time, but a bicycle as well, things I never thought I could do. Waking up early in the morning and riding my scooter to work everyday in the cold (lowest being 26 degrees) wasn’t easy, but it was well worth it. I’ve gained a higher value of hard work and what it truly means to work for your living. I appreciate the work ethic I developed while I was here at Forte Strong and I believe this is just one reason why I was able to achieve independence in 4 months. I’m moving back to Texas soon and I’m ready to enroll in college and begin my dream of becoming a veterinarian.
For the year leading up to my enrollment in Forte Strong, I was battling and losing to depression and anxiety. For that year I was barely holding my job and at the end of it I spent a month in bed because I was so broken down. Forte Strong gave me several things that I was missing during that year and was a great transition back into normal life. For example, before I came to Forte Strong I was missing a social group and a support system composed of my peers. I only had my mom as support and the generation gap really limits the amount of effective support she could provide. Getting that unconditional support from the coaches and the other students at Forte Strong was probably the most important thing I needed. The other important thing I needed was to learn how to have fun again. I had forgotten how to have fun over my year of depression and Forte Strong proved to me that having fun was worth the effort. Those were the things that I needed the most and after a short time at Forte Strong, I was ready to try life again. Now I’m living on my own in Seattle, making friends and I’m succeeding. I strongly believe Forte Strong helped me get where I am now.
When I was at Forte Strong, I learned a lot of life skills to help me to be independent. Like how to cook, manage my life and live on a tight budget, and also take care of my day to day living expenses. I gained the confidence I needed by accomplishing challenging things, like hiking to top of Angels Landing, going spelunking into Bloomington caves and also learning how to keep a job. I even loved participating in the normal everyday things like bowling (my favorite), going to the movies together, mini golfing and other things with the other guys. Forte Strong allowed me to meet new people who were in a similar situation as myself, develop more meaningful friendships and give me the positive support I needed to be more independent.