Lasting Relationships Make Alumni Part of the Team

At Turning Winds, we are dedicated to forging lifelong relationships and healing teens. To us, you’re more than just a client. Our model of care, renowned for its effective therapeutic support, mirrors a functional family system. This system is integral to our teen residential treatment program. From the beginning, embodying the essence of family has been a cornerstone of the Turning Winds approach to healing.

Many alumni, having transformed their lives through our residential treatment program, are so positively affected and had such a life-transforming experience that they wish to give back in return.

One of them is Justin. He went to Turning Winds 13 years ago but is still eager to give back and help current clients move forward. Justin recently called Turning Winds and asked to be part of an anniversary celebration. On our podcast series, he explained why he still considers himself part of our unique community.

“This program changed my life for the better. I was going down a really dark path. God knows where it might have taken me. My early days were a lot of work, trying to get myself into the program to see what it was all about, how I was doing mentally, and how I could change that.”

It took several week before Justin “put his foot down” and decided that he wanted to make use of our program and take its tools with him into the next phase of his life.


“The staff, when I was here, was incredible,” Justin remembers. “It was important for me to be away from everything—all the phones and all the other distractions, all the BS of the world and just being with 40 other kids just like me.”

Soon, Justin was beginning to find his footing. “I was lucky to find a lot of friends here and we were able to navigate the program together, so I could make my way to become the person I am today.”

Turning Winds staff love to see their alumni thrive and be successful in life. And if there are setbacks, they always have somebody they can call. “If they get stuck, they turn to the people they trust and the people they have connections with. This is precisely why we have a relational treatment model. Without those relationships, those kids would not reach out to us,” says chief operations officer Carl Baisden.


And they return for visits to help others find their way. “I wanted to come back for multiple reasons,” Justin says. “I wanted to come back to give back to the kids and to the school that changed my life in so many different ways. It helped me to become a leader, it helped me gain more confidence than I could ever have imagined.”

Turning Winds made Justin feel he can conquer the world and now he teaches tennis every day. “I was a skinny little kid from New York when I got here. I am still a skinny kid but now I am a very confident skinny little kid,” he says.

He came back and realized once again how beautiful it is out here in Montana. “When you’re going through the program, you don’t realize what you’re going through and now—13 years later—you look back and think ‘Man, if I had taken just ten more seconds and listened a bit more, it would have been better but it’s okay because now I know I have a great head on my shoulders and a lot of it I attribute to the Turning Winds program and the people I met along the way.”


Graduating from the program is a proud moment worthy of recognition but the transition back home can be a challenge. “It was hard to navigate but my parents did a good job providing activities that kept me on the straight and narrow after Turning Winds,” Justin remembers, “but I had a good mindset, I didn’t want to fall back into the BS that I was doing before. I finished high school here [at Turning Winds] which was important and I got a job at a supermarket after my discharge.”

Looking back, Justin realizes that he has had a job continually since leaving Turning Winds which is “huge,” he says. “Even in college I had a job. Being industrious was huge for me. It’s important to have the right mindset, the right tools, and the right people around you.” Justin went to college and studied sports management and then decided to teach tennis, a career he has been pursuing for eight years now.

“My therapists were great but I want to give a lot of credit to the other kids, they gave me confidence because they had confidence in me. When I spoke up, when I was leading a particular group or activity, they followed me which really made me believe in myself.”


Our alumni are always part of the Turning Winds family. We celebrate their successes, provide support during challenges, and offer opportunities for them to stay connected with the community they’ve helped to build. This enduring bond is a testament to the lasting impact of the Turning Winds experience.

Over the past two decades, Turning Winds has been able to help many families overcome what seemed impossible odds. Our mission is to rescue teens from crises, renew their belief in their potential, reunite them with their families, and put them on a sustainable path to success.

Contact us online for more information, or call us at 800-845-1380. If your call isn’t answered in person, someone will get back to you as soon as possible.


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Picture of John Baisden, Jr

John Baisden, Jr

John Baisden Jr is the father of seven inspiring children, and he is married to Kara, the love of his life. Together they have created a family-centered legacy by leading the way with early childhood educational advancement. John loves to write and is an author of a children’s book, An Unlikely Journey and plans to publish additional books. Show More

John is a visionary in his work and applies “outside-the-box” approaches to business practice and people development. He is the Founder of Turning Winds, along with several other organizations. He has extensive experience launching and developing organizations. His skills include strategic planning, promoting meaningful leader-member movement, organizational change, effective communication, project management, financial oversight and analysis, digital marketing and content creation, and implementing innovative ideas through influential leadership. As a leader, John seeks to empower others and brand success through collaborative work. His vision is to lead with courage, grit, truth, justice, humility, and integrity while emphasizing relational influence rather than focusing on the sheens of titles, positions, or things.

Finally, John is passionate about life and promoting equity among those who are often overlooked because of differences that frequently clash with the “norm.” He lives in Southern Idaho and loves the outdoors and the life lessons that can be learned in such an informal environment.

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