Echo Springs was founded in 1993 by Doug Kim-Brown, who recognized the need for many young people to move from being passive onlookers to active participants in their lives. Echo Springs is a transitional study center for young adult’s ages 18 to 24. In the program, the young men and women receive guidance as they acquire the skills needed to further their transition into becoming independent adults.
The campus is located in a rural residential area on the outskirts of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, and the students live in a comfortable home environment on a four-acre parcel several miles from town.
The curriculum is intended to be student centered. This allows students to pursue their own goals without having to live up to someone else’s expectations. The structure of the program is based mainly on mentoring and guidance, but the learning experience comes from the freedom to make choices, pursue their own interests and strengthen their decision-making skills. The goal of this two stage program is to promote a hands-on experience that teaches the students how to live in the real world.
Students participate each morning in life skill classes, and the afternoon focuses on hands-on study classes. In the evening Echo Springs offers several community electives including sports, art, music and support groups such as AA or Al-anon.
In phase one of the Echo Springs program, there are objectives: Who am I, and how do I function? What is my relationship with others? How do I get things done?
The second phase of the program allows the students to apply the skills and principals they learned in the first phase through an independent living situation that includes moving to apartments in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.