Media

a teen leans against a brick wall and smiles because he's saying bye bye boot camp

Bye Bye Bootcamp

It all started one night at a party. All it took was that first time for Evan Smith’s life to unravel. Before long, the teen was using drugs and narcotics and pushing his parents to their limits.

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a mom smiles as she hugs her teen since they went over the bridge over troubled water

Bridge Over Troubled Waters 

Venture Academy is a private coed residential treatment program for teens aged 13 to 18 with emotional and/or behavioural challenges that interfere with their functioning at home or school. It has locations in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.

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map with pushpin that says new venture academy location

New business opens in Delburne, ECA Review

A new business with a focus on educational support and treatment for troubled teens, has opened its doors to clients in Delburne. Executive Director Ed Rifo and Director of Operations, Teresa Hay of Venture Academy, attended Delburne’s Sept. 21 council meeting to address concerns expressed by some business owners about the school locating in Delburne.

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kelowna schoolhouse outside with red bricks and wood trellis

A school comes to the rescue of adolescents at risk

Venture Academy, a private school in British Columbia, has been helping high-risk adolescents from across Canada to manage their psychological needs and overcome their dependencies since 2001. The youth, 13 to 18 years of age, come from middle-class families where parents are at their wit’s end. They can no longer maintain relationships with their children, whose…

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teens go through the mud in a military exercise showing the mud sweat and memories

Mud, Sweat & Memories

Several hundred participants battled the elements today in West Kelowna for the Mudd, Sweat and Tears obstacle course. The six or 12k obstacle course mud run was set at Crystal Mountain and promised participants a chance to reconnect with nature, climb heartbreaking slopes, be covered in tons of mud, climb obstacles and push their limits. One…

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two male teens and three female teens smile because they're helping troubled youth

Social-Mission Business Helping Troubled Canadian Youth

When families call to see if Venture Academy can help their troubled youth, they always want to tell their story and it’s always a story of desperation, says executive director Gordon Hay. Many have tried all kinds of other treatment programs to no avail. Gordon launched Venture Academy 13 years ago after recognizing a tremendous…

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Justin Bieber's Latest Troubles

Bieber’s Trouble Strike Chord with Parents of Troubled Teens

TORONTO — Media outlets around the world have been captivated by Canadian pop star Justin Bieber’s latest tussle with the law, but a much wider audience finds itself engrossed by the singer’s struggles with himself. Bieber’s increasingly erratic public behaviour, escalating bouts of temper and brazen use of both legal and illegal substances are an…

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Venture Academy in the Media

Academy Helps Teens Get Back on Track

After 12 years of keeping a low profile in Kelowna, the Venture Academy residential program for struggling teens spoke up this month. “We’ve helped thousands of families at our Kelowna location, and we just want the community to know about the good work that we are doing and that the academy is a big economic…

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zoomed in picture of bureaucracy in the dictionary

Dad Upset Over Lack of N.S. Help

The man, whose name can’t be published because it would identify his 14-year-old daughter, said she is making progress at Venture Academy in Barrie, but the province won’t help with the fee … because he didn’t follow its guidelines to get funding for out-of-province treatment.

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a group of parents in a therapy circle discuss how we lost control of our son

“We Lost Control of Our Son”

It’s not always easy raising kids.  I thought the first couple of years were tough.  Then my wonderful children developed into teenagers.  Let the games begin!  Well the games began.  As a parent who thought he was in control as well as in touch with his children, I was fooled.  Our day-to-day lives are comparatively…

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Our Private Schools Help Teens Embrace New Beginning

Private Schools that Turn Around Troubled Teens

Four years ago, Laurianne McCarville and her husband were beyond frustrated. Their son, Steven, who had a learning disability, was floundering in Grade 9. His grades had dropped, he was defiant and angry, and he was getting into trouble.

The McCarvilles were terrified of what might happen if their son continued on that path. So Ms. McCarville went on the Internet, typing in searches for “son who won’t listen,” desperate to find any information that might help……

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a teen girl stands in front of her artwork and its inspiration in new schools of thought

Whole New Schools of Thought

There are many educators who believe that children with special needs deserve options. When the regular school curriculum fails them – or it doesn’t take them to their full potential – there is a growing number of private schools with programs specifically designed to help fill the gaps. These schools offer something far removed from…

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Our History

Fire Shuts Down Classes

A hot water tank was leaking natural gas that ignited in the basement about 9:30 a.m. while students were in class upstairs at Venture Academy. Staff evacuated nine boys, ages 13 to 18, and took them to a park as the alarm rang. “I had all the boys with me,” said Connie Buckle, the school’s…

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candy venture academy

Uber Employee

It feels good when you connect with a youth and you can make a difference in their lives. Once girl that I had in my home summed it up nicely. I asked her what she got from coming to Venture Academy and she replied “I found my dignity.” At the end of the day when you can help a youth find something so deep and important it makes it all worthwhile.

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a girl and her mom sit overlooking mountains and water

Report on Private Schools

The Venture Academy in Kelowna, B.C., is a unique residential program that also works with troubled teens. As agency director Gordon Hay explains, the youth are placed in parent/counsellor home while they learn to participate in community and academic activities. Each student has a support network of five to six professionals including physicians, psychologists, behavioral…

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Podcasts

CKNW Podcast

Interview with Excecutive Director Gordon Hay on the Bill Good Show on CKNW
July 30, 2013

CBC Podcast

Interviews with teens, parents, and Venture Academy staff
2008