Allentown Diocese to open recovery high school, 2nd of its kind in the state

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Recovering from an addiction is difficult, especially if you are a teen.

The Diocese of Allentown is trying to help by opening the Lehigh Valley’s first recovery high school.

The Kolbe Academy is a Catholic school, but the school population will consist of teens from all faiths.

The walls of the school are painted a bright purple. It’s more than a paint job, it’s a symbol of recovery.

Kolbe Academy is one of only two recovery high schools in the state and 35 in the nation.

Next month, it will open its doors for its first batch of students.

“Students that have alcohol problems, maybe marijuana, opioids, the full scheme,” said Kolbe Principal John Petruzzelli.

While the finishing touches are being made on the school itself, the services necessary to help recovering high school students are already in place.

School officials say a partnership with the state, Northampton and Lehigh counties as well as Mid Atlantic Rehabilitation Services is firmly in place to help students.

“The goal of this School is to save lives. To get the students early, provide the intervention that they need so that they can in fact recover and live healthy lives,” said Brooke Tesche, Allentown Diocese Chancellor of Catholic Education.

But Tesche says often times helping the student also means helping the family.

Counseling options extend outside the school grounds to support family and even friends of the students.

As students advance in grade and  recovery, they will help younger students do the same.

Academics are just as important as the recovery at Kolbe.

“You know it’s state approved they’re going to get a state approved diploma from Kolbe and we’re going to prepare them whether they want to go on to college, what do they want to go on into the workforce, the military they will have all the credits they need,” said Petruzzelli.

Kolbe Academy is slated to open August 26 and already it has more than 100 inquiries for placement.

By: Channel 69
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