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The Leadership Development Program

The Abraxas Leadership Development Program (LDP) is located in South Mountain, PA on the secluded grounds of the state owned, South Mountain Restoration Center. Since its inception in 1994, LDP has worked to instill leadership skills, promote accountability and develop competencies in youth. Guided by the Balanced and Restorative Justice Model, LDP provides residents with tools to make a positive contribution to their communities, while building life skills that will benefit them far beyond their time at Abraxas.

Utilizing a cognitive behavioral approach, LDP challenges young men and women to increase their level of accountability for their actions, explore the significance of personal determination, overcome adversity in their lives and practice being productive members of a team.

Experience Challenge
Experience Change
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Experience Abraxas LDP

Leadership Development Program

Click and explore the links below to learn more about the program.

LDP serves delinquent and/or dependent male and female youth ages 13 to 18.

Specialties include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Leadership Program

    Through our Leadership Curriculum, a high emphasis is placed on leadership training, leadership activities, and opportunities for youth to earn leadership positions and responsibilities. Strong staff relationships and modeling of positive leadership skills are also emphasized and provide a solid foundation for youth to develop. Acceptance for the responsibility of their actions and the realization that they are accountable for those actions are the basic building blocks for genuine change in the youth we serve.

  • Leadership Experiential Adventure Program (LEAP)

    Experience CHANGE, Experience CHALLENGE, Experience SUCCESS
    LEAP provides experiential learning opportunities, adventure-based programming, community service, restitution, vocational programming, and workforce development opportunities for youth. LEAP’s mission is to develop an awareness of community while promoting individual responsibility, accountability, and character development through experiential education and adventure programming.

  • Aggression Replacement Training® (ART)

    Aggression Replacement Training is a cognitive behavioral intervention specifically targeting chronically aggressive youth ages 12 to 17. It consists of 10 weeks of group training sessions for each of targeted interventions: Skill Streaming, Anger Control Training, and Moral Reasoning.

    Skill Streaming teaches participants how to replace anti-social behaviors with positive behaviors. Anger Control teaches participants how to respond to anger in a non-aggressive manner and rethink anger provoking situations. Moral Reasoning helps raise participants’ levels of fairness, justice and concern for the needs and rights of others.

  • Gender Specific Programming

    Gender responsive programming is specific to developing pro-social skills and competencies enabling young ladies to function as responsible members of the community. Our girls participate in a variety of therapeutically structured activities that take into consideration the challenges that young women face in today's society. Gender specific curriculum includes Girls Circle, PTSD and Independent Living skills specific to female development and growth. Individualized treatment planning further integrates the concepts taught in group curriculum to promote a stronger ability to cope, healthy living and independence.

  • Areas of risk/need as identified on the Youth Level of Service (YLS) are addressed through individual and group counseling.
  • The Sanctuary® Model is utilized as a framework for treatment through the active creation of a trauma-informed community.
  • Leadership Experiential Adventure Program (LEAP) provides experiential learning opportunities, adventure-based programming, community service, restitution, vocational programming and workforce development opportunities.
  • Leadership Curriculum – Leadership training, leadership activities, and opportunities for youth to earn leadership positions.
  • Substance Abuse Services - 10 week Specialized Drug & Alcohol Group for youth identified at higher risk for relapse.
  • ART® – Facilitated by certified trainers according to fidelity.
  • Areas of risk/need as identified on the Youth Level of Service (YLS) are addressed through individual and group counseling.
  • The Sanctuary® Model is utilized as a framework for treatment through the active creation of a trauma-informed community.
  • Leadership Experiential Adventure Program (LEAP) provides experiential learning opportunities, adventure-based programming, community service, restitution, vocational programming, and workforce development opportunities.
  • Leadership Curriculum – Leadership training, leadership activities, and opportunities for youth to earn leadership positions.
  • Substance Abuse Services - 10 week Specialized Drug & Alcohol Group for youth identified at higher risk for relapse.
  • ART® is facilitated by certified trainers according to fidelity.
  • Girls Circle: Facilitated in small groups and covers topics to include: Relationships; Mental/Physical Health; Diversity; Values; Body Image; Boundaries; and Sexuality. Healing the Experience of Trauma is offered as an additional group for appropriate youth.
  • Independent Living Group for girls 16 and over which covers the following topics: Employment Skills, Living on Your Own, and Money Management.

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The Learning Center, our on-site school, is a private elementary and secondary school licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Residents attend school year-round and can earn credits that can be transferred to their home school. In addition to offering primary educational services, the Abraxas LDP Learning Center provides the following:

  • Diploma and GED tracks
  • Contracted Psychological and Psychiatric Services
  • Special Education Services
  • Field trips
  • Case management
  • Transition Planning and Assistance
  • Standardized Testing: PSSA, SAT, GED, Keystone, Star 360 Assessment
  • FAFSA Application completion
  • Credit recovery and credit acceleration opportunities
  • Animal Assisted Activities: Reading Program, Unit Visits, Outdoor Activities, Training Sessions for Animal Care and Socialization
  • Career Exploration

LDP is a Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA) Candidate school (2018).

Career and Technical Education to include certifications and employability training in specific areas.

LDP offers training and certificates in Horticulture; Microsoft Office; OSHA 10; OSHA 30; OSHA 30 Construction; ServSafe Food Handlers; ServSafe Allergens; CPR; First Aid; and Driver’s Education.

Download the PACTT Matrix

LDP offers a variety of opportunities for residents to earn community service hours or money to be paid toward restitution, fines, or court costs. On average, residents complete around 4,000 hours of community service annually and earn approximately $25,000 in restitution/fines/court costs. Opportunities exists both on-site and in the community. Recent projects have included cleaning at a local animal shelter, outdoor maintenance at a local nature preserve, fund raising activities for donations to a breast cancer foundation, and support work at a long-term care facility for elderly and disabled persons. Community service and restitution work is processed clinically within the framework of BARJ and tied into the clinical curriculum in meaningful ways.

The Abraxas Leadership Development Program recognizes the value of having families involved and informed throughout admission and the treatment process. Family engagement at the facility can be achieved in a variety of ways to strengthen the family relationships and build a stronger foundation for the child's return home. Families are encouraged to stay involved through visitation, conferences and regularly scheduled phone contacts. Assistance for families is provided as needed and includes video conferencing, transportation, overnight accommodations and financial gas assistance. Upon a youth’s arrival at LDP, families will be contacted and provided information on how they can stay involved throughout their child's time in the program.

Accreditations & Certifications

PREA Facility

LDP is a certified PREA Facility

Sanctuary Institute

LDP has partnered with the Sanctuary Institute for clinical and organizational change

PACTT

LDP is affiliated with the Pennsylvania Academic Career/Technical Training Alliance