Our Program

The Five Pillars

Parents typically identify with at least 1 of the 5 core Pillars of Caribbean Mountain Academy (CMA). Our Five Pillars are Family-Based Counseling, Relationship-Oriented Mentoring, Adventure-Based Learning, Service Projects, and Discipleship. These Pillars define the school and the experience families get when they send a student to Caribbean Mountain Academy. They are the foundation of what sets Caribbean Mountain Academy apart.

Download our program catalog for an overview of our Five Pillars and therapeutic boarding school’s program.

Pillar 1: Family-Based Counseling

We believe  families are the foundation for student success. CEO Mark Terrell says, “We are going to work with you, mom and dad, as much as we’re going to work with the child that is in our program. [Caribbean Mountain Academy’s] Interventions will be successful if you decide to work just as hard as your son or daughter is. If you do that, you’ll be amazed at the success.”

Caribbean Mountain Academy desires to see families heavily involved in their teen’s journey, and our goal is to see families restored. We provide weekly family counseling sessions, weekly individual counseling for your teen, as well as parent counseling sessions as needed. These counseling sessions are focused on restoring relationships, introducing healthy boundaries, and practicing good communication between parents and teens.

Student Testimony: In the video above, David describes how the family-based counseling pillar helped him on his journey at Caribbean Mountain Academy.

Pillar 2: Relationship-Oriented Mentoring

Relationships at our therapeutic boarding school are often deeper because of the lack of distractions. Students are unplugged from cell phones, technology, and social media while they are in the Caribbean Mountain Academy program. They connect with other students and staff on a whole new level. We feel it’s one of the greatest strengths of our Christian boarding school. Because of the way we run our program, our students are able to form close bonds with staff as they do life together. Biweekly service projects and adventure activities help build community as students and staff participate together. Evening programming is centered around activities that students enjoy, such as basketball or board games, and allows students to know the staff in a fun context. “It’s a tight-knit community,” Stroup says, “From a Christian perspective, it’s the most beautiful church community I’ve ever seen or experienced.”

Students’ Testimonials: Watch the video above as students explain why relationship-oriented mentorship was so important to them on their journey at Caribbean Mountain Academy.

Pillar 3: Adventure-Based Learning

As parents, we love hearing about the positive things our children are experiencing. At our Christian residential treatment center, students definitely enjoy the adventure activities such as mountain hiking, going to the beach, zip-lining, or river rafting. These opportunities also give them fun things to tell their family about. Adventure activities help students learn in a fun environment.

Students grow in self-confidence when they achieve things they’ve never done before. For example, one student said after a long and difficult hike, “My entire life everybody has told me that I can’t do anything and that I’m worthless, but today I climbed a mountain and nobody can take that away from me.” Students also have opportunities to learn teamwork as they work together to achieve their goals. For example, they get to cheer their fellow students up the mountain or encourage their river rafting buddies to keep paddling. We find that these are also great bonding experiences for the students. The staff also uses adventure activities as teaching opportunities. Conversations naturally come up about teamwork, leadership, and their own relationship with God. It’s a fantastic way to open up deep and meaningful conversations in a non-threatening or upsetting way.

CMA takes students on a hiking trip up Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s highest mountain. Like the mountainous terrain, students experience ups and downs along the way, There are frustrations, aches, and frigid nights, but there is also conversations, growth, and deepened relationships.

Pillar 4: Service Projects

Students participate in service projects two days each week. Serving others has been shown to reduce depression and increase a feeling of well-being and purpose. It also helps teach students empathy and the value of helping others. If your teen feels like they have made too many mistakes in life, helping others reminds them that they are capable of making a positive impact on those around them. It’s a great self-esteem booster and we’re proud to have it as a core part of Caribbean Mountain Academy’s boarding school for troubled teens.

Pillar 5: Spiritual Discipleship

Caribbean Mountain Academy is a faith-based ministry, which means that faith is foundational to who we are. We desire to take every opportunity to help others learn about who God is and the redemption that is possible through building a good relationship with Him. When Jesus was on this Earth, he was known for hanging out with broken people and completely transforming their lives.

The staff at Caribbean Mountain Academy desires to do the same for their students. They hope that when students discover Jesus’ love for themselves, they will receive a transformation that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. Students don’t need to be Christian to attend Caribbean Mountain Academy. We welcome people of all faiths. Students are able to choose their level of participation in our faith-based activities. For those students who desire to form a personal relationship with Jesus, we offer Bible studies, devotion times, and weekly church and youth group activities.

Student Testimony: Kaylee explains why a faith-based approach was so important to her during her stay at Caribbean Mountain Academy.

More questions?

Read some frequently asked questions about CMA to learn more.

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