About Our School

“Education is the great equalizer.”

-Horace Man

The Raymond J. Lesniak, Experience Strength & Hope Recovery High School is a unique partnership between Prevention Links, one of New Jersey’s leading non‐profits focused on addiction prevention, the award winning Union County Vocational Technical Schools (UCVTS) and the Simon Youth Foundation. Rooted in the belief that education is the great equalizer, our mission is to create an environment where education and recovery go hand and hand.

To the underclassmen: take advantage of the support you are getting here at the Recovery High School. This is a place for second chances.

- Ray, Class of 2021

At ESH, the difference is in the curriculum.

Recovery and educational growth do not happen by accident. Both require an environment that can provide our students programs suited to the unique needs of early recovery for the adolescent learner. Our curriculum has been developed within the framework of the Common‐Core Standards established by the New Jersey State Department of Education and the guidance of the Pursuit of Happiness Organization, leading experts in the field of positive psychology.

The Pursuit of Happiness™ curriculum focuses on increasing our students’ social and emotional skills, while improving attitudes and behaviors. The net result is greater self‐esteem and improved academic performance, all of which has been shown to be critical elements in sustaining recovery.

Students who attend the ESH Recovery High School may complete their education with us, ultimately receiving a High School diploma, conferred by their sending school district. All State of NJ graduation mandates, as well as the requirements of their sending school district are strictly adhered to.

The staff is instrumental in assisting students in transitioning to post-secondary, student-centered goals including, college, vocational, and career opportunities. Recovery support, themes, and principles are integrated into every aspect of the students’ school day. These supports are supervised by a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor (LCADC) and delivered by certified peer recovery coaches, or “mentors.” These are young adults in stable recovery (three years or longer) who have been trained in both recovery coaching and traditional youth mentorship.

The role of the school counselor is to be a strong advocate for each of our students and to help them become advocates for themselves.

As part of our role as school counselors at UCTECH, we help students develop academically and socially while guiding them to become productive, well-adjusted adults in the future. It is our responsibility to help students increase their knowledge about college and career readiness, to have high expectations for all students, and to challenge them accordingly. At UCTECH we firmly believe that planning for college success starts during the freshman year of high school. We will guide all students to take courses that are appropriate for their goals and interests. We also strongly encourage all students to become involved in extracurricular activities through which they can make important social and community connections.

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