Nation’s Only Boarding School for Overweight Teen Girls, Gem Academy, to Open in July

Gratitude, Empathy, Mission

“Our goal is to empower our students to achieve in not just their weight and health, but in all aspects of their life including academically, interpersonally and as advocates to empower others”.

It was announced today that the nation’s first solution-based treatment program exclusively devoted to helping obese high school aged girls change their lives will open in July in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Gem is an acronym that stands for Gratitude, Empathy and Mission – the program’s core values. “Our goal is to empower our students to achieve in not just their weight and health, but in all aspects of their life including academically, interpersonally and as advocates to empower others”.

Gem Academy is a small boarding school with a high school curriculum that also encompasses immersive curricula in nutrition, culinary, fitness, counseling, volunteerism and experiential learning. Gem Academy is now enrolling girls grades 9-12 who are at least 30 pounds overweight and who may have co-occurring issues related to their weight. “With 80% of overweight young women becoming overweight or obese adults, Gem represents a final point of intervention for most”, says Founder and Executive Director of Gem, Jim Hershey.

Hershey is one of the experts in the field and former clinical director of the only prior program to offer comparable treatment for both adolescent boys and girls, Academy of the Sierras, which was featured on Dateline NBC, Dr. Phil, and on the Style Network television program “Too Fat for 15.”

“I was fortunate enough to be a part of the program that pioneered immersive treatment for adolescent obesity,” said Hershey, “and even though that program sadly no longer exists, the…

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