About YO2022-08-29T12:19:17-06:00


Youth Opportunity is helping at-risk youth become successful and independent adults










Youth exposed to adverse childhood experiences are significantly more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, develop mental health issues, suffer chronic health problems, engage in delinquent behaviors, and act violently toward others.

Youth Opportunity provides trauma-specific evidence-based practices, such as Trauma-Focused CBT (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Seeking Safety, in environments that foster the principles of trauma-informed care. From the moment a young person arrives, the environment is safe and therapeutic. Our compassionate, trauma-focused approach enhances our effectiveness in connecting with those we serve in meaningful and impactful ways.

Every youth’s personal experiences and difficulties have impacted their belief systems, choices, and behaviors.  Data is valuable in our treatment and can identify patterns, but we never forget that every person is unique.

We begin with a comprehensive assessment that identifies the challenges they face and the factors that brought them to us. We build a treatment plan that specifically addresses their needs and leverages their strengths. Treatment and case planning include measurable goals, actionable interventions and steps, and specified timelines. Treatment and interventions are selected which target the unique constellation of assessed needs and strengths of each youth. Progress is measured regularly as individualized risk factors are reduced and protective factors enhanced through evidence-based treatment.

We are committed to advancing the general knowledge and efficacy of at-risk youth treatment through a combination of proven approaches and innovative methods. We employ interventions that have undergone rigorous evaluation with documented success. Additionally, while we never cease to innovate, we continually evaluate the effectiveness of our service provision across multiple outcomes.

Youth Opportunity focuses on the individual, merging data-driven, proven methods with new and evolving treatments. We are dedicated to continuous improvement at every location. Proven evidence-based practices employed across our various locations include: Aggression Replacement Training, Moral Reconnation Therapy, Trauma-Focused CBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, 7 Challenges, and other cognitive behavioral, skills training, substance abuse, restorative justice, and problematic sexual behavior treatments and modalities.

Our treatment model for youth with mental health disorders, substance abuse issues, or both, is built upon best practice frameworks including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is commonly used to treat a wide range of disorders including addictions, phobias, depression, and anxiety. CBT is predicated on the notion that thinking drives behavior. CBT helps identify and restructure unhealthy thought patterns that trigger substance abuse, delinquency, and other behavioral issues, to help positively change those thinking processes and therefore behaviors.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a cognitive behavioral treatment that helps youth who have difficulty managing their emotions by helping them learn new skills for effective coping and improving relationships. DBT focuses on four sets of behavioral skills:

  • Mindfulness: the practice of being fully aware and present in the moment
  • Distress Tolerance: having the ability to tolerate pain in difficult situations; not change it
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: asking for what you want and need while maintaining self-respect
  • Emotion Regulation: understanding how to change emotions

One of the most important factors in a young person’s success is that their family and/or support network remains engaged throughout treatment. We firmly believe in doing everything we can to maintain and strengthen family/support connections, and to engage parents or legal guardians in treatment planning and execution as well as transition. We strive to ensure family/support systems have a voice in treatment and goal-setting, and are engaged, and that potential barriers to such participation are identified and addressed.

Through family educational sessions, visits, calls, family therapy sessions, and special events we emphasize effective family communication and coping skills. Ultimately, when young people leave our care the most critical support they will receive is from their loved ones.

The first few months post-treatment are critical. Our transition management plans begin with our initial patient interview, and together we assess and refine the plan throughout their time with us.

We prepare our patients for success by assembling a personal portfolio for them, which includes identification, a resume, mock employment application, any credentials, vocational certifications, or diplomas they’ve earned, an email address, and references.

Our patients know we are always here if they need us. We do everything possible to ensure the progress they have made while in our care has established a lasting foundation for success in the years ahead.

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Youth Opportunity is thriving with a seasoned leadership team with decades of industry experience which enables the company to react expeditiously in addressing the needs and expectations of youth and employees while maintaining compliance and fidelity.

Ronald D. Hunter
Chief Executive Officer
Jim Hill
Dan Zachary
CFO and Treasurer
Brian Neupaver
Chief Operations Officer
Gary Sallee
Chief Legal Officer
Melissa McBride
Vice President, Compliance + Implementation
Tyrene Green
Vice President, Program Development
Michael Baglivio
Vice President, Research + Development
Joseph Nixon
Vice President, Florida
PJ Moraci
Vice President, Business Development/ Admissions Services
Kathy Jackowski
Vice President, Analytics + Outcomes
Scott Fisher
Vice President, Technology

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