Seven Key Areas of Development

Our students develop in all areas so they can build solid foundations that will help them to become the best they can be. Areas of development include:

Mental: Students learn to think and make rational decisions. They broaden their knowledge through educational workshops that teach literacy, resume writing, debating, current events, legal matters, music, nutrition, computers, as well as many other subjects. They watch educational films, are encouraged to read, and continually communicate on positive and motivating topics, particularly ones which are intellectually stimulating. Students must complete their High School equivalent (GED) and take post-secondary education.

Physical: Students are expected to care for and respect their bodies. They are required to achieve and maintain good physical health. Balanced meals, regular exercise, proper sleep, and good personal hygiene all contribute to a sound physical body.

Financial: Most students entering the program relate money to drugs and alcohol. At the John Volken Academy they are taught the value of money and the difference between wants and needs. They are introduced to financial matters such as budgeting, the importance of a good credit rating, credit cards, and maintaining a bank account.

Emotional: Students learn to understand, control, and express their emotions. They learn to acknowledge and overcome negative reactions and develop a healthy approach to challenging circumstances. They learn to identify “triggers” and to replace impulsive reactions to those triggers with thoughtful decision-making and new behavior patterns. They learn to deal with frustrations and anger, developing patience and understanding. They learn how to care for and respect others, how to accept criticism without reacting negatively, and how to laugh and enjoy life. They learn to forgive themselves and others, and avoid old negative places, things, and people.

Social: Students are taught how to set boundaries, communicate effectively, and get along with others in a positive manner. They are constantly involved in social activities and are required to engage in acceptable and meaningful interactions with other students, especially during meal-times, recreational activities, and community outings. They learn how to speak in public and be comfortable in any social setting. They repair relationships with friends and family.

Spiritual: The John Volken Academy acknowledges that one’s beliefs may lend strength, perseverance, and motivation throughout the recovery process. While our program is not faith-based, students are encouraged to develop their spirituality. Grace is said at meal-times and students are encouraged to attend church services of their choice. Students develop good strong morals, ethics, and values.

Vocational: Being able to obtain a job, keep a job, and excel in a job, is the most fundamental aspect for maintaining sobriety for our students. As such, vocational development is a major component of the John Volken Academy. Our social enterprises called Life-Skills Training Centers (LTCs) are an integral part of our treatment Program and have been created to prepare students to become valuable employees. At the LTCs students receive extensive job and career training in real-life settings in a variety of enterprises. They learn to be effective and productive. They learn business principles and entrepreneurship. Their time at the LTC is therapeutic, practical, and vital in preparing them to become responsible citizens and “model” employees.
Our students graduate as well-rounded, responsible individuals who are able to deal with and avoid the type of situations that led them to abuse substances in the first place. They graduate equipped to handle all of life’s challenges and to lead successful lives.

“When I came in to this program I was scared and ignorant. I had no motivation to do anything with my life. I tried a $20,000 program that was 45 days long, hoping it would break the chains. I was naive and foolish. Within 45 days of graduating the program, I realized it wasn’t just the drugs that needed change. I thought the second time around that it could be done in 30 days. It scares me to think of where I would be if I had not come to the John Volken Academy. Chances are, I’d be in full-blown addiction, jail, or I would be dead. This is the reality of where my life was going. Luckily, I found my way into this program. I realize now how it was not just my drug use, but my patterns of thoughts and actions. I thank God every day for helping me to find the John Volken Academy.”

Josh S.

“I cannot elaborate enough on the fact that my life was saved from what would have been a short miserable life. Not long ago I was living a life completely dependent on heroin. And even though it was only a short time ago, in the grand scheme of things I feel like it was a lifetime ago. I don’t know the person I was before at all. I have made a complete transformation… even the way I think about things is different.”

Nate D.