McShin Academy – Youth Program

McShin President, John Shinholser, with McShin Academy May 2017 graduates.

McShin President, John Shinholser, with McShin Academy May 2017 graduates.

McShin Academy is a hybrid recovery school which merges the best educational curriculum from the Greater Richmond area with recovery and life skills from The McShin Foundation. For high school aged students who are affected by substance use disorder it can be hard to get away from old people, places, and things. 70% of teens relapse within 30 days when they are put back in the same environment. A recovery school allows them to make new, healthy relationships all the while staying on track to graduate. With the current drug epidemic we are seeing, recovery schools are a common sense solution.

We started this program in December of 2015 with one student and quickly grew to nine. Out of those nine, seven stayed sober for the duration of the school year, all four of our seniors graduated on time, everyone reported improved family life, better grades, and no new criminal charges. These successes, especially the one about no new criminal charges, is extremely important for the Greater Richmond area, it currently costs $260,019 to incarcerate a juvenile in Virginia for one year. Every $1 invested in our program saves taxpayers $43, supporting McShin Academy helps our community and our children.


Our Philosophy

Recovery – Everyday at McShin Academy we put an emphasis on recovery to allow students to learn coping skills to deal with life on life’s terms whether they are in social situations, at school, home or work. Our staff is trained as recovery coaches and we work with our students to develop a recovery plan which focuses on short term, mid term and long term goals.

Education – By fusing the best educational curriculum in the greater Richmond area with tutoring we enable our students to catch up on credits and stay on track academically. Partnerships with surrounding colleges allow our students specialized learning in core subjects, expanding their knowledge of specific subject matter and allowing them to learn at their own pace.

Life Skills – We know the struggles youth face when transitioning to the “real world” after graduation. Our life skills curriculum focuses on real world problems: starting a bank account, balancing a checkbook, how to iron, clean and do laundry, as well as daily cooking lessons. Our goal is to prepare the next generation to become independent and productive members of society, and our curriculum adapts to reflect that.

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