HERSEY \u2014 Curtis used to steal to feed his drug addiction. He used to lie to get what he wanted. Then he went to Eagle Village. Now, Curtis is doing well in school, with 80 percent or higher in all of his classes. He is looked up to by other residents, and he is learning self control. He has come a long way in the nearly six months he has spent at Eagle Village. \u201cBefore I came to Eagle Village I used to lie and manipulate situations to get what I wanted,\u201d Curtis said. \u201cI used to have a drug problem that was starting to take over my life and what I care about most. One thing I still struggle with today is staying positive when things don\u2019t go the way I want them to.\u201d On Friday, Nov. 8, Curtis made his Heart Stage presentation. Heart Stage is the largest milestone residents can achieve at Eagle Village, a goal only reached by about half of the residents. \u201cReaching Heart Stage takes a certain level of maturity and a certain amount of self-acceptance,\u201d said Ame Edstrom, director of residential services at Eagle Village. Getting to Heart Stage isn\u2019t easy. Residents must have good grades in school and earn points each day by fulfilling their goals. \u201cObservation is the first stage,\u201d Edstrom said. \u201cIt\u2019s when the kids first come in and they are observing us, we are observing them; getting to know each other. That\u2019s typically a two-week time span. Then they go to Hands Stage, where they are learning hands-on what the rules are, what the structure is, that sort of thing. Once they get that down and they are doing pretty well and their grades are where they need to be, they can go to Head Stage. This is where they start to really get it, but sometimes \u2018Fake it to make it\u2019 is still in the head. The message hasn\u2019t really reached the heart yet. Then once they do what they need to do and the heart and the head are connecting, they get into Heart Stage and they believe in their heart that there are things they need to work on and they are working on them.\u201d At Heart Stage, Curtis is able to wear his own clothes and walk around campus on his own. He is trusted to make good decisions and be a positive role model for his peers. \u201cHeart Stage seemed so far away when I was on Hand Stage,\u201d Curtis said. \u201cI thought I was never going to get it but I worked really hard and got it pretty fast.\u201d Curtis has completed his program, and is excited to leave Eagle Village and put into action the techniques and ideas he has learned. \u201cI\u2019m looking forward to showing the people who looked down on me or thought I couldn\u2019t do well or that I was a bad person that I can do well,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s just the bad choices I made that made me look like a bad person.\u201d Curtis recognized where he was, where he is, and where he wants to be in the future on a poster he used during his Heart Stage presentation. He wants to be a reporter. He wants to have a family. He wants to be someone others look up to and admire. \u201cI want to be the person known for overcoming the difficulties of his past,\u201d Curtis said.