January 31, 2024 |

Nicholas Andersen

Nicholas was born and raised in Davis County. He had what some would say a typical childhood. He was an athlete, a good student, and had plenty of friends. He experimented with drugs and alcohol in high school, but still graduated and chose to go on a mission. He served his two-year mission in Singapore and came back happy, healthy, and ready to conquer the world.

Shortly after his mission, Nicholas once again fell down a slippery slope and began using drugs and alcohol. After a couple of years of this, and causing a lot of damage, his family wanted to help. With their help, he moved to Idaho with his sister and her family. Nicholas was able to put his life back together to some degree – or so he thought.

After several years, he went from good to bad to worse. Back in Utah, he found himself in jail multiple times – not only for drug charges, but criminal as well. Rehabs, therapy, and even drug court could not help Nicholas from this path of destruction. After his fourth probation violation and additional felony charges, he was looking at spending years in prison.

Nicholas knew that his could be better and he wanted to change. His lawyer had mentioned Red Barn Academy, and so he wrote a letter to Red Barn Academy and earned himself an interview with Michael Haws. In his interview, Michael left an impact on Nicholas by telling him how much he doesn’t love his family. If he did love his family, he wouldn’t be sitting on the other side of glass. The good news was Red Barn Academy was the right place for Nicholas, and he was accepted into the academy.

In 2019, his journey to reinvent his life began. He worked for the moving department and overcame his negative behaviors through hard work and service to others. He became a leader in the house and eventually became the moving manager. He was becoming a person that could be trusted, relied on, and who could serve as an inspiration to others. After completing his two-year commitment and with the guidance of his Red Barn family, he decided to stay for a third year to give back and set in stone the man that he was becoming. The principles taught at Red Barn became more than just a practice for him – it became a way of life.

During his third year, Nicholas was asked if he wanted to work for Red Barn. Nicholas gets the opportunity to help every student – just like the students before helped him. He feels privileged to help point every student who arrives at Red Barn towards their own success story. Today, Nicholas is a father, a son, and a productive member of his community.

A vital part of my recovery

“I have been attending activities and many other groups at Red Barn Farms for almost 2 years. This has been a vital part of my recovery and the amazing life I now enjoy. Amazing staff that are always willing to help in any way possible. Thanks for being a part of my recovery.”

- Sue Jones

Truly does save lives and families

“Red Barn Farms and Red Barn Academy is a great example of a therapeutic community that truly does save lives and families. I have several family members who struggle with substance abuse issues, and lost my sister to a drug overdose last year. This is the first program I have seen that offers the right support people need to recover. As a community, we need to bind together to support their efforts so that they can expand and serve more men and women who deserve the opportunity to be their best self and for their families to be whole.”

- Marcie V.

One of THE Best Recovery programs

“One of THE Best Recovery programs out there! Love this place and all the amazing work they do and LIVES they SAVE!”

- Lucky H.