Serving families and adolescents with counseling, mission trip experiences and boarding school programs designed to help individuals succeed, families thrive and communities prosper.

Caribbean Mountain Academy

Call (866) 319-0618 to Give Your Teen a Fresh Start

Parenting Troubled Teens

When to Seek External Intervention

As the parents of a teenager, we all go through trials during the teenage years. Peer pressure, a growing desire for independence, an increasing concern about body image, and many other factors can all contribute to rocky times at home. It may be normal for parents and teens to struggle, but at what point is necessary to seek help? We at Crosswinds believe that counseling is the first step in getting help for a troubled teen, and there are times when you need a little extra help. Enrolling your teenager in a Christian residential treatment center is a big deal for everyone involved, we know that and we’re here to help you. You’re not alone. Don’t lose hope; this is a really good thing for you and your child. CMA Director Andrew Stroup says,

“The decision to pull a student out of their home context is a really big step. It’s often the right step for a family and when that step is needed, we’re here and we’re available. Our plan at CMA, and our hope is to spark lasting change in a student’s life and then get students back into the home context as quickly as possible.”


Schedule a Meeting Today with CMA Director, Andrew Stroup to hear more.   Schedule a phone consultation

Sometimes counseling and other intervention strategies at home aren’t successful. If you’ve tried counseling with your teen with little to no results, a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens is the next best option. Parents choose our Christian boarding school for many different reasons. Some realize their child will soon be in trouble with the law if no intervention occurs. They wisely choose to enroll their at-risk youth into a flexible, parent-involved intervention program rather than having the state dictate interventions in the future. Other parents realize their teenager is having a negative effect on others in the home. Giving that child a chance to heal outside of the home can help others still in the home to heal and repair damaged relationships. Imagine where your at-risk youth would be in 6 months if things continue as they are. Maybe your child’s mental health issues will get worse. Maybe he or she will run away again, or get arrested. Maybe other siblings will begin following in their footsteps. If you believe things will get worse for your child, then external intervention is necessary. Don’t lose hope; this is the start of a new beginning for your child. And, you’re not alone. We’re here to help.

 “We are going to work with you, the parents, as much as we’re going to work with the child who’s in our program.  The reality is, treatment will be successful if you decide to work just as hard as your son or daughter is. If you do that, you’ll be amazed at the success.” 

– Mark Terrell, Crosswinds CEO

Let’s work together to help your child thrive.


History – Why Caribbean Mountain Academy (CMA) was Founded

Crosswinds’ Christian therapeutic boarding school, Caribbean Mountain Academy, was started to help restore families. Our goal is to be able to intervene with at-risk youth and families before there is long-lasting damage or a need for court intervention. CMA History - view of the chapel Our Christian boarding school campus in the Dominican Republic was given to us after another not-for-profit closed its doors. We feel strongly about being in the Dominican because it gives our students a chance to be removed from the fast-paced mainstream life they have become accustomed to at home. The Dominican also provides a wonderful cultural experience for the students. They get to see and experience communities that have very little compared to what they are used to, and how these communities find so much joy without a lot of worldly treasures. Whether it’s the intercultural experience, being unplugged, or exploring nature in the beautiful Dominican Republic, students are given many ways to learn and to grow at our Christian boarding school. At Caribbean Mountain Academy, we desire to bring hope, healing, and help for troubled teens and their families.

If you’d like to learn more about what Crosswinds’ therapeutic boarding school can offer your family, please call us at 866-319-0618 or fill out an inquiry form to get started!

What is a Christian Therapeutic Boarding School?

Unlike other programs such as military schools, boot camps, or wilderness programs, Christian therapeutic boarding schools address the deeper struggles your teen is facing. Military schools & boot camps for troubled teens are more focused on outward conformity rather than inward change. Christian boarding schools are specifically focused on offering help to teens through different approaches:

  • An opportunity to address deeper struggles. Christian boarding schools are equipped with qualified counselors that help students get to the heart of what they’re wrestling with. As a teen’s deeper struggles are addressed, outward change begins to show.
  • A faith-based approach. Christian therapeutic boarding schools are unique compared to other therapeutic boarding schools in that they have a faith-based approach to their programming. For teens who are interested in growing in their faith, there are often numerous opportunities to learn and participate in faith based activities. At Caribbean Mountain Academy, we offer weekly church services, youth group, and daily devotion times, all of which are optional to our students.
  • A holistic approach to counseling. At therapeutic boarding schools for troubled teens, like Caribbean Mountain Academy, teenagers are involved in individual and group counseling. Many also have weekly family counseling to encourage building lasting support structures for the teens when they come home.
  • Service projects that encourage empathy. Christian boarding schools often provide service opportunities where students have the opportunity to learn empathy and the value of caring for others. Another aspect of this service element is that they have been shown to reduce depression and increase self-confidence.

Teenager Attending Caribbean Mountain Academy - CrosswindsWhat Type of Student is a Good Fit?

Christian residential treatment centers like Caribbean Mountain Academy (CMA) are a good fit for students who haven’t responded well to counseling in the past. At CMA, we don’t desire for families to be separated. However, separation is often necessary if families aren’t getting the help they need at home while they are in the same environment every day. When a child comes to CMA, our goal is to spark heart-change and help that student grow and get back into their home as quickly as possible.

All Faiths Are Welcome

Students don’t need to be Christian to attend our boarding school for teens. All faiths are welcomed, and so are those with no faith at all. At Caribbean Mountain Academy, we believe that “shoving our faith down someone’s throat” causes more harm than good. Teens who don’t want to participate in faith-based activities are free to journal or read quietly while those who desire to grow in this area can participate.

Struggling or Troubled Teens Are Welcome

Crosswinds’ Caribbean Mountain Academy desires to help teens and families find the healing and help that they need. Although counseling may not have worked in the past, there’s still hope for these teens and their families. If teens are putting themselves or others at risk, they may need to be removed from negative influences and placed in a program that can give them the counseling help they need. We at CMA can help with that. Students who have displayed the following warning signs may be a good fit for our Christian residential treatment center:

  • Poor Peer Choices: If your child has fallen in with a bad crowd, they will begin to adopt the behaviors and attitudes of that crowd. If they are unwilling to separate themselves with negative influences, they may need a fresh start away from home. Poor peer choices are often an indicator of a larger problem and we can help address that.
  • Dangerous Life Choices: Often poor peer choices lead to dangerous life choices including drug or alcohol abuse, or becoming sexually active – risking STDs and pregnancy. They may be participating in illegal and dangerous activities. If these life choices continue without intervention, the consequences could be life-long and damaging. In this case, Crosswind’s Christian boarding school for troubled teens, Caribbean Mountain Academy, is an opportunity to provide a fresh start and new perspective.
  • Mental Health: Around 1 in 5 teens will experience a serious mental disorder in their life. Some common mental disorders are depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar, eating disorders, and PTSD. If your child is experiencing mental health struggles, and counseling has not helped, they may be a good fit for Caribbean Mountain Academy.
  • Trauma: Crosswinds has pointed out that “victims of abuse often have low self-esteem and self-worth, making them more susceptible to troubled behavior in their teen and adult years.” These students can find healing from a broken past. Unfortunately, it is common that children in adoptions and in the foster system have experienced trauma from their previous homes. They may be a good fit for the Christian boarding school as well.
  • Truancy from School: If your child has been skipping school and has done poorly in classes no matter how many different interventions you’ve tried, CMA can help them recover school credits. There are less negative distractions here. Students will be unplugged from technology, and their school computers block all web pages except for school work. Students are often able to get caught up and can even get ahead in their studies.
Anna - Teen Testimonial Caribbean Mountain Academy - Crosswinds

Student Testimonials

“Throughout my journey here, I feel like the main thing I found out about myself was my identity.  I had no idea who I was… but being here I found out that I have value and purpose.”

Anna – Student from Caribbean Mountain Academy

Watch Anna's Video       All Testimonials

Who is not a Good Fit for the Program?

At Caribbean Mountain Academy, we don’t work with kids who are active abusers, as this puts our other students in harm’s way. CMA is also unable to work with students who have a medical condition that would require regular treatment that we could not accommodate on our campus. This includes those with severe cases of self-harm and students who are pregnant. CMA often works with students on the autism spectrum, but we are unable to work with students who aren’t high functioning.  Finally, we don’t accept students under the age of 12 or over the age of 18. However, if a student is still in high school, and willing to attend our therapeutic boarding school, an exception might occur.

Ready to Give Your Teen a Fresh Start?  Call us at 866-319-0618!

Get Started Today!

Student Life at Caribbean Mountain Academy

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a teenager attending our Christian boarding school looks like? To give you an idea, here’s a look at the weekly schedule for our campus. student life - summer class

Weekday Schedule  

7:30 – 8:15 am – Breakfast: 

Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, and with good reason. Here are some facts by the Food Research and Action Center about the importance of breakfast:

  • “Students who eat breakfast the morning of a standardized test have significantly higher scores in spelling, reading, and math, compared to those who do not eat breakfast.”
  • “Students who skip breakfast are less able to differentiate among visual images, show increased errors, and have slower memory recall.”
  • “Teens experiencing hunger are more likely to have been suspended from school and have difficulty getting along with other children.”

8:15 – 9:00 am – Devotions

Morning devotions are led by various campus leaders at our therapeutic boarding school. We allow students to choose their level of participation. All students are expected to attend with a respectful attitude, and those who desire to learn more are encouraged to participate. We believe that allowing students the option to participate creates genuine change and curiosity rather than “faking it” in order to achieve rewards.

9:00 am – 5:00 pm – Weekly Programming


All weekly programming is divided by gender. On Mondays, students select electives such as art, physical education, and exploring the Dominican Republic.


On Tuesdays through Fridays, students rotate between spending their days in school and in service projects.

School Schedule

In school, students benefit from a low student-to-teacher ratio and from one-on-one tutoring by a certified teacher. Students do their studies through an online program that helps students to learn the material at their own pace. This has allowed many of our students to recover lost credits and even get ahead in their school work.

Service ProjectsStudent Life - summer games teens playing

Service projects help students develop empathy and compassion as they encounter people in need. Service projects also help boost students’ self-esteem and self-confidence as they give back and learn more about the world around them. Some service projects that students have done in the past include:

  • Building a house for a family in need
  • Providing English tutoring at local schools
  • Building greenhouses and fish ponds to help locals make a living


5:30 – 6:30 pm – Dinner and Cleanup

At dinner, students enjoy a variety of foods from Dominican foods to American. The relaxed atmosphere of eating together allows our students to practice healthy relationships with their peers and staff alike. Afterward, the students work together to help clean up the meal. The National Mental Health and Education Center says this about teen chores, such as dinner cleanup: “Chores are especially important for teens because they teach basic domestic ‘survival skills’ that will help the teens to successfully and competently live separately from their parents when that time comes. This competence also adds to their sense of self-reliance and general confidence. It can also foster self-discipline and order, which are foundations for successful employment.  And, chores help the teens to prepare to be responsible roommates, the first step in being responsible and helpful community members.”

6:30 pm – Evening ActivitiesStudent Life - student dorm

Evening activities vary throughout the week. Some events happen every week, such as youth group, family meetings with their house parents, and counseling. During the rest of the week, students get to choose fun events that help build community. Some activities that students have enjoyed include:

  • Playing board games as a house
  • Watching a pre-approved movie together
  • Playing soccer or basketball
  • Working out in the weight room

9:30 pm – Bedtime

Before bedtime, students have quiet time where they can do personal devotions, such as journaling or reading Scripture. Bedtime is at 9:30 pm, and often students are able to earn bedtime extensions for good behavior.    

Weekend Schedule


Saturday – Adventure Activitiesstudent life - Waterfall selfie

On Saturdays, students participate in adventure activities with staff members. These activities are not only a lot of fun; they also provide natural teaching opportunities for our staff to connect with students. For example, students often learn about teamwork, communication, and perseverance. Some adventure activities that students have enjoyed in the past include:

  • Visiting the beach
  • Mountain hiking
  • Rock climbing
  • River rafting
  • Ziplining
  • Exploring waterfalls
  • Playing in rivers and streams

Sunday – Church

Church on Sundays is led by our campus pastor and is open to members of the community. Our church service is modern and contemporary. Many local missionaries join us in worship each week. As with all of our faith-based activities, students are given the freedom to choose their level of participation.  


If you’re interested in learning more about student life at our Christian residential treatment center please click here to read more about our students’ daily schedule, call us at 866-319-0618 or fill out a form to get started. We’d love to hear from you.

Benefits of Sending Your Troubled Teen to an International Boarding School

Location of Caribbean Mountain Academy - Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic Map - Crosswinds

Crosswinds’ Christian boarding school, Caribbean Mountain Academy (CMA), is located in the Dominican Republic in the beautiful city of Jarabacoa. With average year-round temperatures in the 70s, Jarabacoa has been nicknamed by visitors as “The City of Everlasting Spring.” You may be wondering why it would be beneficial to send your struggling child to another country, or perhaps you have safety concerns. As parents, we all want what’s best for our children, and at CMA we want that for your children, too. We hope you’ll get excited as we explore the advantages your teen could experience overseas.

How Students Interact w. Local Dominican Culture - Crosswinds Caribbean Mountain Academy

How Students Interact with the Dominican Culture

At Caribbean Mountain Academy, our students interact with the Dominican culture in several different ways:

  • We have Dominican-born staff members that get to know the teens well while they are on campus.
  • Off campus, students participate in a variety of service projects. In the past, students have visited nursing homes, taught English at a local school, and helped out at a Vacation Bible School for kids.
  • Students also do frequent building projects such as repairing homes, bridges, and schools. They get to interact with homeowners, teachers, and other locals as they serve in the area. Sometimes mission teams from the United States also join in on these projects.

How the Dominican Culture Benefits Students at Our Christian Boarding School

1. Building Vulnerability and Trust

Being in an unknown culture puts teens outside of their comfort zones. They often become more vulnerable and teachable because they are unaccustomed to their new environment. CMA Crosswinds Admission Director, Melissa McWilliams, says,

“Some of our kids that come to the program have a chip on their shoulder. Maybe they have a level of arrogance or confidence that they have been able to develop where they lived; they knew the rules and they knew what they could get away with. But when they come to our program oftentimes they don’t know the language; so if they were ever to go in town, it’s foreign to them. Even the street signs [are] totally different. The way of life is totally different. They’re kind of knocked off pace a little bit, and it creates in them a vulnerability that we can use in our program. Our therapists and our staff are able to build trust in relationships that helps to elicit change.”

2. A Relational Culture

In the United States, our culture is very “me-focused.” We have social media pages centered all around our individual lives; our younger generations, in particular, are obsessed with taking “selfies”; as a whole, Americans are generally known for being self-centered. The Dominican culture, in contrast, is very relational. There are many people who live in poverty, but their culture doesn’t center around material things. Dominicans are happy with very little. They may not have a lot of luxuries but they do have fulfilling close-knit communities. This is a breath of fresh air for the students who were previously immersed in a culture that is hungry for this type of community. The teens get to meet locals like Maria, who lives in a one-to-two room cinder block house and is still joyful about life. People like Maria help our students see the world through new eyes, which also gives our teens a fresh perspective on their own struggles. Students are even more distanced from the American culture because they are provided an opportunity to be away from all technology and social media. Their only online presence is through locked web pages for school work. With the absence of social media distractions, students naturally gravitate toward building relationships with the people around them.

3. Learning about the World

Boarding School - piggy-back ride Most students haven’t been outside their home country before. Our therapeutic boarding school opens students’ eyes to a world much bigger than their own. Many come from affluent areas and have never seen poverty firsthand. Students develop a new cultural sensitivity while living in the Dominican Republic, and this helps build respect for people different from themselves. Students often feel insecure at the beginning of their stay in a new environment, but as they learn to interact with the Dominican people and other students and staff, they grow in self-confidence.  

Safety in the Dominican Republic

Prospective parents often come to us with safety concerns. This is understandable. You care deeply for your child and you want to make sure they’re being taken care of. Rest assured, we want that for your child as well. Many parents have benefited from visiting campus before their student arrives. When these parents have seen the campus and the staff involvement, they’ve had fewer worries. For those parents who haven’t been able to see the program firsthand yet, these are some ways we ensure safety in our therapeutic boarding school.

24/7 Supervision

Students are under 24/7 staff supervision. A staff member is always present with them both on and off campus, and there are night staff to provide supervision for students while they are asleep. Security cameras provide an extra layer of protection for the students. In addition, there is a local guard at the gate of the campus which helps CMA foster good relationships with the townspeople. This creates a sense of trust in the community and helps keep everyone safe.

CMA Location and Good Relationships With Neighbors

“We are more rural, so like in the US, we don’t have as much crime. Like in the US, if you build good relationships with your neighbors, that also promotes safety. We have very good relationships with our neighbors because we serve them so well through all of our mission work. They want to make sure we’re protected and they want to make sure that we stay.” – Melissa McWilliams, Crosswinds Admission Director

Regular Government Check-ins

The United States Embassy visits campus randomly to check up on the students and the program. They usually visit around four times per year. In addition, the Dominican Child Protection Services, called CONANI, also does random visits about four times per year. Both the US and Dominican governments want your child to be well cared for just like we do, so it is important for them to monitor our programming in this way.

Would You Like Your Teenager to Experience the Dominican Culture? If you’re interested in learning more about our overseas program, please don’t hesitate to call us at
866-319-0618 or click on the button below to get started!

Get Started Today!

Caribbean Mountain Academy Credentials & Accreditations

At Caribbean Mountain Academy (CMA), we provide excellence. We work hard to be above reproach in all aspects of our at-risk youth program. Many of us at CMA are parents, and we not only want the best for our own children, but we also want the best for yours. Below are some of the ways we strive for excellence in our program.


Accredited Academics

Christian Schools International Our Christian boarding school for troubled teens is accredited through Christian Schools International. CSI’s web page states that, “Christian Schools International accreditation provides your parents, students, staff, and governing body with an assurance that your school holds itself to high academic standards integrated with Christ-centered excellence.” Classes are completed through Apex Learning Virtual School. They are fully accredited and even offer AP courses approved by College Board. Students are able to work at their own pace and can make up lost credits, or even work ahead whenever they are ready so they don’t get bored. A licensed teacher is present in the classroom to help students with any questions they have. Our teachers are equipped to accommodate a wide range of learning disabilities. Class sizes are small, which helps our teens get a lot of individualized attention. Also, classes are divided by gender, which creates less opportunity for distraction. Many of our students desire to go to college after they finish high school. Students with this mindset can do college prep work through our therapeutic boarding school. CMA can also record their community service hours, which looks really good on college applications.  

Licensed Counselors

The counselors at Caribbean Mountain Academy all have master’s degrees in counseling or social work and are supervised by a licensed therapist. We utilize various evidence-based practices in our counseling sessions. A lot of research has gone into showing that these are effective tools for therapeutic progress. For example, our therapists are all trained in areas such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma-focused CBT, and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). In addition, once students leave our therapeutic boarding school, we complete 6-month and 12-month follow-ups. We want to make sure that our alumni are still thriving and that we did everything we could to help those students and their families. We ask questions about student employment or continuing education, and check in to see if they’re staying out of trouble with the law. The majority of the feedback we receive from these surveys is very positive.  

Regular Check-Ins From Government Agencies

We welcome regular government check-ins. These check-ins help put parents’ concerns at ease and keeps our Christian boarding school above reproach. The United States Embassy visits randomly about four times per year to ensure students are well taken care of. The Dominican Child Protection Services, called CONANI, also does around four random check-ins per year. We strive to provide the best care we can for our students and we are thankful for the American and Dominican governments who have this same desire.  

Spiritual Growth

We believe that our faith-based approach can make the difference between change that lasts for a time, and change that lasts for a lifetime. Our staff are all deeply committed to having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We also have a campus pastor who lives on-site and leads a mid-week youth group meeting as well a Sunday morning church service. We want the teens we work with to experience genuine heart changes and not feel the need to pretend in order to achieve rewards. We don’t require students to participate in our faith-based activities, as we believe this causes more harm than good. They are, however, expected to attend these activities with a respectful attitude, which is also a good skill to develop for the future. For students who desire to explore their faith more deeply, there are discipleship opportunities they can pursue with the staff, such as daily devotions, or one-on-one mentoring.  

Extracurricular activities

Extra Curricular - walking on a mountain CMA has been likened to a therapeutic wilderness program by parents in the past. There are many outdoor adventure activities that students enjoy participating in. For example, students have climbed mountains, gone zip lining and river rafting, and visited waterfalls and the beach. Students also choose extracurricular activities to participate in during their evenings at the campus. Students enjoy physical activities such as soccer, basketball, using the weight room, and going on walks (even the walk up the big hill on campus is a workout!). Students can also choose to play board games, watch pre-approved movies, or find other relaxing things to do like reading and drawing. Students are unplugged from technology and therefore naturally gravitate toward relationships while at our Christian boarding school. Extracurricular activities help the students build community and practice teamwork as they climb mountains or play soccer. The staff uses these opportunities for teachable moments.  


The majority of the students at our campus are from the United States. However, we welcome students of all nationalities. In the past, we have worked with international students from Canada, Peru, and the Czech Republic. Students also experience diversity through interacting with locals in the Dominican Republic. As students engage with people different from themselves, they build empathy and learn to see the world through others’ eyes. Diversity - group under shelter

Do You Have More Questions About CMA Credentials? 

At Crosswinds’ Caribbean Mountain Academy, we strive for excellence in every area of our program. Our school is accredited and led by a licensed teacher, our counselors all have master’s degrees and above, we welcome regular government visits, our campus pastor and staff are all faithful followers of Christ, we provide a range of extracurricular activities for fun ways to learn and grow, and we teach students about the value of diversity through their interactions with peers and locals.

If you’re interested in learning more about our accreditations or credentials, please don’t hesitate to call us at 866-319-0618 or fill out an inquiry form for more info.

Parents Involvement in Caribbean Mountain Academy

What to do Before Enrolling Your Student in Our Christian Boarding School

Prospective parents are able to schedule a parent visit to Caribbean Mountain Academy. We want you to see the therapeutic boarding school for yourselves before making the decision to enroll. You’ll get a tour of the campus, see student housing and you can even participate in service projects or adventure activities with the students. Some of our past service projects and adventure activities include:

  • Building new classrooms at the local school
  • Providing tutoring in English
  • Building fish ponds and greenhouses to provide business opportunities for locals
  • Cleaning up on campus and in the local community
  • Building houses for people in the community
  • Mountain hiking
  • Zip lining
  • Visiting the beach
  • River rafting


Once Your Teen is at Caribbean Mountain Academy

Once a teen attends our Christian residential treatment center, parents take part in weekly family counseling sessions with their child. There is even the option to have a weekly parents’ counseling session as well. As teens improve, Caribbean Mountain Academy helps parents prepare to re-introduce their child back into their home.

Preparing Parents for Their Teen to Come Home

Caribbean Mountain Academy Director, Andrew Stroup, says,

“Our biggest fear is that a student would make a lot of really good changes here but when they go back home that they wouldn’t have enough support around them to maintain it.”

  CMA’s goal is to build up the family so that they can be a strong support structure for their child when they come home. Family and parent counseling sessions help parents prepare to support their teen and protect them from outside harm. The counselor will help parents choose appropriate boundaries for their teen so that their child won’t fall into old habits at home.  

When Your Teen Comes Home Again

Once a child comes home, family counseling sessions continue for another four weeks. This is to help your teen have a better transition back to family life.  If the counselor believes further sessions are needed, they will give you recommendations to qualified counselors in the area. It is up to you to follow up with one of those counselors.

The 5 pillars of Our Christian Boarding School for Teens

Many parents identify with at least 1 of the 5 core pillars of Caribbean Mountain Academy. These pillars define the school and the experience families get when they send a student to CMA. They are the foundation of what CMA does and helps the school stand apart from other Christian boarding schools.

“The 5 pillars make us who we are, and if you take one away, we’re not CMA anymore. We have a high success rate with students, and we believe these pillars are the reason why” – CMA Director, Andrew Stroup

1. Family-based Counseling

Crosswinds believes that families are the foundation for student success. Crosswinds CEO Mark Terrell says, “We are going to work with you, mom and dad, as much as we’re going to work with the child that is in our program. [CMA’s interventions] will be successful if you decide to work just as hard as your son or daughter is. If you do that, you’ll be amazed at the success.” CMA desires to see families heavily involved in their teen’s journey, and their goal is to see families restored. To work toward these goals, they provide weekly family counseling sessions, weekly individual counseling for your teen, as well as parent counseling sessions as needed. These counseling sessions are focused on restoring relationships, introducing healthy boundaries, and practicing good communication between parents and teens.

2. Relationship-oriented Mentoring

Caribbean Mountain Academy Director Andrew Stroup says, “I think students really enjoy the highly relational component of the program. They have adults who are older than them but not so old that they can’t relate with what they’re going through, or with the dynamics of being a teenager. Our students look up to our house staff and really do value and crave their relationship.”  Relationship-oriented mentoring - group of kids at play Relationships at our therapeutic boarding school are often deeper because of the lack of distractions. Students are unplugged from cell phones, technology, and social media while they are in the CMA program. They connect with other students and staff on a whole new level. We feel it’s one of the greatest strengths of our Christian boarding school. Because of the way we run our program, our students are able to form close bonds with staff as they do life together. Biweekly service projects and adventure activities help build community as students and staff participate together. Evening programming is centered around activities that students enjoy, such as basketball or board games, and allows students to know the staff in a fun context. “It’s a tight-knit community,” Stroup says, “From a Christian perspective, it’s the most beautiful church community I’ve ever seen or experienced.” 

3. Adventure-based Learning

As parents, we love hearing about the positive things our children are experiencing. At our Christian residential treatment center, students definitely enjoy the adventure activities such as mountain hiking, going to the beach, zip lining, or river rafting.  These opportunities also give them fun things to tell their family about. Adventure activities help students learn in a fun environment. Students grow in self-confidence when they achieve things they’ve never done before. For example, one student said after a long and difficult hike, “My entire life everybody has told me that I can’t do anything and that I’m worthless, but today I climbed a mountain and nobody can take that away from me.” Students also have opportunities to learn teamwork as they work together to achieve their goals. For example, they get to cheer their fellow students on up the mountain or encourage their river rafting buddies to keep paddling. We find that these are also great bonding experiences for the students. The staff also uses adventure activities as teaching opportunities. Conversations naturally come up about teamwork, leadership, and their own relationship with God. It’s a fantastic way to open up deep and meaningful conversations in a non-threatening or upsetting way. Service Projects - group of kids working on a house

4. Service Projects

Students participate in service projects two days each week. Serving others has been shown to reduce depression and increase a feeling of well-being and purpose. It also helps teach students empathy and the value of helping others. If your teen feels like they have made too many mistakes in life, helping others reminds them that they are capable of making a positive impact on those around them. It’s a great self-esteem booster and we’re proud to have it as a core part of CMA’s boarding school for troubled teens.

5. Spiritual Discipleship

Caribbean Mountain Academy is a faith-based ministry, which means that faith is foundational to who we are. We desire to take every opportunity to help others learn about who God is and the redemption that is possible through building a good relationship with Him. When Jesus was on this Earth, he was known for hanging out with broken people and completely transforming their lives. The staff at Caribbean Mountain Academy desires to do the same for their students. They hope that when students discover Jesus’ love for themselves, they will receive a transformation that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. Students don’t need to be a Christian to attend Caribbean Mountain Academy. We welcome people of all faiths. At CMA, we believe that “shoving faith down someone’s throat” causes more harm than good. Therefore, students are able to choose their level of participation in our faith-based activities. For those students who desire to form a personal relationship with Jesus, we offer Bible studies, devotion times, and weekly church and youth group activities.   Ready to be a Part of Your Teen’s Transformation? Parents are able to be involved at our therapeutic Christian boarding school by visiting the campus beforehand, participating in family and parent counseling sessions, and by building a strong support system for their teen to come back home to. The 5 pillars of Caribbean Mountain Academy are foundational to who we are, and parents often relate to many of them. The pillars include family-based counseling, relationship-oriented mentoring, adventure-based learning, service projects, and spiritual discipleship.  


If you would like to schedule a time to visit the campus or learn more about parents’ involvement at CMA, please don’t hesitate to call us at 866-319-0618 or fill out an inquiry form for more info.

Therapeutic Boarding School Admissions

Before applying for Caribbean Mountain Academy (CMA), Crosswinds’ boarding school for troubled teens, parents often want to make sure the program is the right fit. Feel free to call us at 866-319-0618. An admissions coordinator can answer any questions that come up about the therapeutic boarding school. You can also send an email to if you’d prefer. Once your questions are adequately answered, the next step for you to take is to fill out your application.

Online Application

Our application is free to complete and there’s no commitment to join our Christian residential treatment center if you do happen to apply. You can submit the application on our website or email it as a pdf. Once an application is received, we generally let parents know within 24 to 48 business hours if their teen is accepted. If we have follow up questions, we’ll ask those within the same amount of time. If your child is not accepted, we will give you our recommended course of treatment. We don’t want you to feel alone going forward.  

Schedule a Parent Immersion Trip

Feel free to schedule a trip to visit the CMA campus before you make your final decision. Many parents have benefitted from seeing our Christian boarding school firsthand as they weigh the decision to enroll their teen. We will give you a tour of our beautiful campus, introduce you to the staff who will be caring for your child, and you’ll see all the ways we ensure our students are well taken care of. You’ll also get the opportunity to go on an outing with the students, whether it’s a service project or an adventure activity.  

Enrollment Process

If your teen is approved for CMA, our Christian boarding school, you will receive a student enrollment packet. After filling out the enrollment packet, the next step is to plan your student’s arrival date. You will be connected with Caribbean Mountain Academy’s case manager, who will help with your travel plans. Many parents are unsure of how to get their rebellious child to come to our boarding school for troubled teens. If that’s you, feel free to reach out and we’ll help walk you through the process. We know it’s difficult to watch your child struggle, but deep down you know that they will be better off after receiving intervention. After all, it’s because as parents, we love our kids and want them to receive the help they need, even if they don’t want it at first.  

Welcome to Caribbean Mountain Academy!

If you do enroll, then congrats on being part of one of the best therapeutic boarding schools in the entire world! Though we may be a little biased, many of us are parents ourselves and we are passionate about what we do at CMA; we promise to care for your child as if they were our own and work together with your family to bring healing and hope to your home. If you haven’t yet, please contact us at 866-319-0618 or fill out an inquiry form to get started.   We hope to hear from you!

Ready to Give Your Teen a Fresh Start?

If you have any more questions about what Caribbean Mountain Academy can provide for your teenager, please don’t hesitate to call us at 866-319-0618 or fill out a form to get started today!