Developed in part with a grant from
the National Science Foundation

Diamond Ranch Academy reviews

27 reviews
433 S. Diamond Ranch Parkway
Hurricane, Utah 84737, United States of America
Tel: 877-451-8533

27 Reviews From Our Community

3 stars
2 stars
1 star
Service
0
Value
0
Shipping
0
Returns
0
Quality
0

All Reviews

poppyb
1 review
7 helpful votes
5/6/15

My year old son has been going to Diamond Ranch Academy for 5 months now. My husband and I both think this is the one of the greatest decisions we've ever made in our lives! My son LOVES being there and has learned so much since he started. He has become way more social and comfortable with other kids and every one else as well.

Each day of the week they plan an activity for the kids to learn from, or just to simply have fun with. The activities are amazing, My son especially loves art classes.The facility itself is very clean and secure,
As parents, we love seeing a smile on our son's face when he is dropped off and picked up.It tells me that he is comfortable at school and having a great time there. We feel very lucky to have found Diamond Ranch Academy, and happily recommend it to parents who have children who may need emotional healing to develop their self esteem.. It is really a wonderful, caring place.

tm64
1 review
10 helpful votes
4/23/15

Diamond Ranch Academy was a livesaver for my son and our family. A year ago, my then 16 year old son was failing out of, and cutting classes at, his third high school in three years. He was struggling with personal, academic and mental health issues and my wife and I had reached the end of our rope. Our sons future, our family life and our other kids were all a mess. Not knowing what to do, and having little information concerning DRA other than calls with a few of the family references, we made the difficult decision to send our son to DRA. After 5-6 months, we began to see a change our son started to feel better about himself, he started to return to his normal personality, he began to have hopes for his future and he learned the mental, personal and educational skills needed to make those hopes a reality. Now, a year later, he has left DRA, is a week or so away from getting his high school diploma, and has been accepted into a four year national college. Without DRA, its wonderful staff and our sons hard work, we would not be in this situation today.

grants19
1 review
5 helpful votes
3/8/15

It will not be an easy decision to send your child to the Diamond Ranch Academy. Certainly, I had not experienced many things more painful than to see my son leave in the early morning with two strangers, and to realize that I was entrusting him to the care of an institution and people that I had researched but not seen personally.

I cannot assure you that your child will have a positive and successful tenure at the Diamond Ranch Academy. But I can assure you that there is one individual there, Rod Peterson, the director of the art program, who helped my son to realize a talent that no one (not even my son) realized existed. For that I will be forever grateful.

Mr. Peterson mentored my son. He advised my son. He remained steadfast in his belief in my son, and he directed him responsibly, patiently, and with genuine care. Even after my son left the DRA, after the faculty and staff's responsibility toward my son had terminated, Mr. Peterson continued to address my son's interests, potential, and needs. He attended a Utah State High School Art Awards Ceremony in Springville, Utah, with my son. He later entered one of my son's paintings in a separate competition in St. George. He demonstrated through his actions that he believed in my son, and I fervently hope that because of these actions, my son will believe in himself.

Mr. Peterson's art program at the Diamond Ranch Academy is a site of safety and creativity, work and self expression that provided my son with that one link that he needed with "life" to continue at the Diamond Ranch Academy, and ultimately to have some success. The DRA Art Program is a testament of the value and the importance of art as a medium to touch the soul of a boy who closed off other media. Mr. Rod Peterson is a testament of the value of a caring professional who knows how to reach those individuals who may feel abandoned and alone. He is an example of all that is good in the beauty and wisdom of art.

davidk121
1 review
7 helpful votes
3/4/15

Before we decided on Diamond Ranch Academy (DRA), we were desperate parents. Our son was on a downward spiral, and we had to make a quick decision. We took a leap of faith, and decided on DRA having only spoken with staff. It was difficult, but we are certainly thankful for our conversation with Dan, and the ultimate decision we made to send him to the school.

We cannot say enough about our teen's experience at Diamond Ranch Academy (DRA). From the transport to the campus, to the graduation celebration 11 months later, the experience was beyond what we had expected. While there are many, many aspects of DRA that are worthy of discussion, the one aspect of the Academy that underlies all the others is the quality of the staff. The moment our son entered DRA he was greeted by and thereafter interacted daily with individuals who were one-hundred percent committed to his success. The therapeutic experience at DRA is second to none. But, equally important is the availability of extracurricular activities in which the students are encouraged to participate. Many teens, our son included, would have never been able to enhance their self-esteem through theater or athletics in a regular high school setting. However, DRA makes available to students a wide variety of activities that allows them to grow in strength and character. It is only up to the students to decide where and how they would want to participate. Watching our son compete in wrestling, perform a solo, and have a key role in a play, may have been the proudest moments of our lives. His achieving these milestones were only brought about through the dedicated work of the staff in building his self-esteem and his confidence. For that we will be ever grateful.

For those considering a therapeutic boarding school for their teen, we would highly recommend Diamond Ranch Academy. We believe in the program, and more importantly, we believe in the staff. They are second to none.

annr19
1 review
10 helpful votes
1/2/15

My response to Unknown U is while its true that theirs is a group of struggling teens at DRA, it is also true that they are the same kinds of kids they hung out with on the outside. These teens are mostly unhappy kids who don't realize their way isn't working for them. DRA provides an environment with less distractions and negative influences, so teens can be safe and take advantage of opportunities to learn new tools that do work for them and positive life lessons that many won't obtain any other way. There are no guarantees. It may be years before a DRA graduate can really appreciate all the rich and fertile seeds that were planted, but they're there when they're ready to sow them. It's a special privilege to go through the DRA program and if there are scars they aren't as deep as those that come from continuing along a downward path of destruction. It's every parents responsibility to intervene when their child is in trouble, to keep their child safe, and to recruit as much support as possible. With DRA the family works with a professional and sincerely caring team who provides advice, positive redirection and long-term support for the whole family. My hope for you is that you become all that you're meant to be because I know it's in you - you had glimpses of your power and strengths during your stay at DRA

christophers44
1 review
27 helpful votes
12/15/14

To any of the parents visiting this site, if you are looking at these reviews, it probably means that you are having a very difficult situation with a loved one and are investigating what to do in order to help them. I am writing this review in support of Diamond Ranch Academy and their staff. I have a very busy life but I wanted to take the time to write this, as I wished that I had been able to read a review like this when I was searching for help for my daughter. From my perspective I understand what you may be going through. The last few years of my life have been some of the most stressful and difficult I have experienced in my entire life. My 17 year old daughter had become completely depressed, defiant, isolated, withdrawn and began to develop negative coping skills in order to deal with her mental health. Each day as I interacted with my daughter I never knew which daughter was going to be there, I felt like it was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde situation. My daughter's condition was also taking a toll on my marital relationship and also was affecting my other children. Her life seemed to be spinning out of control and I felt like she was becoming a vortex of destruction to all in her path, including most importantly herself. I felt like we really needed to do something to help my daughter before her behavior led to an implosion of everything around her. We had tried everything possible we knew to try to help her, including outpatient therapists and reading multiple self help books. However, despite our best efforts, we felt like things just kept getting worse and I was beginning to lose hope.

We started to look at multiple options including intensive inpatient therapy and intensive outpatient therapy. None of these seemed like viable options, until we discovered Diamond Ranch Academy (DRA) and we began to see some hope. One of the largest things about DRA that really stood out to me was the saying at DRA of Healing families one child at a time. This really stood out to me, as DRA was aware of not just helping the child but also helping to heal the family of that child. The fact that DRA understood that it was not just the child that needed help, but by helping that child to develop the skills to overcome their negative behaviors ,it would also help to heal the family of that child that was also hurting.

As my wife and I were contemplating this decision, I have written below some of the personal issues and thoughts that I had to address to myself.

Issue #1: "If I send my child to DRA, it will be as if I admit that I had failed as a parent." This was one of the more difficult thoughts I had to work through for myself. As I watched my daughter, I felt powerless to help her. I felt like perhaps if I had done something differently, she would not be in this situation. I felt that perhaps I had failed her as a parent and that by sending her away it would be as if I were giving up. As my daughter has been at DRA, I now see that the opposite is true. I have learned that sometimes we need help from others that are experts in areas where we are not. By sending your child to DRA, you are not abandoning your child and you are not a failure as a parent. In actuality, you are still showing hope in your child that there is a chance and that you have the humility to ask for help from others. You are turning your child over to experts who have helped many many children to turn their lives around. I have come to realize that in sending a child to DRA, you are actually exhibiting great courage to make this decision and being a great parent. It is also demonstrating hope in your child that they still have the potential to change and that you are not giving up on them.

Issue #2: "Why did this happen to us and it will be a complete embarrassment once everyone finds out. As my daughter has been at DRA, I have discovered that many, many families are in similar situations and don't know where to go for help. One program at DRA that I found particularly helpful in this regard for me, were the parent 101 and parent 201 classes. These classes were excellent as we met with many other parents who were in similar situations and I realized we were not alone. I felt like my wife and I no longer were suffering in silence but were actually understood by many people with whom we shared a common bond. I remember in the parent 101 class, sitting in a circle with other parents who also had children there, sharing our feelings about our children and expressing our love for them. It was at this time that I felt like someone understood what I was going through as a parent and it allowed me to let go of the weight that I felt I had been carrying during all this time, due to my daughter's struggles. Furthermore, as friends and family found out about us sending our daughter to DRA, we have only felt supported by them. In fact, we are often now asked about the DRA program as many other families are still struggling with the same issues we faced. We shared some of the books DRA uses with our friends, including The People Code and found that many of our friends and family read these books and wanted to know more.

Issue #3: As I was researching DRA, I encountered some of the negative reviews that have been written about DRA. Before I sent my daughter there, I expressed some of these concerns with Andrew and some of the other staff at DRA. I was impressed by their straightforwardness and openness in addressing these concerns. They even went beyond that and offered to give me several referrals of parents that had children in the program. The parents I spoke with gave very positive reviews of DRA and the staff there. I decided to trust my feelings and send my daughter there. Since she has been there, I can't say enough in support of the professionalism of all of the staff that I have encountered at DRA. The DRA staff do an exceptional job of keeping parents in the loop and letting parents know how their child is doing. I have also visited the facility several times and have always been impressed by how open everyone is and how positive all the staff is toward my daughter. Most importantly, they truly seem to care for her as a person and want to help her to become her best self. During our weekly phone calls with my daughter, she had the opportunity to speak frankly about her feelings about the program and was not censored in any way. Beyond that, we received both verbal and written communication weekly from the girls program director who kept us appraised of how my daughter was doing. My experience with DRA has been completely positive. I feel like the negative websites and reviews out in cyberspace regarding diamond ranch, misrepresent the program and are not a valid review of what DRA is about.

DRA is a well rounded program. The last semester at home before my daughter went to DRA, she failed almost all of her classes in school. At DRA, she has excelled academically due to the low student teacher ratio and all the assistance she has in learning the material. In fact, she was able to make up for the semester she lost, and worked all summer to the point where she graduated high school earlier than any of her friends at home. She also did most of her college prep work at DRA including taking the SAT and ACT, with her scores improved compared to her scores at home. She was also accepted to college and will start college 2 weeks after her high school graduation from DRA and completing the program. This was an amazing result to me as prior to her attending DRA, I was concerned she would not even graduate high school and did not even see college on the horizon for her.

Furthermore, while she has been at DRA, she has had the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities that she otherwise would not have, including soccer, dance team, drama productions, and even participated in the Shakespeare festival at SUU. These opportunities have allowed her to have a much richer experience and have made DRA feel very similar to any other high school, so she did not feel like she was missing part of her youth.

The therapists at DRA have helped my daughter and myself tremendously. As my daughter has been learning a through therapy, I have also taken the time to learn what she is learning. I have read some of the books that she has read. This has really helped in our phone calls as we understand what she talks about and also have learned the best ways to interact with her. I have also discovered some of the weaknesses in my own life and how to begin to correct those. By doing this, I have found that it has significantly strengthened my relationship with my daughter and I understand her better now than I ever have understood her.

As we finish the program at DRA, I know the transition home and to college will have some ups and downs. However, I now feel that DRA has given my daughter and myself the skills needed to navigate the hills and valleys that will inevitably come. I truly cannot express enough thanks to all of the staff at DRA for loving and caring for my daughter and by so doing to help her heal. I feel I will always be indebted to DRA for everything they have done for my daughter and also for myself. For the first time in many years, I again feel hope and feel at peace for my daughter; something that I was not sure I would feel again. I fully express my support of the program and wish to thank them for everything. But in the end, I did not write this review for them, but for you, any parents that find themselves in a similar situation as I was.

tracyb49
1 review
9 helpful votes
11/1/14

From our first inquiry almost 6 months ago, DRA has been there for our family. We believe with all of our heart that DRA saved our son's life. He will agree that he needed to go there too. It hasn't been easy but worth every step. EVERY Staff Member at DRA has been helpful, caring and accessible. They offer programs for the parents along the way, encourage communication between the kids and their families and help with timing the transition back to home/college. Sending our son away was the hardest thing we ever did but knowing he is in loving care and getting healthy makes it all worthwhile.

nicholasv3
4 reviews
11 helpful votes
10/28/14

We did a tour recently and we were very impressed with their facilities, we have searched the entire west coast and nothing even came close to this campus. It feels as if you are at a University, it does not have a feeling of a teen treatment center at all, however when you meet the staff you do get the reassurance that this is a valuable treatment center, the staff is highly educated, knowledgeable and know each child that is attending Diamond Ranch Academy. This is the place for any child that is going through some difficult times.

pattym14
1 review
10 helpful votes
10/16/14

Our son has been at DRA for almost 7 months, he just turned 14. Although we miss each other, we are so happy we made the decision to send him. The staff and kids are great. We feel that our son is in the best most capable hands. They are doing for him what we were not able to do for him. He is becoming a confident, caring, responsible young adult. We just came back from a visit and are thrilled with how much he has progressed. We see changes in him every time we visit. He is excited about the school now and is proud of how much he has accomplished. We are looking forward to his first visit home. It scares me to think what would have happened to him if we hadn't sent him to the academy. Thank goodness we had this option. I am so eternally grateful for this school and to the staff!! It is a very hard to not be with him during this time but he will be returning home soon a healthy, non medicated, responsible, caring, young adult.

kevint37
1 review
9 helpful votes
10/14/14

I have witnessed my son transforming into the young man he was intended to be from the beginning. It's easy to say, "he's like a new person", but it's more than that. He is the person he has always been, just more effective and healthy. I was losing my son and now I'm getting him back. I am not sure if DRA is for every child, but it is the only place for my son.

jackt39
1 review
8 helpful votes
10/13/14

While our daughter has only been at DRA for 4.5 months, my wife and I can see a dramatic improvement, and can't wait to see how she'll progress over the next 6+ months. Before coming to DRA, she was in and out of juvenile detention, failing high school, involved with the wrong crowd, self esteem was low and her passion for sports had disappeared. After years of counseling, in-school and out-of school help, we felt we were out of options until discovering DRA. Our latest visit was this past weekend, and what a blessed weekend. Our daughter's passion for life is back. She is consistently getting A's and B's in school; she is succeeding in her favorite sport of soccer, and even now is talking about college. This is the same young lady who just 5 short months ago didn't care if she graduated from high school. While her and our journey has just begun, it is looking incredibly bright thanks to the DRA program. They have not only given us hope, but also provided a clear vision of the future our daughter can have. DRA's program addresses the overall health of the student from therapeutics to academics to athletics to faith. Simultaneously, DRA provides family counseling to help the family heal, and prepare for the road ahead once the student comes home. Helping students realize their potentials, and healing families is DRA's mission. A mission that we are eternally grateful for, and thankful for the help we are all receiving. My hope is that DRA's program can be duplicated and grow beyond Utah to provide the means to help many more families having similar challenges. If you have a troubled teen, and feel you are alone in what you and your family are facing, don't hesitate to reach out to DRA for assistance. You'll learn that your family situation is not unique, and DRA is very well equipped to help. Yes, it's a painful decision to make, but a decision for the well-being of your child and a means to give them a bright future. We are so thankful for what DRA has been able to do for our daughter and our family over these past few months, and look forward to progressing toward her graduation.

stevef46
1 review
20 helpful votes
10/13/14

To the parents, if you are reading this review, it means you likely have a very difficult situation with your teen and are trying to decide if DRA is right for you. PLEASE read this review. We understand your fears-my wife and I were in your same situation 8 months ago ! Our goal with this review is to help you understand why making a decision to let go and temporarily turn your teen over to an organization like DRA is ABSOLUTELY the right thing to do. We will give you background so you have context about our situation, common fears and misconceptions we had and how they were handled, why DRA works in our opinion, and to let you know where we are now with our son.

Our son's troubles started when we transitioned from 8th grade to 9th grade. He was confident, engaging, and outgoing. He was a standout player in three different sports. Unfortunately, a combination of social networking sites, cell phone and text addiction, poor friend choices, and immaturity, gave way to D's and F's, failing relationships at home, marijuana use, and a rebellious attitude that became worse and worse. At the age of 17 and at the beginning of the second semester of his junior year, he found his way into the juvenile court system for a weekend gone wrong. We were at our wits end. We transferred our son to DRA to salvage his youth and get him back on track. We had tried everything, but everything wasn't working. Some say the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result. We were not getting different results.

Misconception #1 - "I can't let go-it will be like admitting we failed as parents." You are not abandoning your child. You are turning your child over to experts for an average 10 month stay. DRA has taken in thousands of children like your own and they know how to handle tough teen situations. It takes great courage to make this decision. Rationalization will lead to poor outcomes. We feel like the best parents in the world now having made this decision, but at the time we didn't understand that reality. Have the courage !

Misconception #2 - "You can't get your child to DRA-if they don't want to go they will run". Parents do not have to transport their child. There are professional youth transport services that will help you get your child from your home to DRA. We feared that our son would simply say NO and not go. He's a big kid, and he might just win that battle. Further, if he even suspected this was coming, we feared he would run. Although our son went willingly to DRA, I have learned that approximately 60% do not. So, how do unwilling teens get transported? Consider this: when two very large ex-college football players show up in the middle of the night and say we can do this the easy way or the hard way, your teen will choose the easy way. I am told nearly 99% agree, although there may be some initial "I can't believe you would do this to me" outbursts. And, if they choose the hard way, you will find your transporters to be gentle and caring, and skilled at quickly befriending your child. They know how to put your teen at ease and diffuse what might be a difficult situation. We have used the transport service more than once for home visits. Out transporters told me they very rarely have a difficult transfer...they could count them on one hand and they've done hundreds.

Misconception #3 - "I know what's best for my child and I can salvage this situation on my own". Our only regret is that we didn't take advantage of DRA sooner. Perhaps our son would not have gone willingly (the juvenile court stay made him a convert), but even so, we endured an extra year of misery hoping things would get better. Teens are very smart and very manipulative. They will tell you what you want to hear, and before long you think it's two steps forward and one step back. Unfortunately, this just isn't the case for the vast majority of situations that plumb new lows on a weekly and monthly basis.

Misconception #4 - "This is so embarrassing. Why us ? How did we draw this straw ?" You didn't draw the short straw ! We were willing to talk openly with friends, family, co-workers, and others about our situation. Much to our surprise, we learned that nearly every family has a similar story. The reality is that tens of thousands of teens every year need a program like DRA. DRA receives hundreds and often thousands of inquiries every month. One of the top reasons given for not following through after making the initial inquiry is the proverbial cold feet, and hoping for a better day. Hope is not a strategy !!! Having the courage to take a different path is a strategy. Don't worry-you are not alone.

There are many dimensions to this program. Some are explained well on the DRA web site, but some dimensions less so (presumably because it's hard to understand unless you get an extensive explanation). We'll attempt that brief explanation here. But let me first say that our son has now been at DRA for 8 months. He has had his ups and downs, and not everything is perfect, but in general he is happy and engaged. He lost freedoms most teens enjoy (e.g. a car, dating, cell phone use, restaurants with friends, etc). This is not how most teens define happiness !!! However, he says once he got accustomed to a healthy lifestyle, he obtained new found joy in preparing for a future that wasn't otherwise going to happen. And, he has that potential DRA state football championship in the meantime that keeps him motivated, along with graduating from high school a full semester early with a significantly improved GPA.

Academics - students are not allowed to advance past any test, quiz, or assignment unless they score 80% or better. Students learn that they might as well put in the work up front and do it right. Before long, study skills are learned.

Merit system - Students accumulate points daily for excellence in academics and in being a good citizen at the Ranch. If they accumulate enough points, they get to buy fun activities on Saturday. If they receive too many point deductions, they don't participate. It's black and white, and without exception. Students learn early that if they want to participate in hiking, movies, water skiing, etc., they must put in the work during the week. Further, if they accumulate a negative point balance during the week, they must work on Saturday to clear that balance. This has the double benefit of giving students a fresh start each week, but also to avoid the negative outcome and instead enjoy the positive outcome that a purchased activity brings. This is an extremely positive and important system. Most parents instinctively know it's the right system, but few implement it well at home.

Athletics - this is such an important part of DRA. My son arrived at DRA 160 pounds. Six months later he was 210 pounds and chiseled ! How does this happen with lazy teens ? First, the staff and coaches encouraged and motivated him to work out with them in the mornings before class. He often worked out every day. Further, the meals are balanced, not filled with the empty calories and sugars your child will find at the local convenience store. This prepared him for baseball and football and restored his confidence. The virtuous circle of confidence and results created more incentive each week. Further, since DRA is part of the Utah State HSAA and they play other schools throughout the state, game day has the excitement and feel of any other high school in America.

Perhaps your son or daughter isn't interested in sports. That's ok. There is something for everyone to do, and participation is broad based, as a participant or spectator.

Activities, Arts, Theater - DRA is well rounded. Your students will have ample opportunities to try new things. Study this dimension of the web site. It's real and substantial.

Therapy - Teens need strong mentoring. Growing up is not easy, and teens are at that crossroads thinking they know everything, yet in reality they know only what they know. These cross roads can result in collisions, and tens of thousands of teens every year need help to keep appropriate perspective as they transition from youth to adulthood. DRA has over a dozen therapists that deal with the variety of issues your teen might have, from addiction to defiance, anger management, to self image or relationship skill building. We participate in family therapy too, and it's helped us to significantly improve our relationship with our son. We went from complete despair and hatred towards us, to the point now where we talk, laugh, and have significant mutual respect for each other. We have our moments, but they are just moments now.

One issue I didn't think about until after our son was in the program was if being surrounded with teens with different problems was a negative. Having discussed this with him, I would say it isn't a big negative. Sure, the new kids are often less desirable to be around because they need to work through the issues that put them there, but the tenured students know just to give them that space until they work it out. In a way, it's a positive, because our Son sees how destructive the path of resistance is, versus a path of earned success that leads to confidence and a rebuilding of his self esteem. He gets to make that compare and contrast weekly, and that isn't all bad.

Governance - DRA is about family, and I mean that literally. The Dias family is deeply involved at the Ranch, and this includes siblings, parents, cousins, and in-laws. This is a great thing. This family is filled with role models, and your teens will soon learn to view them as mentors that care. At DRA this is a business, but first and foremost it is a labor of love. You can count on them to take great care to give your child a firm but fair, but more importantly, a solid experience that will make a difference in your child's life.

Our son did not take off the Summer of 2014 to have fun or start a new job. Rather, he worked at DRA every day on his school work, his mind, his body, and his attitude. In four to six weeks, he will graduate from the program, and graduate from high school a full semester early. A year ago, we were losing confidence he would complete high school. In two weeks, we will be looking for college housing together.

We know the transition back home won't be perfect, and we know our son won't make perfect choices. But, he's now 18 years old, and we have the confidence that he will stop, think, and make a different and/or better choices than he did these last few years. We would not be here if it weren't for DRA. Our wish for you is that you give your child the same chance, and that you have the courage to let go. It's a financial obligation to be certain, and it isn't nirvana, but do you know any teen that finds their current circumstances to be perfect ? We don't know any. If you are on the fence, please let go, you are making a courageous choice !

One last thing. I mentioned how much confidence we had in our youth transport service. One evening, after bringing our son home for a weekend visit, I asked how many residential youth boarding schools they support. I was surprised to learn there are literally dozens of possibilities and they have transported to most schools. So, I asked them which was the best, and without hesitation they said Diamond Ranch Academy. Why ? The Dias family invests in the facilities, and invest in the kids. They constantly work to evolve their program to be the best it can be. I took great comfort in this answer. After all, they see it all, and they would know.

And, finally (really-this is it), I'll leave you one last thought. I wish I had access to reviews like this that would have helped me make my decision. Perhaps I didn't look hard enough. Notwithstanding, our only motivation in writing this is to help you. We are grateful to DRA, but this review is for you, not them. Good luck.

bwmc
1 review
9 helpful votes
10/3/14

Diamond Ranch Academy (DRA) has been a life saver for our son and our family. Our son ended 8th grade on a sour note, and then the summer experimenting started. We as parents figured that he was going through a phase, and getting ready for high school. We as parents also thought that we had everything under control and could fix whatever trouble he throws at us. After all the groundings, taking away cell phone, taking away computer, and more chores, we still thought we had it ALL under control.
Then high school started, where we thought he was just getting adjusted to high school, and we kept on top of him to get through his first semester. After making a lot of new friends and getting through his first semester with OK grades, it started to turn after Christmas. Little did we know that behind the scenes, it was all falling apart. The new friends were perhaps not such good friends, and the new found freedom of high school was not such a good thing either.

The start of the second semester is where it all started. We as parents knew something had happened and that incident would be bad for him. But we did not know that it would be that bad. The lying started, the attitude started, the depression, the drug use, and ultimately the flunking out of school. This is when we as parents had to make the "hardest" decision of our parenting life to send your kid off to boarding school.

Once our decision was final, DRA and their transition partners made the process as smooth as possible. From the pickup, to the delivery process, and the picture of our son arriving at DRA was handled with such care and professionalism. The DRA staff and therapist kept us informed as our son progressed through his first phase, which was the toughest. As parents, that first phone call was really nerve racking, but again the professional therapist and staff made us feel at ease and comfortable.

The DRA staff, therapist, and teachers worked their magic with our son to build up to our first visit, and we couldn't believe how our son had changed in such a short time. The facilities on the DRA campus are very impressive and far exceeded our expectations. Also impressive is the area around the DRA campus, with Zion National park close by for outdoor activities and the local St. George town for shopping and eating.

Our son is due home for his first home visit, and we are looking forward to the changes that he brings and the work in progress we have ahead of us. DRA has done a great job in setting goals for our son and challenging him in all areas.

Stay tuned for more . (rate 4 stars, cause we're not finished yet!!}

julsl
1 review
10 helpful votes
10/1/14

Our son had a very hard start to DRA. His transport was very traumatic. Once arriving at DRA, Brigham and the rest of the staff made him feel safe and helped him transition into the program. The first few weeks were rough. Once the meds were figured out and he started to trust staff, things got a lot better. Now he sounds happy and positive when we talk to him! He likes and trusts the staff. He loves the animals and all the sports that DRA offers. We are so happy that we chose DRA for our son to get the help that he needs. We are grateful for a wonderful, caring staff! Our son has been there for 2 months.

sandrag20
1 review
4 helpful votes
9/23/14

My son's academics have improved because the teachers take the time to cater to his learning style and see what supports are needed. He feels successful for the first time in a long time in school. He has the option to join extra-curricular activities, sports and clubs. The facilities are brand new and provide the setting of a private boarding school. The natural beauty that surrounds the school is majestic.

I didn't send my son to DRA because he was doing well at home. I wasn't looking for a fun' boarding school where he could have leisure time and hang out with friends. I sent him to DRA because he was in desperate need of redirection. I sent him to DRA because it's a hope' away from home. I am one of those parents who needed support to educate my son because he made wrong choices at home and was spinning out of control. I was enabling my son without knowing.

I'll spare you the details of why or how we arrived to the decision of going to DRA. I will let you know that if you are reading my comment it is because you are seeking a place where your son or daughter could be guided in the right direction. Daily, as adults, we must face our realities head onas teenagers this is a very difficult process. Usually, parents can cope and have systems in place to support their teenagers. But when we lose this thin line, this thread, we could lose our son or daughter. There are many schools advertised on the Internet making it a difficult choice to send our children away. Perhaps many are good intentioned institutions and perhaps they are not the right choice. When looking for a place away from home, it's not easyfirst because we don't want to send our children away from us, it gives us a feeling of failure and second, we are taking a leap of faith.

Today, DRA gives me hope that my son will have a better future. Although it is completely up to him if he turns the page and goes in the right direction, I couldn't think of a safer place to have a teenager who needs support away from home. Ultimately, he is being taught to rethink, to empower himself out of the mess he got into in the first place. The program is comprehensive. I'm not sure it's for all children; I recommend you ask admissions if it is the right program for your child. Personally, this is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make. It's the partnership, the weekly glimpses of hope that let's me know I made the right choice.

danb85
1 review
8 helpful votes
9/21/14

Eleven months ago our family was faced with what seemed like an impossible decision to make. Our 15 year old son was struggling with depression and had completely given up on school. His frustration and aggression were growing stronger with each passing month and outpatient counseling wasn't enough to help him deal with his challenges. After a second stay in the hospital he was formally diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It was then that we realized residential treatment was needed and we made the decision to enroll him in Diamond Ranch Academy to get the help that we, his parents, could not give him. Today we are preparing for his graduation from DRA next week and are looking forward to our son returning home to start his junior year in high school on track. He has made tremendous progress, not only in school, but more importantly in his overall well being. He has a genuine smile on his face now that we haven't seen in many years and it's nice to spend time with him again. We love our son dearly and are grateful to the DRA staff and all that they have done for our family. We all have learned a great deal from their amazingly well rounded program that is focused on healing the entire family, not just the child.

mariag53
1 review
8 helpful votes
9/21/14

At Diamond Ranch Academy caring and thoughtful professionals are providing excellent service to our family. The therapeutic environment encompasses family counseling, academic progress, and success for students. Engagement in fulfilling sports, arts, and other activities are part of the therapy. A philosophy of guiding students through learning natural consequences for their actions helps raise teens' self-esteem and capacity to live a successful life. Teens themselves may not always be grateful when they are not coddled, but I believe these life lessons in personal responsibility will help them to success in personal happiness and health. The loving and caring environment extends to all the professionals associated with the school, including coaches, teachers, therapists, administrators, and staff. The school offers hope for our family! We needed additional resources beyond those offered by the traditional high school and the intermittent conventional behavioral outpatient therapy that was offered in our hometown. The DRA holistic boarding school environment seems to be teaching our family member, and supporting parenting in ways that I believe will have a lasting impact on our lives. Thank you DRA! We need many more schools like DRA in today's challenging and increasingly complex environment for teens!

johnf116
1 review
8 helpful votes
9/21/14

We love what DRA has done for our family and struggling teen son! They gave us the tools needed to shift from living a life in chaos and pain to thriving. Our teen son was struggling with low self esteem, anxiety, depression, ADHD, and beginning drug use, and we were at a loss for how to help him. DRA provided an safe place for him to grow in confidence and maturity while we were working on our healing at home. Nine months after graduation he is doing really well, actually missing the structure and many of the opportunities that DRA provided. We love and trust the staff very much who showed him respect and love. We, including our son, highly recommend DRA to any family who feels like things are spiraling out of control. Get help, the sooner the better! My rating: 4.5 stars

kiml36
1 review
7 helpful votes
9/21/14

You may be reading this review because you are the parent going through a difficult time with your child. I am truly sorry. I know what you are experiencing right now. If you are looking for hope, read on...

Discovery and Recovery....
We were in a serious situation with our 14 year old son who was making very bad decisions that included drug abuse. After going through years of the same thing with his older brother, we decided to take a different approach than we did with him as we had determined that outpatient and short-term inpatient rehab programs are not always effective for teenagers. After researching different options and doing a lot of praying, we decided to send him to Diamond Ranch Academy. We thought their program would give him the best chance at recovery and healing. It turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made.

More to the Story...
My son had always had an interest in drawing graffiti and would dabble in it here and there. Realizing that he better make the best of his time at DRA (and to make his time go faster), he joined the art club. This turned out to be a life changing decision for him. During art club, he worked closely with the art director who began teaching him the skills needed to draw portraits. On our regular phone calls and in his letters home, he would tell us about his art. Honestly, I didn't think much about it after thinking back to the graffiti he had drawn on his bedroom furniture. I was satisfied that he was making good use of his time and seemed happy to be involved in the art club. Soon thereafter, he delighted in telling us that his art teacher actually said he had talent.

First Visit
Our first visit to DRA was upon us and we were so anxious to see him and the art work he had told about for the past several weeks. The art director met with us and showed us the art room and some of the amazing work his students were doing. He then guided us to the cafeteria where on the walls my son's work had been framed and was hanging. We could hardly believe our eyes! My son had produced work that a serious artist with many years of experience would be proud of. His journey didn't end there. The art director went out of his way to get my son's work entered into contests and festivals. On our next visit, my son participated in a chalk art festival for which his team took first place. The art director at DRA is a talented artist and an amazing inspiration to young artists!

Homeward Bound...
My son's sudden strong interest and talent in art helped us decide to enroll him in a local charter school for the arts after his return home. I am proud to say that he successfully finished grade 10 last year which I believe would not have happened had it not been for DRA. For those who don't know much about drug use and addiction, the terrifying part about the recovery process is relapse. The bottom line is, no matter how much I wish it wasn't true, relapse is part of recovery! However, the way in which the addict deals with a relapse is paramount.

It's a Process
As expected, my son experienced two relapses during grade 10. Fortunately, he bounced back from those with the positive energy and hope that he learned at DRA. Over the summer, he relapsed a third time. Unfortunately, he took a far different turn. Same friends, same environment, same drugs, different conclusion. He was unreachable again. So, we packed him up and sent him back to DRA for a 30 day 'refresher'. Spending nearly all his time again with the art director, in NA meetings and with his counselor, he quickly turned the corner and was back on track. He has since returned home, far stronger and more committed to his recovery than before. We are at the beginning of grade 11 at the art school, with high hopes and expectations that grade 11 will be an even better year for him and for our family.

I highly recommend DRA to families in crisis! The program is strong and the staff truly cares about these kids! The program works. If your family is faced with similar a situation and you and your child are crying out for help, DRA could be the place where you, your child and your family find recovery, healing, and peace.

All the best to you!

russellt10
1 review
9 helpful votes
9/21/14

Following a traumatic event for our family (suicide of wife/mother), our son became withdrawn, depressed, and truant. We explored many options, and narrowed it down to DRA with its impressive mix of therapeutic support and individualized academics. The Staff was marvelous to work with and calming. The decision to enroll our child in a distant residential treatment facility, though the correct choice, was heartbreaking. The indisputable proof is our son returning after a 9 month stay with a positive attitude, and miraculous change in his countenance, grades, and demeanor. He has been armed with the skills to deal with the challenges of life with a smile. We will forever be grateful for the miracle we call Diamond Ranch Academy.

maryw81
1 review
7 helpful votes
9/21/14

I am an Educational Consultant and have been working with Diamond Ranch Academy for several years! I have placed many students at this facility with amazing results!! I have personally been on the campus and have met many of the staff members. This is by far one of the most effective therapeutic boarding schools out there and I will continue to recommend families to their facility. Thank you Diamond Ranch for all that you do for these kids and families....You truly are saving lives!!!

grantn3
1 review
8 helpful votes
9/18/14

My son has been at Diamond Ranch Academy since May, 2014. It is without question the best thing I've ever done for my son. He was spiraling downhill fast and after months of research I decided on DRA.

My son recently turned 18 and he decided to stay at DRA to complete the program. He joined the football team and is doing great with his classes. I have had the opportunity to spend time at DRA and their staff is top notch. They are accessible 24/7 and truly care about the students. They stay in constant contact with the parents and give updates on the progress of the student constantly. My son's therapist has done an amazing job and has been instrumental in helping him turn his life around.

The staff takes the students off campus often for day trips. They do all types of activities and for my son's 18th birthday his program director took him and his friends to dinner and miniature golf.

I would highly recommend DRA to any parent who feels powerless over their struggling teen. The staff at DRA is amazing and your son, or daughter will benefit greatly from the experience.

jackiea17
1 review
9 helpful votes
9/18/14

DRA is a great place to send your child with issues. The staff there are incredible. They take my calls, day or evening whether they are at work or not. They are very supportive to both the student and the families. I don't know what I would have done without DRA.

robertw108
1 review
9 helpful votes
9/18/14

We chose DRA as an alternative school for our 12 year old granddaughter because she was headed in a very negative direction. She is a bright child, with an IQ of 140+, but she was consistently defiant towards her teachers and other adults. She had started a pattern of lying about her responsibilities in school, not doing her homework, failing her studies even when we supplied her with a qualified tutor.

Our child needed structure and needed to learn self-discipline, and needed to get out of her "me, me, me" attitude. She needed to learn respect for authority, needed to learn to be polite to her peers and her teachers, and her peer's parents when visiting their homes.

We researched several schools, and one of the most important feature of DRA is that their program is a 10 month or longer program, and counselors told us that therapy is most effective if it is long term, not just 30-60 or even 90 days.

We also read negative reviews on the internet, but we conducted our due diligence, and we contacted the Utah State Department that oversees all private schools in Utah. They regularly and at random show up and inspect these schools for compliance and safety. Their report to me indicated that the DRA staff is very open about allowing the inspector to talk openly with the kids and staff members. Their report, completely unbiased and truthful, indicated that DRA is exactly as advertised.

Our child has been at DRA for 6 months, and the turn around has been remarkable. She is positive, upbeat, cheerful, grateful for her family, and is learning to be self confident without being self centered. DRA teaches kids to builds strong self-esteem, maintain a positive attitude, and to develop self respect, make good choices, and feel good about themselves through hard work and realistic accomplishment in academics, sports, and in making good choices.

I highly recommend DRA, and today I can't understand the negative comments I've read, because my experience with my child and DRA has been very positive.

carolynw10
1 review
9 helpful votes
9/18/14

Diamond Ranch Academy is truly a PREMIER therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens. I cannot express within a short writing how much we appreciate this school and it's outstanding, dedicated staff. Our precious daughter was spiraling downward in school performance and behavior and there was no where to turn after we tried every avenue available. It was tough making the decision to enroll her at DRA but I cannot tell you how relieved we are that we intervened to this extent. It is virtually impossible to get and hold the attention of a teen in their present environment to convince them to make positive changes - the distractions are limitless. Unless one can cleanly break the cycle of events and separate them from harmful influences then one cannot expect them to make changes for the better. The staff is well trained, personable and a professional team working on our child's behalf and our family unit. We appreciated them keeping us informed and alleviating anxieties those first days and weeks. As expected, she was not happy about being taken out of her environment and placed in one where she was forced to be accountable for her decisions and actions before privileges were earned. Those first phone call visits weren't from a grateful child. It took a couple of months for DRA to teach her to recognize and alter self-destructive patterns. She is now making good grades, she's developed a strong positive self esteem and DRA has taught her far better means of coping and handling problems, withstanding peer pressure and setting healthy boundaries. Had she remained under the same influences as before I shutter to think of the problems we'd be dealing with now. Instead of watching our relationship deteriorate we are enjoying a pleasant, confident daughter who is self motivated, considerate and looks forward to accomplishing positive goals. Would I make this decision knowing all I know now? You better believe it - and I'm very thankful that we intervened as early as we did. Your child is safe at DRA.

Customer Questions & Answers

Helpful answer 0
Votes
Thanks for voting!
Not as helpful
Question:
Answer:

You can call the school to receive a list of recent graduates that have agreed to talk with families. We appreciate the feedback on soliciting reviews and will ask some of our recent graduates to post reviews.

By Trenton I., Diamond Ranch Academy Representative
Helpful answer 0
Votes
Thanks for voting!
Not as helpful
Question:
Answer:

Hi Micki, Thank you for your interest in Diamond Ranch Academy. To answer the question, We do offer opportunities in both areas. If you have more questions or would like more info about Diamond Ranch Academy and who we are, you can visit our website at www.diamondranchacademy.com.

By Trenton I., Diamond Ranch Academy Representative
Helpful answer 0
Votes
Thanks for voting!
Not as helpful
Question:
Answer:

We are located in Hurricane UT.

By Trenton I., Diamond Ranch Academy Representative
Helpful answer 0
Votes
Thanks for voting!
Not as helpful
Question:
Answer:

Do you have a location in or around tampa florida?

By Maria B.
Helpful answer 0
Votes
Thanks for voting!
Not as helpful
Question:
Answer:

No answers yet. Answer this question
Questions? Get answers from the Diamond Ranch Academy staff and other customers.
Note: this is not for reviews - click here to write a review
Get notified about new answers to your questions.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • How long does shipping take?
  • What is the return policy?
  • Where is the company located?

Did You Find This Page Useful?

Sites You Might Also Like

×
Have a question about
Diamond Ranch Academy?
Post Review