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Nowhere To Go But Up


Dec 13, 2020

In this episode Shaina Boe and myself talk to David Durocher Who is the Executive Director at The Other Side Academy in Salt Lake City, Utah. Shaina had sent me a link to a TEDx talk that David had done. I was so moved and inspired by what I had just watched, that within 40 minutes of watching it I had found and made contact with David. This episode is the result of or 1st conversation over the phone.

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After we ended this recording David invited Shaina and myself up to The Other Side Academy to see for ourselves first hand how the program works. We took him up on his offer. Shaina flew up from Florida and I drove up from the San Francisco Bay Area. I arrived first and wasn't sure what to expect. When I pulled up David was waiting outside to greet me and showed me to one of the two guest rooms that he had prepared for our stay. 

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For the next two days we were immersed into the daily functions of TOSA. We ate meals with the students. We were allowed to walk freely and talk to the students ask questions about the program and basically participate as if we were residents there.

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We were given a tour of the social enterprises that fund the program. TOSA is 100% self funded by the moving company and the thrift stores that are run by the students and overseen by the staff that were former students that graduated and decided to stay on to help give back to the program that saved their lives and taught them how to be productive members of society and no longer a risk to public safety.

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Here is the thing, this program is a minimum of a 2.5 year commitment if you are accepted. The cost to come here is ZERO dollars to the student, the taxpayers, the city, the county, and the state. The only requirement is a sincere desire to change your life and the behaviors that got you there. I can say that what we witnessed there was amazing!!! I have never felt that amount of warmth, and love from people that I had just met. It's really hard for me to put into words how touched I was. I was often holding back tears from how overwhelming the positive energy I was surrounded with. 

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About TOSA

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The Other Side Academy is a 2-year self-sustaining residential life-skills and vocational training program for women and men in long-term criminal behavior, drug addiction and homelessness. Students pay nothing to attend.
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We are unique in 3 ways.
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1. Peer run. We don’t rely on professionals to ‘cure’ or ‘heal’ us. We use peer accountability in a highly structured family environment. Both students and staff come from the same background.
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2. Self-funded. We’re self-sufficient, generating the revenue we need to cover all of our operational expenses. Running social enterprises is the therapeutic context and vocational training that helps students succeed after graduation.
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3. Behaviors not drugs. We’re not a drug treatment program. We’re about “whole person change.” Our goal is to help students create an entirely new identity and lifestyle for themselves. We deal with the underlying behaviors and view of self that originally led to symptoms like addiction and criminality.
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HOW TO APPLY
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COME IN PERSON
Come to our campus located in Salt Lake City or in Denver.
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When you come, you can request an interview. No appointment is necessary. If you are accepted, you will begin your stay right then. There is no fee to attend the Other Side Academy.
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REQUEST AN INTERVIEW If you are incarcerated, you need to write us a letter asking for our help. We will need to know a little bit about your story and why you are wanting to change. We will go interview you in jail and if we accept you, we will provide to you a letter of acceptance that you can share with your attorney in hopes of swaying the Judge to direct you to The Other Side Academy.
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If you are a family member, spouse, significant other, friend, or neighbor and you know of someone who needs this level of help, know that the person you love and care about needs to be the one to ask us for help. It is important for them to ask us directly and we won’t be able to accept requests from someone in their behalf.
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The Other Side Academy:
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David's TEDx Talk:
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TOSA's Facebook Page:
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TOSA's LinkedIn:
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Here is where you can find me:

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Linktree:

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https://linktr.ee/Nowheretogobutup

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To support the show through Patreon:

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https://www.patreon.com/user?u=19859993

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You can also tip me through PayPal:

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www.paypal.com

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recipient: norcaldroneservices@yahoo.com

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The Cash App:

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$nwtgbupod

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Show Notes Writer: Sean Dustin

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