Independence Students Return Home

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- More than a dozen students from the Independence School District are home for Christmas, 750 pounds lighter. They spent the semester in South Carolina at Mindstream Academy, a weight loss boarding school. At the camp the students spent four months exercising and learning how to create healthy habits.

Sarah Jones hugged her mother at the Kansas City International Airport for the first time since August. Sarah lost 74 pounds, She and her mother cried as they embraced. The weight loss is visible but Jones says it was about much more than that.

"Confidence, most definitely confidence," Said Jones. " The way I approach things now, there is a big difference."

The Students worked with other kids from around the country and now have the ability to take home what they learned and share with others.

"I plan to do that by making a schedule, eating healthy, being healthier and working out daily," said McKenna Attaway.

Chelsea Neely  lost over 50 pounds and says she doesn't want to lose this feeling.

"I feel a lot better than I did, I feel like I have a lot more self-confidence." said Neely.

Derrick Gentry, 21, says he barely recognized his sister Teah when she got off the plane.

"It's changed her definitely, I can see that, just talking to her long distance," said Gentry.  She's shown me enough that she has made the life style change."

Teah lost 64 pounds and is so thankful her family is behind her.

"I feel like I have so much support being here and that just makes me feel so much better about myself knowing that my family is here to back me up," said Gentry.

The Independence School District and the families combined to pay half the usual semester cost of $28,000 per student. The Other Half was covered by donations.

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