Making a difference: Sycamore Canyon Academy

Maggie deBlock

On September 28, 2017 SaddleBrooke Sunrise Rotary Club welcomed two speakers and two students from Sycamore Canyon Academy. Our guest speakers were Ms. Maria Romero, Case Management Coordinator and Shift Supervisor Mr. Paul Boyd.

Mr. Paul Boyd provided an overview of Sycamore Canyon Academy (SCA) and explained that SCA is a program of Rite of Passage which helps over 2,000 at-risk and vulnerable youth nationwide. Rite of Passage is working with youth throughout the country, typically from the juvenile court system and foster care programs. The local academy was founded in 2007 and is located on 20 acres in Oracle, Arizona. The age of students range from 12 to 17 and either have behavioral, alcohol/and or drug abuse or are affiliated/involved with gangs in their communities.

Ms. Maria Romero oversees the student Services Department of SCA which includes case management, medical and admissions. Her department evaluates the incoming students and assigns levels of appropriate areas of participation, i.e. education, medical attention and anger management. Family interaction is very important and SCA develops a good support system when the students leave the academy.

The average time spent at the academy is four to seven months, although some students may stay until they reach age 18. Besides education and behavioral modification, participation in sports is highly encouraged. As these young men attain their goals, the highest level to attain is Ram status. Students who have accomplished their goals become a Ram and are awarded a football jacket with the “R” letter.

The two young men who participate in cross country running spoke to Rotary members and are determined to use their experience at SCA to become good and productive members of their communities.

SaddleBrooke Sunrise Rotary Club is proud of all our members who make contributions of time and money to assist those within our community and over the world. Won’t you join us in making a difference? We meet every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. at the MountainView Country Club. Please contact Ron Lenz, membership chair, at 262-358-0130.