Life as a Student

A typical day at the ranch begins around 6 a.m. when students awaken in our state-of-the-art dormitories. The students that are assigned to work in our cafeterias prepare and serve a nutritious breakfast and afterward there is morning group and chores.

Students are then dispersed to their assigned duties throughout one of our various businesses to support the community. This allows them to gain work experience and continue their education and life skills training.

Lunch and dinner are served at the assigned times and the students finish off their day with a number of structured activities such as peer-to-peer counseling, leisure time, sports and fitness, as well as planned outings to experience the arts, entertainment, nature, and more.

Taking on a New Lifestyle

It is important that a person learns & adopts an entirely new healthy lifestyle to obtain an addiction-free life. Our students to exactly that, under the guidance of our program directors and other senior managers.


Learn to communicate effectively, co-operate with others, and better deal with the public.

Develop patience, tolerance, a “stick to it” attitude.
Become valuable employees and take pride in performance
Enjoy a wide range of healthy indoor and outdoor activities without any stimulants.
Gain experience in business principles and entrepreneurship, management and leadership skills, problem-solving, and how to handle criticism.
Become responsible, accountable, punctual, polite, reliable, and productive.
Learn to go the extra mile and to be givers instead of takers.
Develop the ability to deal with changes and improve self-confidence.
Develop humility, self-control, and excellence in standards, manners and etiquette.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of transitional services/relapse prevention does JVA provide?
Transition support first begins as the student nears graduation. Through our Re-entry Program, we connect students with a mentor and they begin learning the skills needed to be successful out on their own. These skills include banking, resume building, applying/interviewing for jobs, and money management. For graduates who want to ease back into the “real world”, we offer transitional housing. This housing is affordable and located close to their JVA campus. This option allows graduates of the program to stay close to the Therapeutic Community and other graduates of our program. We also provide access to job opportunities at our Life-Skills Training Centers or other local businesses that we have developed relationships with.
Do you offer specialized plans for each student in the program?
Each student is on a growth track of their own. As students gain experience and excel in their roles, they will be given more freedoms and more opportunities for leadership, learning and gaining more trade skills. Our goal is to provide students with the tools necessary to overcome addiction and re-join society as a productive member, making a positive impact on the world. If it takes longer than the minimum two years, we are here and willing to help each student as long as they desire at no extra cost.
Can my family visit me while I am in the program?
Yes, at a certain point, as you progress through the program, short visits are allowed. They must be arranged prior to the Program Director. We have a system for all visits as well as furloughs for students. All of this will be explained by the Program Director. Our main goal is to keep our students safe and healthy during visits.
What can I bring with me?
The list of acceptable things to bring to the John Volken Academy is listed in the Admissions Application. Please do not bring anything not on the list that you do not have prior permission, or it may be confiscated. If you have any questions about this policy, ask the Program Director.
Should I get treatment locally or away from home?

It is up to the individual attending the program if they would like to complete treatment in their own state or province. Through our experience, it can be helpful for an addict to take their journey towards sobriety away from the environment where they previously used drugs or alcohol. This way, they can be free of outside distractions and negative influences and not be as tempted to discharge themselves early from the program. This is why we have three different locations to help students build lifelong friends, communities, and experience away from their familiar surroundings. If you are unsure of what is best for you, consider asking yourself, “Will I act on impulse and leave my treatment early if a challenge arises with my home and the past negative environment is so close by?” Or, “Should I choose greater distance away from home to ensure I am not tempted to leave early?”

What are the facilities like?

Each of our locations is unique to themselves; however, each provides the following:

  • Modern living quarters with comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and access to necessary hygiene and toiletry items
  • Healthy meals prepared and served in excellent cafeterias
  • Furnished workout rooms and sports courts
  • Access to advanced computers and technology
  • Designed and developed space to spend time in and enjoy nature
  • Libraries and reading rooms
    Music rooms with instruments provided
  • And more…
Does your program have a nutritional component?
We believe good nutrition to be key in a full recovery from drugs and alcohol. We provide three nutritious meals a day, as well as snacks.
Will I have a roommate?
We have beautiful, comfortable, and accommodating living quarters at all three John Volken Academy locations. We do not have private rooms; however, we do provide modern living space with comfortable beds, laundry, private bathrooms, and access to necessary hygiene and toiletry items.
Do you offer family support?
Yes! Entering a long-term treatment program is something a person cannot do without the support of their families. For this reason, we provide family support as much as possible. We have a John Volken Academy support group for each location, family liaisons, and Program Directors whom you will be connected with when your loved one enters the program.