Diamond Ranch Academy is an accredited, therapeutic boarding school for teens in Hurricane, Utah. Founders and owners Rob and Sherri Dias opened the school in 1999 with a mission of effecting long-term, positive change in the lives of troubled youth and their families. They pioneered a program that normalizes the treatment process while incorporating real-life skills and top-tier therapy. The founders come from the school of thought that every child is different and unique, thus making it important to meet the child at wherever their developmental stage happens to be.
The academy offers six different treatment programs for troubled teenagers in state-of-the-art buildings located on a 55-acre campus in scenic southern Utah. Licensed doctoral and master’s level therapists, who are specially trained to work with troubled teens, offer personalized therapy and counseling. They form trusting relationships with teens by participating with them in recreation and activities. Individual, group and family therapy are offered, along with equestrian therapy. Students are thoughtfully given the tools to be able to regulate their emotions more effectively, expand their mindfulness, and improve their interpersonal relationships and communication.
Located in naturally bountiful and picturesque Utah, the ranch is surrounded by lakes, canyons, and the geological beauty of Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Physical activity is highly encouraged for a balanced life. Students and staff are encouraged to hike, explore, and get in touch with nature together.
Academically, students are in a college preparatory environment with high standards. They must achieve 80 percent or higher on assignments and exams before moving on to the next curriculum segment. Every teacher meets strict licensing requisites from the Northwest Accreditation Commission and the Utah State Office of Education, and all courses follow Utah State Core Curriculum. International and national colleges and universities accept credits earned by students. Students have been accepted to over 100 universities and qualified for scholarships at more than 60 schools.
Low teacher-to-student ratios, current curriculum and textbooks, and the integrated use of iPads all come together to create an ideal learning environment. In addition, teens have access to sports, art, theater, and video production facilities. These allow them to have a normalized junior high and high school experience while learning about and developing their hobbies and passions experientially.
Students live in sperate residence halls with private bathrooms and lounge areas to relax in. Dining halls designed like restaurants offer nutritious meals from dietitian-approved menus.
Teens participate in the Real Life Transition program, where they learn discipline and the tangible benefits of hard work. Credits they achieve in classes convert into symbolic academic degrees and wages. Demonstrated efforts in classrooms lead to extra benefits and activities. Teens are also taught about work ethic and given responsibilities in hygiene, laundry, and maintaining a clean living area. Only when they have demonstrated trustworthiness, consistency, and completion of tasks will they earn independence and more privileges.
Importance is also placed on family and parental involvement. There is a Family Visitor Center for group therapy, orientation, and campus tours. This makes it easy for families to connect with their troubled teen and support them through the boarding school process. Free seminars and workshops for parents are also offered. Diamond Ranch Academy offers financing help for qualifying interested families.
The personalized individual and group therapy, academic rigor, real life learning, and parent partnerships make Diamond Ranch Academy an attractive therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens and their families. Attendees maintain long-standing, supportive, and satisfying friendships with their fellow students. Most importantly, they report that they have greater self-belief, positive outlooks on life, and much-improved relationships with their family members.