ABOUT US

Makana is a non-profit dream-team of experienced professionals who have come together to create a better way to help our youth in crisis.  We begin with a core belief in the potential of every human and a view that hardship can be a catalyst to greatness. We’re here to create a different, better opportunity for our future generations. 

Our “CONTINUUM OF CARE” is a series of integrated challenges that offer life-long learning and progress. We are pioneering new methods of Immersive Therapy and Experiential Learning to help young people find their place in this world. We’ve begun with an adolescent program based in Roosevelt, Utah with a young adult program scheduled to launch in fall 2020.

 

OUR TEAM

Makana Leadership Academy is comprised of a highly specialized, multi-disciplinary dream-team of professionals. We have come together to build our collective dream of building a new and better approach to helping our future generations. 

Wes Nielson

MA Mental Health Counseling Board Member

Sharon Clegg

M. Ed. / Board Member

Curriculum & Compliance Director

Kristina Paider

MA Screenwriting

Board Member

Mark Nelson

MBA /Board Member

CFO

Justin Kaaiakamanu

LCSW / Board Member

Curriculum Dev. Director

Beth Hillman

Board Member

Parent & Family Program Director

Jacob Pope

Executive Director

Matt Blodgett

Strategic Dev. Director

Gary Waterman

Clinical Director

Lara Kravet

LCSW / Therapist

Audrey Waterman

Operations & Leadership Development

Miles Spiker

Experiential Learning

Michelle Anderson

BS Special Education

Faculty - Special Ed. Teacher

Gary Winegar

BS Science

Faculty - Science Teacher

Sunshine Bellon

Faculty - Literature & Health

Sam Ogden

Faculty - Science

Ryan Dittmar

BEng. / Faculty - Mathematics & Engineering Teacher

Josh Steadman

MA Design

Faculty - Curriculum Advisor

Esther Tsumba

MSW / Residential Mentor

Camryn Bowers

Residential Mentor

Mike Goodman

Residential Mentor

Sarah Komisar

Residential Mentor

Cooper Montgomery

Residential Mentor

Megan Pope

Leadership Ambassador

Gheen Hillman

Marketing Director

Loreto Di Cesare

Film/Media Director

Sterling Malin

IT Manager

Marisol Newhart

Kitchen Manager

HOW WE'RE DIFFERENT

THE PARADIGM

LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

BEHAVIORAL CORRECTION
Most programs facilitate a “levels system” that only results in behavior change while they’re in the system.

  • IMMERSIVE THERAPY MODEL
    Our modalities systematically and progressively develop a lasting, intrinsic desire to change, grow, and achieve.

PASSIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
Many long-term care programs struggle with apathetic staff and students—a disengaged mind doesn’t learn. This leaves their graduates prey to too many external influences too soon.

  • ENGAGED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
    We are here to serve youth who are experiencing hardship but who are most capable of change and come willingly (see Enrollment Process).

PERPETUAL “THERAPIZING”
Many youth go from program to program indefinitely. Children are left feeling abandoned and check out. Sadly, this leads to a prevailing attitude that some people cannot be helped, and lifelong therapy is to be expected.

  • PROGRESSIVE CAPACITY BUILDING
    Our program is designed to transition gradually into independence and true leadership. We maintain the highest expectations of happiness and success. After graduation, support continues at home and alumni are not considered truly “Makana Leaders” until they are giving back as mentors.

“FRANKENCARE” SYNDROME
Youth frequently get transitioned from program to program with conflicting methods and mixed messages. Students who have experienced this often communicate abandonment trauma and a sense of worthlessness.

  • CONTINUUM OF CARE
    We offer a “continuum of care” that moves from the most basic self-awareness, to self-actualization, to capable leadership skills. Our curriculum is designed to iteratively develop habits and skills that will lead to high-performing adults.

LITTLE TRAINING OR PROGRESS AT HOME
Parent and family support is either left out of the equation or offered as general support. Other positive home relationships are typically not even acknowledged.

  • UNPARALLELED PARENT/FAMILY PROGRAM
    Loved ones at home are required to join in, to learn and grow alongside the student. Parents and “Team Johnny” (family and friends) receive 12 weeks of superb life and online coaching so the entire support unit is elevated and prepared for progress after graduation.

CONTENT WITH STATUS QUO
New learning and therapy models are slow to be adopted or dismissed as “unproven”, despite mounting evidence that so many traditional methods are not working.

  • LEADING EDGE PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
    Our curriculum is based on emerging science, progressive techniques, and a holistic approach to personal development. We focus on the “4 Dimensions of Wellness” that include mental, physical, social, and emotional growth.

THE BAR IS SET FAR TOO LOW
Most programs simply aim to keep youth out of trouble.

  • HARDSHIP IS A CATALYST TO GREATNESS
    We know that greatness frequently comes out of life’s hardest challenges. Our expectation for each student is to become high-performing, world-class leaders.

SCHEDULE A DISCOVERY CALL.

We’re eager to hear your story and discuss next steps. Fill out the contact form and we will be in touch within 48 hours. 

Makana Leadership Academy
4270 W 5625 N
Roosevelt, UT 84066

(801) 679-4261

© 2020 Makana Outreach

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