About Us

Jerry Spanos, our founder, was not your typical main-stream student in the public school system.  Plagued with strong feelings of failure and a school phobia through high school, he went on to conquer his fears and graduate with honors with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work. Today Jerry will tell you that “Education is Sacred’, and he has become a powerful role model and advocate for teenagers who are struggling with the many challenges of life. Driven by his passion to never give up and to be there for others in their time of need he formed Heritage, a treatment center and school for at-risk adolescents.

Since its inception in 1984, Heritage has served thousands of young people and their families.  Utilizing a relationship based approach we effectively work with teens who are experiencing a wide variety of mental health issues, specializing in the treatment of mood disorders and with students on the spectrum.

Our core values are family based.  We believe in the strong traditions and connecting points of family, education, health, social and emotional functioning, relationships, spirituality and life skills.

As leaders in the youth mental health industry, we choose to be a non-profit organization, dedicated to longevity and unchanging values.

Heritage is a 501(c)3 non-profit. It is run by a governing board where the focus is on treatment, not profit. Students benefit in many more ways than treatment and education. They benefit from facilities and programs that are constantly being improved because excess revenues are used for programs for students.

A group of happy Multi-ethnic teenagers outside on grass

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  • Your great work helped save our family! Our son Jonathan was there for almost 19 months and has now been home for 2 years. He is productively living with friends and working a job, looking for more work. Thank you for the work that Heritage and your staff does, standing for families!
    Paul K.
  • We are forever grateful! He came home after 17 months, and will graduate with a diploma in June. What he learned at Heritage plus his application of all the strategies he learned is why he’s succeeding. Thank you! You change lives and families. There’s no better work !
  • The staff and therapists were incredibly informative and always willing to explain everything in detail. The parent weekends were welcomed and needed as the months passed on. Without the foundation provided by Heritage we may have not had the courage to continue. We are thankful for her time there and wish we could have gotten her there sooner. We have become a tighter knit family learning much about our structure while Lauren was at Heritage. Although she continues to struggle, we believe, her time at Heritage saved her.
    ML 2011-2012
  • I was having problems getting along with my parents and managing stress at home. Heritage helped me better manage my response to stress and how to respond properly to anger. I think I left heritage better than if I had not gone there. Without heritage I would have been kicked out at 18 and either be in jail or on the streets. I am currently working as a data center technician. My job is to connect and maintain large corporate computer systems and make sure access to online websites and applications stay online 24/7.I also am living at home with my parents to save money for my own house or apartment. I own 1 horse who will give birth to my second horse next year.
    Jarred S. 2009-2010
  • It’s been 3 1/2 years and although he had his ups and downs — he graduated from high school, has a great girlfriend and just got accepted to art school in San Francisco! Thank’s Heritage!
    Shelley O.
  • I had severe anxiety and depression. They helped me cope and deal my emotions and over come the past. Without having all the help from heritage I would not be able to even get out of my bed. I learned how to deal with normal day to day situations and much better obstacles as well. After I program completed from heritage I went to a step down and finished high school. My dad and I are still close. And I’m planning on going to college soon.
    Casey 2010-2012
  • Since heritage I have a sense of self-worth and value. It taught me how to properly deal with my depression, anxiety and anger in proper manner. Because if that I feel I can now properly function in society and I honestly feel like I owe that to heritage. M.H.
    Former Student
  • Heritage had a very positive impact on my daughter and our family’s life. My daughter built some beautiful lifelong friendships, is a current 12th grade student, is currently earning five A’s and one B. She will start to working within the next two weeks, and has already registered for college.
  • Dear Heritage Staff, Thank you to all the Heritage staff.  Each one of you was integral to the success of our daughter at Heritage.  Please allow this letter to be shared with future families or anyone interested in your school. Our daughter arrived at Heritage at age 15 with extreme anxiety and major depression.  Her situation was debilitating.  She was no longer able to function at home and was no longer attending school. Many months have passed at home looking for the right help.  The roller coaster of looking for solutions was rigorous and our family felt helpless and tired. Once our daughter was admitted to Heritage School, they quickly put into place a team of professionals to provide her with the support she needed to feel safe and cared for.  Over the period of her stay, our family was so impressed with the therapists, the family support, and the academic team.  Her home staff was wonderful.  Living at the school with the caring home staff helped our daughter learn how to practice her new coping skills in a home as well as school environment. The entire process that Heritage embraces contributed to the success of our daughter.  We were thoroughly impressed by the level of activities the students were involved in outside of the school environment.  Our daughter participated in fun activities as well as service projects.  The activities all taught healthy skills such as biking, hiking, and camping.  All contributed to her healing and growth.  Our daughter gained strong confidence and self esteem by participating in the outdoor adventure program.   We also were highly impressed by the quality of the theater production.   What a wonderful opportunity to have. The academic program and staff were remarkable and she was able to accomplish much toward her high school diploma. Heritage School has been a vital part of our daughter’s journey.   We cannot express in words how thrilled we are to have her home using the tools and life skills she learned.  Placing our daughter at Heritage was the best decision we have ever made.  We are so thankful!
    Coreen, Parent of a Former Heritage Student

Is Heritage right for my son or daughter?

Is Heritage right for my son or daughter? Our admissions team is here to listen and learn about the needs of your family and specifically your son or daughter. Give us a call so, together, we can determine if Heritage is right for your family.


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