Treasure Coast Boys Academy is a residential boarding school just for boys. It has an on-campus accredited, private school registered with the State of Florida. It is a safe haven for boys ages 12-17 years of age with out-of-control behaviors.
The non-profit program is designed to bring about a change in behavior and attitude for boys who are struggling with behavioral and motivational issues such as: falling grades, school suspension, anger, defiance, depression, attention deficit or attachment disorders. They are also successful in resolving drug and alcohol abuse and addictions, which often coincide with behavioral issues.
The ranch property is located on a 30-acre parcel, 10 miles west of Vero Beach, Florida in cattle and orchard country. The boys begin in a dorm setting and finish in a large home with house parents. The property features a well-equipped gym and weight machines, soccer field, baseball diamond, basketball court, pool, game room, fishing ponds, and professional sport fishing boats to take frequent fishing trips. They have horses on the property that are often ridden, and at times taken on camping trips. They form strong relationships with each boy and much of the life changing experiences take place while involved in these outdoor activities.
The staff works with each boy in cooperation with and participation of their family, bringing to the table a vast amount of experience. The therapeutic team helps repair the significant catalysts in each boy’s life that are bringing on their poor choices and self-destructive attitudes and behaviors.
Education is a priority at Treasure Coast Academy. Leadership skills, developing integrity and the importance of work are also learned through indoor and outdoor responsibilities.
Residents are encouraged to challenge and encourage each other to live out their faith in everything they do and say. Residents pray for one another and challenge each other through positive peer pressure to walk in the righteousness of God, which is demonstrated through the Godly character traits such as purity, honesty, and generosity.
Each student at our ranch has an opportunity to spend time hiking, canoeing, camping, and other active outdoor activities. It is through these fun outings that we can get to the root of the issues in a boy’s life. It’s an easy place to talk and share hurts and pains; then the campfire that evening gives opportunity to further talk and pray for one another. These trips are memory makers that last a lifetime!
Treasure Coast Academy provides focused and individualized academic attention for the students in its care. Education goes on and credits are earned, but education is not the program’s primary focus. Character, integrity, hard work, and respect for others are what we concern ourselves most with. If those attributes are in place, education is more easily accomplished on campus and when the boy returns home.
Therapy is ongoing – all day, every day. Individual counseling sessions are not as frequent as the many 10-15 minute life coaching that takes place during school, work, or a sporting event. As was once said, the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man. A simple horse ride can provide a life changing conversation in a young man’s life. The same can be said for a day on the lake fishing with a good mentor.
Treasure Coast Academy understands that success in life transformation depends on a strong loving family atmosphere when going home. Unconditional love with clear well defined boundaries are just a few of the family dynamics we focus on teaching the family while the student is here.
Ranch for Boys specializes in helping boys who are exhibiting the following:
Lives are transformed by the power of God that is stronger than the bonds of rebellion or addiction. They help the total person with spiritual, emotional, physical, social and educational challenges to prepare them for their new life.
Emotionally: The healing of the past is necessary. Bible studies enhance mental growth and serve as a foundation for creating new lives.
Physically: They care for the physical needs of the students.
Socially: Students learn to work through relationship problems with their peers and with their families at home. They will learn to apply the character qualities they learn in the classroom to their everyday lives.
Educationally: Treasure Coast Academy has developed a curriculum specifically designed to teach students about God and help them develop the skills required for them to become successful Christians.
Safe Harbor admits boys age 15-17 who are experiencing behavior problems in home and at school and need an alternative home setting. The purpose of Safe Harbor is to assist the boys in becoming responsible, mature and independent young men through spiritual, educational and vocational training.
Safe Harbor helps a boy become a young man of character and integrity, with a vision for their own future. Once the boys have an “I can and will” attitude, they naturally branch out into caring for others. Therefore, community service is an important part of Safe Harbor’s program. Learning to give into a community makes it one’s own and what a person claims as their own, they take care of and have pride in. This is why each donor, sponsor, volunteer makes a real difference at Safe Harbor; it becomes their own.
Safe Harbor has been featured in People Magazine, and on CBS This Morning, NBC News Today, CNN, and CBN. The story of the unique boarding school for at-risk boys is featured in the Safe Harbor movie, starring Treat Williams, on Hallmark Channel.
Since its inception, the Safe Harbor program has provided each boy with the mental, physical and spiritual strength to succeed in life. Water and boating have always played an integral part in people’s lives. Life on the water provides serenity and peace, but also unequaled opportunities for life.
Safe Harbor was founded “accidentally” 30 years ago when a judge asked the founders, Robbie and Doug Smith, to care for a troubled boy on their large sailboat, instead of that boy being sent to juvenile hall for the weekend. The judge, a friend of Doug’s, wouldn’t take “No” for an answer, even though the Smiths were retired and about to embark on an around-the-world trip on their boat. The success of that weekend triggered more pleas by the judge for the Smiths to help more boys, until the Smiths needed more help. A nonprofit program was launched and formalized in 1984. Safe Harbor is now an established, charitable, nonprofit, maritime boarding school based in Jacksonville, Florida. It utilizes maritime principles, discipline, and seamanship as a therapeutic model for helping turn around at-risk teenage boys. Safe Harbor provides a safe, structured, and exciting alternative to therapeutic boarding schools and harsher juvenile programs.
Boys in this program have been exhibiting at-risk behavior due to a number of causes:
Safe Harbor is an interdenominational program. The staff are dedicated Christian (Protestant) individuals who care for each boy in the program. Boys from different religious backgrounds or those from no religious upbringing are accepted and no child is required to change their beliefs to have success in the program. However, parents or guardians of the residents MUST understand that being a Christ-centered ministry is the reason success comes to the boys at Safe Harbor. Most guardians or parents are delighted to “have their son back” and are happy to have them exposed to a spiritual influence.
The Safe Harbor program is structured and centers on teaching a work ethic and helping the boys understand their behavior is leading them into less and less freedom. This program develops positive character traits by exposing the boys to many vocational education opportunities including carpentry, welding, boat maintenance & repair, gas and diesel engine repair, and some basic electrical concepts. Character traits such as dependability, follow-through, focus, and attention to detail, are taught in these courses. Every class at Safe Harbor is entitled “work” to expose these boys to the world of employment, where the majority are headed within twenty four months.
Counseling is provided individually and through groups by both licensed mental health professionals and pastoral counselors. All staff are involved in mentoring during time spent with the boys. These informal settings help the boys relax, begin to trust adults, and learn life lessons not acquired elsewhere. Most boys entering the program have had outpatient counseling but this has not yielded results.
Professional staff conducts individual sessions with families and their sons including conversations over the phone, and staff sends frequent emails to keep family updated. Additionally, short weekly phone calls along with encouraged letter writing helps restore family relationships. Once placed into residential care, the boy’s family suddenly becomes very important again.
Lasting change takes time, and the process and timing for each boy is unique. Guardians and/or families must take a long-term view of the process that develops change. The poor attitudes and habits the boys have upon entering the program did not occur overnight and they will only change over time. Families must be committed to the process of change; longer lengths of stay promote stability and community through the experience of connection and belonging that comes from this stable, structured community environment.
Gateway Boys Academy and Ranch helps teenage boys who have gotten off track in life need discipline and respect for authority. Gateway features all of the elements that will have the most positive life-long impact on boys in the shortest possible time, administered by loving mentors and peers who encourage them to succeed. The military-style discipline at the academy, accredited school, working ranch and farm, counseling and mentoring, competitive team sports, spiritual emphasis and outreach to the community all combine to make young men all they can be, and more.
Gateway is made up of caring, concerned staff, many who have been in your situation with their own children. Their purpose in life is to help self-destructing teenage boy’s turnaround and begin looking at life differently. Boys are given a new purpose, a new drive, and a new passion to be a better person and to serve others.
If you could see the before and after pictures of boys who have come through Gateway’s program, you would see a striking change to confident, happy young men. You would see selfish boys with a chip on their shoulders that are now ready to give the shirt off their back to someone in need. You would see boys without purpose who now have solid goals and direction for their life.
Gateway is not new at this. They know what works, and we see lives changed every day. They’re not making robots out of these kids, but building up young men with confidence, who thoughtfully consider their options, having learned that making bad choices leads to bad outcomes. Developing leaders of integrity and men of strength from foolish boys who were weak and headed for disaster is what Gateway does.
Seldom is there opportunity for a young man to lead five, ten, twenty or more peers while in high school. Young men at Gateway can reach positions of responsibility and learn leadership skills, which often transfer to college and the world beyond.
Engaging academics in a structured environment is often easier for most, and it helps young men see a brighter future in terms of applying to college. Challenging a young man while his thoughts are big and his future is open is a wonderful part of what Gateway does.
Participation in athletics is strongly encouraged at Gateway. Sports teach teamwork and camaraderie. These are invaluable interpersonal skills for a world absorbed by computers and gadgets. Knowing how to work with others is a critical skill taught by our military school.
The Gateway Academy Lions sports program encompasses both varsity and junior varsity basketball and baseball, and soccer. A recently completed maple-wood gym floor has allows Gateway to host games with our competing teams in the Panhandle Christian Conference.
Wolf Creek Academy specializes in helping teenagers who are experiencing behavioral difficulties, anger, depression, attachment disorders, or who are participating in self-harm or have diminishing academic performance due to trauma in their life. This program also treats social issues, disrespect, minor drug abuse, ODD, ADD, and ADHD, while providing a safe haven for teens and a self-paced school to help them get caught up academically.
When dealing with a troubled teen in your home, you have many factors to consider. How is he affecting the other siblings in the home? What is the effect on the family as a whole? Is there a willingness for him to participate in counseling with the family, and is it working? Is he showing any signs of really trying to change or, at least, expressing a need for change?
Hundreds of families have come to the conclusion that keeping their teen at home, even for a few more months, may prove to be detrimental or have irreversible affects on the other siblings—a risk they were not willing to take. Therefore, they would begin the arduous process of researching to find the best program equipped to meet their child’s needs.
The mission at Wolf Creek is to provide a quality education to each student and help students master curriculum knowledge. The education department supports the mission of WCA through classroom functions, diagnostic testing, prescribed curriculum, staff training, and, participation in the three (3) tiered system of evaluation, care, and treatment. Students are given opportunities to learn accountability and responsibility through specific classroom procedures.
Wolf Creek Academy dual-enrolls all students with Lighthouse Christian Academy for accreditation purposes. Lighthouse Christian Academy (LCA) has full accreditation status by Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) and by Accreditation International (Ai). Ai is a recognized member in good standing with National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA), the Council on Occupational Education (COE), and the International Council for Education.
WCA supports the concept of establishing daily goals in school work. A planned day will be a successful day. Daily goal setting establishes priorities and creates the pathway for completing work in a timely fashion; a learned skill for use throughout life.
Whether the student is a high achiever or a moderately paced learner, the Accelerated Christian Education educational process proceeds at the exact level determined by the child’s ability.
Students attend class daily in a classroom type setting. The teacher and aids in the classroom provide assistance for students from the sixth grade up to twelfth grade. The quiet environment offers one-on-one attention and tutoring as required. Recognizing that each child is unique with individual learning needs, students are encouraged on a daily basis to work toward accomplishing their goals and continuously progress using techniques designed specifically for them. Often times, a public school setting is full of distractions which cause frustration for the student and can negatively impact their ability to advance. The therapeutic and nurturing environment of Wolf Creek Academy is a safeguard for success. Students are offered various electives such as foreign language, speech, art and physical education. Students thrive while having the opportunity to advance at their own pace; most often an accelerated pace which boosts self-respect, repairs self-confidence and promotes security for a successful future.
The curriculum used at Wolf Creek Academy assures parents of:
Wolf Creek Academy conducts daily physical activities such as: football, volleyball, kickball, soccer, basketball, softball, or hiking. A high school PE credit is given for this class and is mandatory. Weekly physical activities vary seasonally from white water rafting, trail hiking, and snow skiing/snowboarding. Weekly social activities vary from bowling, going to the movies, hiking, church, museums, and more.
Wolf Creek Academy provides a safe home environment for teens who have lost sight of a clear and positive future. They are all students who are quite capable of becoming mature and dependable young adults when given the proper direction. In this therapeutic and academic program, many will learn to reach for their highest potential while being given the tools and education to do so.
Wolf Creek Academy is recognized as a Private School by the North Carolina Department of Non-Public Education. Its accreditation is via dual-enrollment with Lighthouse Christian Academy, Nashville, TN. This school is on-site where the students learn in a small class environment offering individualized attention.
Prayer Mountain Boys Academy is a year-round, faith-based ranch program for boys ages 13-17, who are struggling with anger, defiance, minor substance abuse, or other destructive choices. The program enrolls boys who have life-controlling issues or have gotten off track in life.
This Christian boarding school for boys feels like a home. The beautiful 36-acre campus gives boys a peaceful and spacious setting in which to make lasting life changes, with plenty of animals all around.
Prayer Mountain Boys Academy centers on relationships and on teaching leadership. Boys are introduced to Jesus Christ, learning that this relationship above all others has the power to heal and transform hurting lives. The committed staff understands the situations facing these young men, many from personal experience, and they love the boys like family. They help students to grow in their relationships with themselves and with each other and, in time, to heal broken relationships with their parents and families.
The Christian boarding school for boys is specifically designed to teach leadership and respect to boys who are struggling with behavioral issues. Each student is assigned to an on-site counselor.
Some of the issues the boy may be exhibiting may include:
Prayer Mountain Academy offers life transformation to boys who are struggling with life-impacting behaviors, addictions or attitudes. This program includes a number of elements, but the overall goal is to see boys prepared to transition successfully back to a normal and healthy lifestyle, whether that be college, ministry or the workforce. Ideally, the goal is to see every young man following God.
Prayer Mountain is the site of a former church. When the church closed, the 36-acre property was purchased by a local family. The family donated the property to Griffin First Assembly 8 years ago, with the stipulation that it must be used for a drug and alcohol treatment center. Griffin First Assembly teamed up with Florida/Georgia Teen Challenge, and Prayer Mountain Boys Academy was born.
Staff at Prayer Mountain are all committed believers in Jesus Christ who model positive choices and the Christian life for the young men, providing mentorship and strong role models. Boys attend chapel services on campus, where they receive Biblical teaching on practical issues. Prayer Mountain also has a strongly supportive relationship with a local church, which supports the work and ministry of Prayer Mountain and also provides a church home. Boys and staff attend services on Sundays and Wednesdays and participate in missions projects. Boys also work through the Teen Challenge discipleship curriculum as part of the program requirements.
Positive Peer culture means an environment where making the right choices is accepted and encouraged. Boys who have been “following the wrong crowd” into destructive behaviors instead find themselves pushed by their peers toward responsibility, integrity, and growth. Positive choices are rewarded. The campus promotes teamwork and accountability among students as well.
As they progress through the program, boys advance through three levels that govern privileges and indicate progress. To promote a boy to the next level, staff look for evidence of personal growth in matters of attitude, character, and personal conduct. The third and highest level carries with it expectations of and training in leadership skills.
The goal at Prayer Mountain is to see families healed and restored. Parents are invited to visit with their son on campus once each month. These family days give families time to restore relationships within the supportive environment on campus. Parents also have the opportunity to spend time with other parents and with staff and to receive Godly counsel.
Integrity – “Living and working with excellence”
Compassion – “Embracing hope, love, and reconciliation”
Community – “Working together and supporting one another”
Vision – “Seeing beyond the present”
Stewardship -“Faithfully managing God’s call and resources”
Faith – “Believing God for the impossible”
Servanthood – “Dedicating ourselves to the success of others”