When Aidan arrived at Chaddock, he didn’t like going to school and didn’t find acceptance from his peers. His family found Chaddock to help find new ways to work on their relationship together and to find a place Aidan could enjoy learning and reach success. Through Chaddock’s residential treatment program and therapeutic day school, Aidan finally found the right place. Not only did he find the place that clicked, but he also found people who clicked in unexpected ways. 

He made friends and found his purpose. Younger peers at Chaddock looked up to him. At school, he found his classroom comfortable and safe because of his teacher, Ms. Bickhaus. She became one of his most significant sources of support. Aidan was even crowned king at the Chaddock school dance. Ms. Bickhaus’s ability to focus on the positives and encourage him to try new experiences, despite his anxiety, led him to try new things. With her encouragement, Aidan joined the Quincy Fire Department’s Explorer program, a group designed for young men and women who want to learn more about a possible career in the fields of firefighting and emergency services. 

Throughout regular meetings with the group, Aidan dealt with simulated scenes to get real practice in firefighting. With additional support from Deputy Chief Michael Dade, his confidence grew and so did his desire to be a part of the team. Deputy Chief Dade came from a family of firefighters. His passion for service and dedication to sharing his skills brought Aidan close to him as his mentee. Although the group sessions ended, his support for Aidan did not. 

Deputy Chief Dade attended Aidan’s school graduation ceremony. There, he had a surprise gift for Aidan: his family’s firefighting coin, featuring the Dade name. “You’re a part of the family now,” he told Aidan. Aidan left Chaddock after graduation to return home to the family that loves him. During his time here, though, he picked up another family, made up of people that love him and worked hard to help him succeed. Aidan’s mom Susan summed it up: “Chaddock really brought out the best of Aidan,” shared Susan, “I’ll be forever grateful.”