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             Parent Testimonies

David and Eva: Parents of Natalie

            Isn’t it funny what God delivers, even when you don’t know you’ve been looking for it?  That’s how we found Sequatchie Valley Preparatory Academy, tucked up into the gentle hills of east Tennessee two years ago. 

            We were on spring break vacation at the time with our then 11-yr old daughter Natalie, who had just discovered her love of horses and riding.  We were met at the door of Sequatchie Valley B&B by Chris Young, co-owner with his wife Tammy, two enormous Mastiff “puppies”, and beautiful, gentle horses all ready to ride.  It was love at first sight for Natalie!

            Natalie returned to SVB&B a few months later for a week of summer horse camp, and we could barely tear her away!  She talked about returning the next summer – for the next 11 months!  Summer 2009 finally rolled around, and she was able to attend summer camp for 2 weeks.  We never imagined that she would return a mere 2 months later to attend school at SVPA full time!

Natalie was a well rounded and well adjusted middle school student making good decisions and good grades in the second largest school district of North Carolina when she was given the opportunity of a lifetime to study at SVPA.  After prayerful consideration, we decided to let our little girl go over 400 miles away to school – the first time she’d ever been away that far or that long by herself! 

What we got in return a few short months later was a slimmer, more self-possessed, independent and confident young lady who was doing better than average in her school work, and who didn’t have to be bribed to do her homework ~ even on break!  Not only does she enjoy going to school more, she also enjoys and appreciates the hard work and satisfaction of a job well done as she cares for and works with the horses, cows and other animals at SVPA. 

Natalie plans to be a large animal veterinarian, and her studies at SVPA are geared to that academic goal.  Tammy, Chris and the staff at SVPA provide a strong Christian atmosphere along with a robust academic model that prepares the students for a meaningful and productive life.  Natalie would have never had the opportunities in public school that she has been blessed to participate in at SVPA ~ two weeks in Washington, DC (during the 2010 Grass Roots March, no less), a weekly Bible study program in Chattanooga, participation in state-level speech and student congress activities, and a 3-week mission trip to a Honduran orphanage where they participated in horsemanship and discipleship training with the children.

God willing, Natalie will be able to return to SVPA for a few more years where her scholarly and Godly pursuits can be completed in a little corner of heaven, called SVPA.

Pastor Manny and Ann: Parents of Belinda

Belinda has loved horses from the time she was 10 years old.  She had attended a local horse camp many times but because of her deep love of horses, we began looking around for an intensive summer camp; one that would train kids to ride and one that specifically taught Christian values.  We were so pleased to find Sequatchie Valley Horse Camp in Dunlap, TN.  This horse camp not only taught her how to ride, but to continue that deep love of horses through pre-vet classes and long distance riding.  Belinda attended the horse camp for two summers.  During that time, she and I would dream of the possibilities of her attending an equestrian school for college.  Little did we dream she would attend one for high school.

My daughter came to Sequatchie Valley Preparatory Academy the fall of 2009 for her sophomore year.  She had struggled with bad decisions as a freshman so SVPA became a sanctuary for us.  We loved the intense program that Chris and Tammy have created at SVPA.  Horse therapy, Bible study, the missions trips and deep friendships have been a tremendous help in directing Belinda in making better choices.  We are now home schooling our daughter ourselves.  We feel so grateful to the training that SVPA has provided for our daughter and helping all of us get back on the right track.

Thank you, Chris, Tammy and Summer for helping Belinda to sort out what was most important in her life – a life worthy of following Jesus.  My husband and I appreciate what SVPA has done.