You are a vital part of your child’s treatment team for the duration of their stay at Heritage. Even more important, you are the constant that will remain with your child when they conclude their Heritage experience. Your participation and significant knowledge, built throughout your experience with Elevate Academy, will help ensure your child’s future success.
George began working at Heritage in 2006 to find out if he wanted to specialize in treating teens and families as a therapist. He says the answer was a resounding yes! He finished his bachelor’s of psychology with a minor in business management and went on to get a master’s in social work. In the years since leaving Heritage to enter graduate school, he facilitated child visitation between divorced parents, developed an outpatient group therapy program for Salt Lake City’s mental health center, worked for Child Protective Services, and ended up at the Wyoming State Hospital as clinical director of its group therapy program and developed a substance abuse track. He says he got a call from Heritage about a position for a therapist to focus on staff training. Given his experience with program development, broad experience with families and past experience at Heritage, he thought he had a unique background to help staff learn how to build stronger relationships with youth at his favorite company of all time. “It was a no brainer!” he exclaims.
George says he always wanted to work at Heritage because he feels so comfortable with the relationship-based way of helping the students. There are a lot of treatment centers out there, but none of them felt like Heritage to him. Being a non-profit means everything Heritage does goes directly toward helping the kids. “It’s a really warm culture to have on our campus and I love being a part of it,” he says. “My wife says she always knew I would end up back here because I would talk about Heritage all the time.”
George was born and raised in the country between Mexico and America called Texas. In his master’s program he met a fiery redhead in research class and they graduated together as husband and wife. They now have three handsome little boys that keep them busy and happy. In his free time he says he likes to read psychology books (which he says his wife thinks is boring), go bird watching, play piano, go shooting, visit family in St. George, Utah, and wrestle with his boys.
Since 2005 when Charis began working at Heritage she has worked with both boys and girls on various homes and currently is a home director on one of the boys PEERS homes. She started working at Heritage while in school and stayed because she truly loves the students she works with and believe in their ability to change and create a better future for themselves. In working with different students she has learned that they really are the best teachers and they teach staff new things every day. They are so brave, talented and are amazing young men and women. The relationships that she has built the kids and seeing all the changes they make is what makes this job worth all the time and effort staff put into it.
Charis grew up in Riverside, CA and moved to Utah to attend BYU after graduating high school. She met her husband while in Utah and they have been married since 2011. Charis enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing games and reading.
Kellie has worked for Heritage since 1988 when she moved to Provo. She says she started working with female students and really enjoyed it, noting that working with her students has been some of the best times in her life. She feels she has an outgoing personality and that has helped her build some really neat relationships with the students, plus, she adds, “it is really awesome to see them want to make changes in their lives.”
As a mother of three Kellie considers how she would want someone to treat her own child if they were in the care of someone else. She understands how difficult it is for parents to send a child away to get the help they need. She feels passionately about working with students and sees it as her calling to be a healthy parent figure, to teach and support the kids who are at Heritage. “I give a lot of hugs and have even tucked some in at night but that’s the mom in me talking,” she says. “Hey, if it keeps them in bed then I will be glad to tuck them in.”
Kellie is from the Bay Area – San Bruno, California. She is a big 49ers fan and is married with three children. She loves to fish, camp, read and cycle. Her family is into NASCAR (but not redneck) and each has their own favorite car.