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2XTREME DREAM

2xtreme Dream is a reward-based therapeutic program that provides teen boys and young men the opportunity to turn their lives around. FORTITUDE (defined as mental and emotion strength in facing difficulty, danger or temptation courageously), perfectly embodies the 9-month journey these boys embark on as part of the Dream team. While continuing their therapy with John, the boys also comply with the 7 behavior facets that comprise the Dream: helping to design their own therapy treatment plan, maintaining good grades, holding a part-time job, performing community service, staying drug and alcohol free, having no negative police contact, and resolving conflicts at home. The program culminates with a mountaineering expedition in a foreign land - past Dreams have climbed in Africa, Peru, and Russia. Past Dream alumni identify the Community Service project that they participated in near the Dream location as the most rewarding part of the Dream. Dream participants discover a world immensely larger than they imagined and develop a love for Paying Forward their gratitude. Most Dream alumni participate in Paying Forward their appreciation through 2xtreme Inc., years after they have finished the program. These alumni have gone on to become successful businessmen, incredible husbands and loving dads.


When a youth successfully completes his program, the 2xtreme Foundation will assist in supporting his participation in the Dream. So far, John has taken youth to 3 Continents for the 2xtreme Dream, including Africa, South America and Europe.


The 2xtreme Dream 2018 Ecuador team planning is underway! Funding and sponsorships are necessary to make the Dream happen. We are grateful to our current donors and we look forward to building new partnerships to realize this Dream! Donors investing in the 2xtreme Dream can build connections to the boys through funding investments, mentoring opportunities, and on-going relationships. We invite you to partner with 2xtreme Inc. and the DREAM!

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2xtreme Dream Interviews

Africa

2xtreme Interview with Jason:


What was the hardest obstacle for you during the program?
Physical training, running everyday for about 6 months. I needed to get mentally tough to accomplish my training goals.


Can you tell us what helped you make the changes you had to make?
Finding other things to do - like climbing and running - just being outside really helped me out.


What's some advice you have for other struggling teens?
Stay active. The more active you are, the easier it is. When I work out for an hour, I feel like I really accomplished something both physically and mentally and I can see the changes in my own body as I build it stronger. The more active you stay the more focused you need to be, which will allow you to dedicate yourself to doing something positive.


What were the highlights of your trip to Africa?
The culture, and getting to meet the oldest man in Africa!


Can you tell us a little about the Community service you did?
I worked about 75-100 hours on different projects. The highlight was serving lunches at the retirement home. Helping the elderly made me feel better about myself.



2xtreme Interview with Justin:


What was the hardest obstacle for you during the program?
Separating from some of my friends that weren't good for me.


Tell us how it was making the changes you had to make?
Stopping was easy, the emotional part was the hardest. I was alone. Finding alternatives that were enjoyable, making new friends that were positive - that made me happy.


What's some advice you have for other struggling teens?
Go find some other way to broaden your horizons. Find something fun to replace the negative.


What were the highlights of your trip to Africa?
Going out of the Country for the first time; walking across Abbey Road in London - I am a huge Beattle's fan. All the people and the relationships I made. Climbing Kilimanjaro was HUGE. And, spending time with two great friends!


Can you tell us a little about the Community service you did?
I worked between 60-70 hours. I worked at a retirement home, and I volunteered for the Race for the Cure. I also did lots of other types of jobs. I usually didn't want to do the community service work but was always glad that I did. It feels good to give back to your community.

South America

2xtreme Interview with Peter:


Can you tell us what initially brought you to 2xtreme?
I initially came to 2xtreme an adolescent with a substance abuse problem. 2xtreme was an opportunity to make the best of myself within my soul and the community. I was attracted to the idea that adrenaline from success was a much more rewarding drug than marijuana.


What were your feelings towards the program when you started it?
When I was accepted to the Peru trip, I knew that I would be pushing my endurance in rock/ice climbing and expose me to a society in which I have never encountered. I look at my life as being a mountain. In this I mean, that there are several different challenges and routes that need to be taken for success. Reaching the top of that mountain will resemble my success over substance abuse. With eyes open, anything is possible.


While in the program, what obstacles did you encounter?
Temptation was the biggest obstacle towards my goal. Friends are one of the biggest influences in one's life. They are good and sometimes they are really BAD. It was most important to be with people that supported my goals. By doing this I was able to alleviant any temptation in the social community.


How did the program help you to grow?
The 2xtreme dream has played a huge role in my growth of leading a drug free lifestyle. 2xtreme has pushed my physical and mental endurance in ways I didn't know were possible. This program has organized my life so that I will be able to strive in today's society.


Currently, how are you doing?
I am now a senior in International Business at Fort Lewis College. Since the end of the 2xtreme program I have been living off and on in Thailand. 2xtreme opened my eyes to the potentials of international travel. During that time I have learned the Thai language and culture. Also during that time I feel in love with my wife. We got married and had our first new son. Being part of 2xtreme showed me that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.


What are your plans for the future?
After graduation I plan on moving back to Thailand and work with an American company. I have a career goal that would place my family and me in Thailand permanently. I love the Thai culture, language, and way of life. My soul has found peace in Thailand.


Do you have anything to say to any kids who may be entering into the program?
Hang in there!! This is the opportunity of a life time, don't forget that. There are so many more people in the world that would love this opportunity. People like rock, mountain, and ice climbers, extreme skiers/snowboarders, backpackers, and travelers. These people would give an arm and leg to have the opportunity you have. It will be hard sometimes to get things done, but really, how hard is it! Love it, open your eyes, breathe the air, let your soul expand and you will never forget it!

2xtreme Interview with Nelson:


Can you tell us what initially brought you to 2xtreme?
I started the 2xtreme program when I was a sophomore in high school. There wasn't a pressing reason for me to enter the program, rather, just a bunch of little ones. Life had been going well for me, all things considered. I was doing well in school, I was a starting player for the golf team, I had lots of friends, and a great home life. I had dabbled in the usual experiments of teenager, but not to any considerable excess. I suppose I went to John just to talk. I didn't want to radically change my life, but I thought maybe I could find some perspective or frame of reference. I had so much going on in life -- both good and bad -- and I needed to tie it all together and take ownership of it.


What were your feelings towards the program when you started it?
What were your feelings towards the program when you started it? I felt that the program was unusually comfortable and disarming. Everyone has their own preconception of a counseling program, and most of which are shattered by 2xtreme.


While in the program, what obstacles did you encounter?
Anytime someone goes through a process of self betterment, his comfort zone is going to be tested. For me, one of the biggest problems with this is that my ego gets in the way. I liked to think that I had it all together, I liked to think that I could handle everything myself. It was a difficult transition to accept that I was flawed, and needed to take responsibility for it.


How did the program help you to grow?
In the program I was challenged to face life as a series of choices. All of these choices are mine to make, making the responsibility huge. Through working with John, I began to realize the significance of taking ownership and responsibility for myself. I was like many other guys, who had all that it takes to do life well, but couldn't find a way to tie it all together. Every time I met with John we added another life skill to my resume; one more thing that I had but didn't know how to use. I learned to take pride in what I had. Overall, the program helped me see my true potential. By the end of it, I had achieved emotional, intellectual, and physical peaks I never dreamed possible.


Currently, how are you doing?
Right now I am doing just fine. I am studying business at Seattle Pacific University, and it's a huge but rewarding challenge. In addition to school, I also manage a storage facility in Seattle. Each quarter gets a little more stressful, but I am actually coping really well. I have a great circle of friends, a cool church, and an amazing girlfriend. Things look pretty good for me right now.


What are your plans for the future?
As I said, I am a business student - but that doesn't mean much. I may start a business, I may go into politics, or I may even go to law school. Whatever I do it will probably be out of the norm since I can't stand office work. I also mentioned my girlfriend. She's pretty great so I will probably make her my wife in a couple years. Other than that, I can't wait to get involved with God's work in the world.


Do you have anything to say to any kids who may be entering into the program?
Commit: 2xtreme is like a really big jump. If you don't commit and take at 100% then you will eat it miserably. Most importantly though, remember that you are there for a reason. Maybe it was a negative road that led you to John, but don't beat yourself up over it. You have purpose and meaning, no matter the circumstance. Not every guy who applies gets to enter the program, so the fact that you are in says a lot about you. Your potential is greater than even you might know, so don't sell yourself short. Aim high and expect good results. Lastly, be encouraged. God has plans for your life that are flipping enormous.

Europe

I had climbed a few fourteeners around Colorado before, and I thought I had some Idea of what Elbrus would be like but, well, its hard to imagine what watching the sunrise from underneath the clouds you stand on top of everything around you, or summiting an 18,510 ft. peak is like unless you have actually experienced it. However it may sound, I learned a lot about myself, standing on the top of Europe, tears in my eyes, knowing that I had just completed the task I’d spent a year preparing for. I like to do things by myself. I pride myself on being a self sufficient person. I have a high pain tolerance and I am not easily discourage. All of this meant nothing once I hit 17,000 ft. My head was pounding, I was nauseous, I had no water, and every inch of my body was telling me to turn around. I was forced to ask for help, to swallow some of my pride and rely on those around me. I learned that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that I cannot do if I am determined enough and am willing to ask for assistance when I get down.
- Bryce, age: 18



Being at the top of the mountain was the best feeling I have ever had and I I’ll never forget that moment. I know now that I can do anything I want if I put my mind to it. The trip has made me look at life in a whole different way, like how thw chetchen kids had gone through so many bad things but are still so happy. The trip really made me relize we really do live in the best country in the world. I never thought that I would be able to go without my family and friends for 16 days, but on the trip I made new friends who I will ne ver forget. The coolest thing about the guys on the team is their not like my other friends who tell me I have to do drugs or drink to be cool or fit in. The guys on the team are the some of the best guys I’ve ever met. I’m so thankful for John and what he does so I can do what I did, and also be able to meet kids that have gone through stuff like I have so that I am able to relate to. If I never went on this trip or if I never met John, I probably would be drinking and using drugs, but the 2xtreme dream taught me I don’t need that stuff to feel good, I need stuff like climbing to the top of mountain to feel good.
- Joey, age: 14



My trip to Russia was absoutely amazing. Climbing the mountain was a life changing expierence and I will never forget it. Everything about the trip changed the way I look at things in my life. I learned that I am mentally strong enough to achieve anything I set my mind to. I went there to summit Mt. Elbrus and, for me, there wasn't another option. Even going into it with this attitude it was the support from Wren that helped me continue to the top. There were many times that we both wanted to stop and turn around but we both encouraged each other and stayed focus on the goal. The team that I went to Russia with was a congregation of some of the greatest people I have ever encountered in my 18 years on this earth. Each and every person changed over the year we trained into better people. I can see why these guys were chosen and I am proud to be a part of it. I will never forget my team members and the people I met over there. Whether you turned around at 16,000 ft. or you summited, you had the support of everyone on the team. My situation in life is much better then it was two years ago when I was smoking and selling weed. I am incredibly proud of myself and I have John to thank for all the positive changes in my life. Without John I would either be in jail or worse. I see the world in a whole different perspective after this trip.
- Brandon, age: 18



A few days later we were able to talk with Tim and to our amazement he was extremely enthusiastic and on his way to the orphanage to play soccer. We thought to ourselves wow he must have completed the climb; instead he said no, but that it was ok he had found the true meaning of the trip. To challenge one’s physical ability, accept the consciences for his mistake in not wearing his goggles; and most of all is thankful for who he is and what he will become. A month since Tim’s returned is vastly approaching; and you might ask how this program has changed Tim. He walks with his head held high, a smile upon his face, love in his heart for all those in need; and most importantly believes life is worth living.
- Tim's Mom



From Rich:


The simplicity is the source of the difficulty. On technical climbs you have things to distract you from yourself. When you have to be alert and focused on where you are placing your next piece of protective equipment, where you will swing your ice axe, or how stable your foothold is the adrenaline and focus takes your mind off of how your body is hurting. I've said many times that mountaineering is a masochistic pursuit. There are moments of ecstacy and adrenaline but they are greatly out numbered by hours of pain and suffering. The reward is internal. Climbing mountains changes us. It changes us quietly. We are forced to test the limits of our endurance. The struggle, for me anyway, is more mental than physical. My body is screaming, my lungs are burning, my heartbeat is pounding in my head so loud and so fast from the exertion and altitude that I'm sure my climbing partner can hear it. The lack of oxygen and constant state of hyperventilation make me feel as if I'm going to vomit and I lose my appetite and desire for water. I count breaths, count steps, set attainable goals (OK, I can make it to that next rock outcropping w/out resting), and dream of my sleeping bag and a good book.


Why? What makes it worth the effort and pain?


As I said before, the reward is internal. When you sit on the top of a mountain you gain perspective. We gain perspective on how significant we really are and on how small our problems are. We understand ourselves better. Our limits aren't as narrow as they used to be. There is a quiet strength that wells up w/in us. It is difficult to notice, but obvious once recognized. We aren't the same people. We've wrestled w/ ourselves and with something greater than us. We've found strength and fortitude that we didn't know that we had. We've learned that the easy route isn't always the best route. We've become more confident in ourselves. We're more in tune w/ those around us. In John's words, "We've lived the metaphor". The mountain is a metaphor for life. For our struggles. Just as we can't describe to people what it is like to wrestle w/ addiction or deal w/ a dysfunctional family we cannot describe to people the true nature of the struggle w/ ourselves on the mountain or that moment on the mountain top. We can give them glimpses but they won't understand wholely. The reward, and resulting change, can't be described, only seen.

Bolivia

I began seeing John when I was 18 years old. After learning and appreciating his approach, I eventually I was able to open up to him. He was able to explain to me that I’ve had trauma stacking up in my life since I was 15, and that I was dealing with it in a self-destructive manner. With John’s help, I began school in December, 2015. I finished that semester with a 4.0 and continued to excel. I applied and interviewed to be on the 2xtreme Dream Team that fall. I went through the program and was able to climb Mount Illimani in Bolivia in 2016. This was one of the best experiences of my life. We did activities that made me grow physically and emotionally. When we got to Mt. Illimani, it was nothing like I had ever seen. This really translated into my life following the trip. I learned that life is filled with climbs, summits and descents. This was a once in a life time trip and I would not change it for the world. It taught me patience, trust and perseverance. I had been to several psychologists and psychiatrists over the years, but none have cared for me and my family the way John has. I am 20 years old now and I have been prescription free for over 2 years . I’m now in my 3rd year at a university going for my Bachelors Degree in Psychology. I’m in a loving committed relationship, and I am closer than I’ve ever been with my family. Thank you John Davis.
- Nich, age: 20

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