Amargosa Valley, Nevada
Jake Peart, School Admissions Liaison
Visit By: Stephen Bozak, CEP, IECA, January 27, 2007
Written By: Jake Peart, with approval from Stephen Bozak
Horizon Academy is a co-ed school that serves students grades 8 to 12. It provides an environment to help the students reach beyond their limits and excel academically and behaviorally. Horizon Academy is a boarding high school to help families and teens who are making poor choices. There are three main categories from which the problems range. These are home problems, academic failure and poor choice of friends. The school is 136 miles from Las Vegas and the students soon pick up the positive attitude found at the school on any given day.
Riley, one of the directors at Horizon Academy, led Steve Bozak and me through the Zen garden, football and soccer field, basketball court, fire pit, pond, walkways and into the dorm rooms. The goal is to be a beautiful oasis in the desert that bequeaths to families and students a refuge, an opportunity and hope to these previously troubled teens.
Along the way we met a mom visiting her son at the school. This young man is now past the age of eighteen, meaning that he is here on a voluntary basis. Riley asked the mom to share with us her experience of Horizon Academy. Delighted, she began to share with us how Horizon Academy has saved not only her son's life but also hers. She told us that along their journey they have learned to communicate, hold one another accountable, have expectations for one another that will help them reach their potential and to cherish one another. Her son looked at us and back at his mom with a contagious smile that told us how well they were doing. We could see the normalized love and respect he now had for his mom and himself.
Steve Bozak said: "The highlight of my visit at Horizon was the mother who was coming in to take her son out for a weekend visit. The interaction between this mother and son was very refreshing. Any family would hope for such a positive relation with their child. This family is a good reference for the positive effect of this school."
Horizon Academy uses a number of different models and techniques to overcome these problems and create lasting results. Some of the models and techniques used are group therapy for the students and parents, and a positive peer culture environment. The merit system and level system are paramount in helping these students learn there are consequences for their actions. This school offers a self-paced academic curriculum. Teachers look out for the well-being of the students and families, a health and nutritional plan is in place to ensure the physical well-being of each student and traditional one-on-one counseling is available as needed.