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Gatehouse Academy Residents Volunteer to Referee Soccer Games to Support Local Youth


The young adult residents of Gatehouse Academy, one of the nation’s leading long-term residential drug rehab facilities, are learning how to give back to their community this soccer season by volunteering to referee Wickenburg Soccer League games. The local league is part of the nationwide, non-profit American Youth Soccer Organization that provides quality programs for the country’s developing youth. Residents, who range in age from 17 to 25, are making a difference in the lives of local children as they recover from substance abuse and addiction.

The rehabilitation program at Gatehouse Academy emphasizes teaching life skills in addition to receiving treatment and therapy sessions. Learning how to live sober and clean is a key lesson residents of Gatehouse must learn to successfully graduate from the program. “On par with our mission statement, we absolutely insist on guiding young adults toward a life of excellence, leadership and service,” says Gatehouse Academy Managing Partner, Kent Sherman. Serving the community gives these young adults first-hand experience about how to re-enter society in a way that is both positive and constructive, preparing them for a future without addiction.

In this 2008 season, Gatehouse residents have refereed kids aged 7 to 13 for teams in the U-8, U-10, U-12, and U-14 divisions. The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) has specific regulations and a code of conduct all of their referees must follow. The experience assists residents in developing their communication, leadership, and quick decision making skills. Volunteering also helps recovering young adults appreciate the positive outcomes that arise from serving the community. “It is a great experience to ref these games for the kids, and the kids show their appreciation at every single game,” said Jared C., a Gatehouse resident who has served as a referee for each game in the U-14 division this season. “All of us that go out there come back with a little more hope for the world’s youth.”

Working with children also has the unique benefit of giving young adults, who have learned from the poor choices of their past, a chance to mentor and support today’s youth. “We’re given the opportunity to be role models for the youth of Wickenburg,” explains Jared. “We pray that what we are doing for the community can prevent more youth from going down the wrong path by staying active in the things they love to do.”

About Gatehouse Academy
Gatehouse Academy is a long-term residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility designed exclusively for young adults between the ages of 17 to 25. Residents learn life skills, continue formalized education, attend therapy, and enhance their physical well-being while on the road to recovery from the damaging effects of alcohol and drug abuse. For more information about Gatehouse Academy call toll-free 1-888-730-0905 or visit them online at


 drug rehab
 young adult addiction
 community service
 addiction recovery
 life after addiction

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