Summit Achievement Celebrates 25th years of Helping Young People and Their Families
Summit Achievement celebrates the 25th anniversary of opening its hybrid wilderness therapy program this month, marking this moment in its history with a new anniversary logo. In April 1996, the Summit Achievement program was awarded its license to provide mental health and substance abuse services in a residential treatment center and wilderness setting by the State of Maine for ages 13-20 (originally 18) and enrolled its first student. The Summit Achievement program has been operating continuously for twenty-five years, providing mental health services in its hybrid wilderness/residential setting to young people and their families.
The founders were a diverse set of innovative and entrepreneurial thinkers, including two former Outward Bound Instructors, a couple of Tall Ship captains, and a licensed mental health professional working in a New England Boarding school. The founding team was Chris Mays, the late Adam Tsapis, Candide Kane, and Will White, and they struck out together to create a wilderness therapy program in Maine during a time when most wilderness programs operated in Utah. The founding team developed the mission statement, which is as relevant today as it was in its opening, “To foster lasting change for students and families using residential treatment, classroom academics, and outdoor adventures in an evidence-based and clinically-driven community.”
In 2018, the company’s ownership transitioned to two long-time employees, Nichol Ernst and Anson McNulty, and co-founder, Will White. Asked about the 25th Anniversary, White replied, “The longevity of Summit Achievement’s model in an ever-evolving field is due to the hard work and commitment of the community of caregivers and supporters who have been part of this organization over the years. They are why this program has been so successful for so long. We have always put the focus on providing high-quality and ethical treatment. I want to thank them all for their commitment to the mission of Summit Achievement.”
About Summit Achievement
Summit Achievement is, and always has been, guided by positive reinforcement and the power of choice. Our outcome-focused program employs effective therapeutic and educational principles. Through the process of engaging therapy, classroom academics, and exciting wilderness expeditions, students experience the therapeutic benefits of outdoor adventure-based activities while learning to manage the demands of a more traditional environment. As an intentionally small, owner-operated wilderness therapy program, we serve adolescent boys and girls, ages 13-20, from around the world.