One day in December of 2008, Chris Lauretig, a Special Education teacher at CEVEC (Cuyahoga East Vocational Educational Consortium) Alpha Academy (an alternative high school designed to serve “At Risk” students that had failing grades, lack of attendance and disciplinary issues in their residential high school), asked Rev. Tony Senf to speak to his class of Emotionally Disturbed teens about the principles he teaches in his classes and workshops. CEVEC often brings in guest speakers for the students. This time, the session was so powerful that the students wanted him to return the following week. Attendance was voluntary. This went on for the remainder of the school year, and out of these sessions the Out of the MATRIX (OM) process was born.
The results have been nothing less than miraculous. With as little as two hours a week, after six weeks the teachers and parents began to recognize a shift in the kids. Other teachers wanted to know what was being done that resulted in the students being more receptive and paying more attention in their classes, and it became obvious enough to the parents that they also wanted to know what we were doing to effect such a change in their kids. As a result, part of the program is working with the other teachers and parents in scheduled classes, which gives them tools and, as one parent stated, a “language and common ground for communication.”
The teens learned that their happiness comes from choosing to be happy within themselves, rather than seeing it as a result of something or someone outside of themselves; there is no one else to blame (particularly their parents!) for their own feelings. Once they take responsibility for their feelings, they get in touch with the limiting beliefs they hold about themselves that generated the fearful feelings and resulting behavior. Seeing that the belief came to them from the “MATRIX,” they can choose to accept a different “inner-directed” belief based on an empowered self-image.
The kids quickly begin to integrate this into their lives, and experience more of what they “really want.” We believe this to be the foundation necessary for any individual to effectively use the education they obtain or skills they possess to become a contribution to themselves, their relationships, the community and the workforce. There isn’t an aspect of their lives untouched by this process. As one student stated: “This has brought me nothing but happiness. I’m so used to holding onto things that keep me in grief, sadness, anger. Now, for a change, I want to keep something that makes me happy. But it’s not a physical thing – it’s all built on the inside.”
As the effects of the Out of the MATRIX process rippled onto the teachers and the parents, it became obvious that the process was equally as effective with adults as it was with the teens, even though the teens did seem to pick it up more quickly. It just took the adults a little longer to "get it," but they got it. Because of the phenomenal results of the pilot series, Out of the MATRIX became a regular part of the school curriculum at CEVEC and is currently in the process of becoming an accredited class. Several other school districts indicated an immediate and enthusiastic interest in bringing this program to their systems. Out of the MATRIX has also been developed as a weekend workshop for teens, adults and as a rehabilitation process for delinquent youth and young adults assigned to probation by the court system. Its application has also been recognized as a rehabilitation process for those making the transition from incarceration and drug addiction.
2653 S. Taylor Rd.
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
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