This is a  staff list for Alternative Youth Academy in Alpharetta, GA

(aka Advancing Youth's Academy)

(we are working to acquire the complete records for ALL years)

 

THIS PROGRAM IS CLOSED!

 

 

[Video Description: Episode 43 features an interview with retired Police Captain Charles Kennedy, HEAL AL Coordinator, regarding his efforts to get justice for victims and permanently close Restoration Youth Academy. Restoration Youth Academy (RYA) is/was also known as Saving Youth Foundation and was co-founded by William Knott, a former Bethel Boys Academy staffer who was responsible for much of the worst abuses at that facility. Alternative Youth Academy, claimed by RYA to be its sister program in Georgia, remains open.]

 

We advise current and/or former staff to report any abuses you may have witnessed while working at the Alternative Youth Academy (aka Advancing Youth's Academy).  For information on your rights and how to take action, visit www.heal-online.org/blowthewhistle.htm.  If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at Alternative Youth Academy (aka Advancing Youth's Academy) , you have the right to take action. 

 

If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Alternative Youth Academy (aka Advancing Youth's Academy), please contact info@heal-online.org if you remember the long-term employees and from which years.  This will help!   Also, if you recognize any of these staff as having worked at another program, please send in any information about their past or present employment at other facilities and/or cults.

 

HEAL is recommends no child be placed at Alternative Youth Academy (aka Advancing Youth's Academy).

 

Name

Unit/Position

Additional Information
Rommys Chad (aka Rommys Beltran Director Chad holds no professional licenses in Georgia.  Source: https://secure.sos.state.ga.us/myverification/ and http://services.georgia.gov/dch/mebs/performSearch.do  Rommys is not a licensed medical professional of any sort, source: https://gcmb.mylicense.com/verification/Search.aspx
Brigitte Paraham Psychologist Paraham holds no professional licenses in Georgia.  Source: https://secure.sos.state.ga.us/myverification/
Stephen M. Mathis Psychologist Mathis is a licensed psychologist in Georgia, but, currently on probation due to a finding that Mathis engaged in apparent fraud by delegating responsibilities to an unqualified individual and allowing that individual to claim professional qualifications where none existed.  Sources: https://secure.sos.state.ga.us/mylicense%20weblookup/docs/2012_1222_psy001598_001.pdf and https://secure.sos.state.ga.us/myverification/
Mike Montoya Staff Montoya holds no professional licenses in Georgia.  Source: https://secure.sos.state.ga.us/myverification/
Christopher Ellis Staff Ellis appears to be a licensed registered professional nurse in GA.  Source: https://secure.sos.state.ga.us/myverification/
Abid Ali Staff Ali holds no professional licenses in Georgia.  Source: https://secure.sos.state.ga.us/myverification/
David Alessi Staff Alessi holds no professional licenses in Georgia.  Source: https://secure.sos.state.ga.us/myverification/
"Sgt." Nicholson Staff HEAL requires Nicholson's full name in order to perform any licensure/qualification verifications.
Chastity Ellison Staff Ellison holds no professional licenses in Georgia.  Source: https://secure.sos.state.ga.us/myverification/
Lisa Berrios Staff/Former Staff/Consultant Berrios is associated with Hope Dealers Worldwide and Bliss Hypnosis selling behavior modification as a "healing art" and bath/body products as well, not unlike Sacred Breath Academy also on the HEAL watch-list.  Berrios holds no professional licenses in Georgia.  Source: http://verify.sos.ga.gov/verification/Search.aspx  Berrios reportedly operates out of Beltran/Chad's office and at the following reported locations: 166 Hidden Lake Circle, Canton, GA 30114 and 1558 Marietta Hwy Suite 200 Canton, Georgia.  
*(Alternative Youth Academy , like many other programs in this industry, keeps a "tight lid" on any specific information regarding their staff, qualifications, and practices.  Please contact us with the names of any staff of which you have firsthand knowledge or experience.  Thank you for your help.)
HEAL is in the process of reviewing the enrollment documents for this program.  We appreciate your patience in regards to our reviews.  Thank you.
It is HEAL's understanding that Alternative Youth Academy (aka Advancing Youth's Academy) is a sister program to Restoration Youth Academy in Alabama.  We have included some links and articles below regarding Restoration Youth Academy to assist readers in understanding the programs at RYA/AYA programs.
External Link: http://blog.al.com/live/2012/05/post_196.html
External Link:

Prichard Boot Camp Threatened with Eviction

(PRICHARD, Ala.) - Prichard’s embattled boot camp for troubled teens was threatened with eviction at city council Thursday night.

“[Restoration Youth Academy] owes the city and needs to pay up,” Councilwoman Earlene Martin-Harris said. “It was my recommendation that we begin the eviction process right now.”

After it was revealed the boot camp was operating for two years without paying rent, the city demanded RYA founder Pastor John Young get an appraisal of the property, obtain a business license, and pay $27,000 in back rent. As of Thursday meeting, Young still owed $19,000.

“All I’m asking for is a little mercy, five months [to pay],” Young pleaded to council members.

Young said he could pay the $19,000 immediately, but he would not be able to afford payroll and feed the teens. The rest of the city council rejected Martin-Harris’ motion to start the eviction process and stood behind RYA.

“Are we hard hearted that we won’t give these kids the opportunity to be successful?” Council President Herman Towner said. “It’s going to be another vacant building. We’re going to pass up on money, and that don’t make any sense.”

Under the deal brokered at the meeting, RYA must pay back rent in full after five months. In addition, the boot camp must also pay $1,500 in current rent each month.

RYA has been plagued by allegations of abuse, though the district attorney has said there is no credible evidence supporting the claims. It was also revealed the head drill instructor, William Knott, came from Bethel Boys Academy in Mississippi, which shut down following a major class action lawsuit alleging serious abuse. The lawsuit alleged Knott “planned, orchestrated, and directed the abuses”.

Source: http://www.local15tv.com/news/local/story/Prichard-Boot-Camp-Threatened-with-Eviction/NGkWt6Hkf0eYAUoFELYijw.cspx

2 Investigates: Police raid Roswell school for troubled teens | www.wsbtv.com 2 Investigates: Police raid Roswell school for troubled teens  2 246 16 329 Related View Larger  A joint Channel 2 Action News and Telemundo investigation uncovered 30 police reports at the school since 2012. Sponsored Links Developing local stories-Every Day 4-7pm ROSWELL, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News was there Friday night as police raided a private school for troubled teens. We’ve been looking into Advancing Youth's Academy on Holcomb Bridge Road for months after parents brought us concerns about its accreditation and other issues. A joint Channel 2 Action News and Telemundo investigation uncovered 30 police reports at the school since 2012. Officers didn't say much as they arrived and left the school, but they were inside for more than two hours. Parents we talked to said the school's leader misled them about being accredited. Our camera got video of officers who identified themselves as Roswell Police inside the school. We saw them taking photographs, and later, watched them leave with containers. “I have too many emotions right now,” said parent Rhonda Repasz. Rhonda and Rob Repasz told us they enrolled their son in the school, which advertises itself as specializing in helping troubled teens, to be proactive They told us the school's leader said the school is accredited and re-enrolling their son in public school would not be a problem. “It was very deceitful and it was hurtful and they knew it and intentionally did it,” Rhonda Repasz said. But when the family took their son’s transcript to Forsyth County, they said the school district told them their son's credits wouldn't count because Advancing Youth’s Academy is not accredited. “What bothers me the most is there's a ton of students over there right now who don't know that they are going through the same thing,” Rhonda Repasz said. We confronted the school's dean Friday about the issue. She admitted the school is not accredited and denied telling parents otherwise. “Not even our transcripts say that. People are just taking this to another level,” Rommys Beltran said. We also asked about the 30 police reports Channel 2 Action News obtained through an open records request showing incidents at the school in recent years ranging from "false imprisonment" to "battery." We're working to learn if those reports led to any charges. “The police reports, several kids run away, fighting, we work with troubled teens, what do you want?” Beltran said. Channel 2 Action News is working to find out what police were looking for as they searched the school. We will also continue to checking on the complaints made against this school and will have more reports in the days and weeks ahead.  Source: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/2-investigates-police-raid-roswell-school-troubled/nnPPp/
Fulton woman practiced psychology without a license, now faces charges http://www.ajc.com/news/local/fulton-woman-practiced-psychology-without-license-now-faces-charges/30MNHGtIpDGEFoL3rWYK5N/ A Fulton County woman is charged with multiple counts of fraud, theft and practicing psychology without a license, Roswell police say. Rommys Alemania Beltran, 45, of Roswell, was arrested Thursday and charged with 12 counts of insurance fraud, 18 counts of theft by deception, one count of practicing psychology without a license, and one count of tampering with evidence. Beltran, who owned and operated the Alternative Youth Academy, located at 2662 Holcomb Bridge Road in Alpharetta, is currently being held in the Fulton County Jail. Her bond has been set at $190,000. According to a joint investigation conducted by Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens’ Insurance Fraud Investigation Unit, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Roswell Police Department, Beltran allegedly billed health care providers for services such as family counseling and psychotherapy sessions that were never rendered. Investigators determined that Beltran was not licensed to perform counseling and psychotherapy sessions. In addition, the case revealed that Beltran deceptively marketed the academy as an accredited school in an effort to increase attendance and tuition monies, officials said in a press release. “We have discovered more than $300,000 in insurance claims submitted for payment by Beltran before her arrest yesterday,” Hudgens said. “My Investigators believe that many of the claims are fraudulent.” The Alternative Youth Academy educated children that either had been suspended or had difficulties in traditional schools. The school lost its State accreditation in September 2014, but only closed its doors following a search warrant by the Roswell Police Department and the GBI in August 2015. Insurance fraud is a felony with a penalty of two to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000.  Source: http://www.ajc.com/news/local/fulton-woman-practiced-psychology-without-license-now-faces-charges/30MNHGtIpDGEFoL3rWYK5N/
THE TRUTH:

All segregated congregate care providers, including those on our watch-list, are welcome to contact us to correct any information or provide additional data that may assist with delivering the whole truth to the public.  We've found in many cases where this offer has been abused or resulted in revealing additional basis for our concerns. For some examples see: http://www.heal-online.org/tcfl.htm http://www.heal-online.org/bolthouse.htm and http://www.heal-online.org/abundant2.htm.  Now, we are willing to look at the facts and may have questions or require documentation backing up any claims.  We do verify licensing, academic backgrounds, and other qualifications when investigating and researching programs on our watch-list to assist consumers seeking additional information on such programs or victims requiring assistance with getting corroborating evidence of their claims.  We do that in order to make sure the information we provide is accurate and verified and cite our sources.  In the event any information we've posted is in error, we're happy to make a correction.  And, for information on how such requests are handled and have been resolved historically, see: http://www.heal-online.org/requests.htm

HEAL does not support segregated congregate care for many reasons which include that many such facilities are abusive, exploitative, fraudulent, and lack effective oversight often as a result of fraudulent misrepresentation coupled with the ignorance of those seeking to enroll loved ones in such facilities, programs, schools, or centers without a valid court order and involuntarily.  In the United States such involuntary placements done without a court order are apparently illegal as they either violate the Americans with Disabilities Act community integration requirement or due process rights of those involuntarily placed.  Now, in regards to parents, in the United States parents have the right to waive their own rights, but, not the rights of their minor children.  See http://www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm for more information.  Now, most facilities on our watch list include waivers, indemnity clauses, and sworn statements parents must sign assuring the program that the parents have the right to make the placement involuntarily and without due process in a segregated congregate care environment, however, California and federal prosecutors as well as settled law appears to suggest that is not the case.  In fact, in the David Taylor case found at http://www.heal-online.org/provocases.htm, Taylor sued Provo Canyon School and his mother as co-defendants.  His mother was found liable for 75% of the damages awarded to Taylor as a result of multiple complaints including false imprisonment, while the program was found only 25% liable because the mother owed a duty of due diligence to investigate anyone to which she would entrust care of her child and she failed to do so. 

Now, HEAL opposes segregated congregate care and we find most placements are happening illegally in the USA which if the youth understood their rights would result in unfortunate outcomes for the parents, particularly when they don't exercise good judgment and support the fraud and abuse rather than their own children when they need remedy and justice.  And, HEAL supports all victims of fraud and abuse in seeking remedies at law for any crimes or torts committed against them.  And, that's true whether or not the program or victims are in the USA. 

HEAL has a 5 point argument against segregated congregate care we'd like you to consider:

a.  Segregated care is unconstitutional and a civil rights violation.  It is only permissible if a person is unable to survive independent of an institutional environment.  For more on this, watch the HEAL Report at  https://youtu.be/C4NzhZc4P0A.  Or, see:   http://www.ada.gov/olmstead/  which includes in part:    "United States v. Florida – 1:12-cv-60460 – (S.D. Fla.) – On April 7, 2016, the United States filed an Opposition to the State of Florida’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.  In the Motion, the State had asked the Court to rule, on a variety of grounds, that the United States could not recover damages for unnecessarily institutionalized children to whom the State had been deliberately indifferent."

b.  Institutionalization is always dehumanizing and coercive.  Institutionalization always harms the institutionalized and deprives them of protected civil rights.  Dr. David Straker, Psychiatry Professor at Columbia University's School of Medicine (Ivy League) explains this in detail at http://changingminds.org/disciplines/sociology/articles/institutionalization.htm.  "Many institutions, from prisons to monasteries to asylums, deliberately want to control and manage their inmates such that they conform and do not cause problems. Even in less harsh environments, many of the institutionalization methods may be found, albeit in more moderated form (although the psychological effect can be equally devastating)."  (See website linked in this paragraph for more info.)

c.  Institutionalization is not in the best interest of children.  Institutions are not ever better for a child than living with a loving family.  Source:   http://www.unicef.org/cambodia/12681_23295.html       

d.  Reform schools, residential treatment programs, and other segregated congregate care settings have been shown to be ineffective and harmful.  Best source on this currently is:     https://www.acgov.org/probation/documents/EndoftheReformSchoolbyVinny.doc

e. Boarding Schools, even the "good ones", result in a form of social death, isolation, and cause both anxiety and depression.  Therefore, it is clearly not in the best interest of the youth subjected to those environments.  Sources: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jun/08/boarding-school-syndrome-joy-schaverien-review and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/secondaryeducation/11662001/The-truth-about-boarding-school-syndrome.html

Beyond the above arguments against segregated congregate care, we have reports from the NIH, Surgeon General, Yale University Studies, and much more showing the methodologies of behavior modification are damaging, harmful, and ineffective.  You can request these documents via e-mail.  In addition, for such programs offering academic services or claiming to offer diplomas, certifications, or the like, it is important to check to see if it is a diploma mill with no accredited academic services.  Please see article: "Avoiding Scams: What You Need To Know"  for important information on how to avoid education/training scams.

If you'd like to see what HEAL suggests rather than segregated congregate care (i.e. committing a crime or tort against your child if done against their will without a court order), please see articles: "Fix Your Family, Help Your Teen" and "How Would You Handle My Out of Control Teen?".

If you have a complaint against any facility, please file a complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency or your home state's attorney general.  For reporting resources see: http://www.heal-online.org/report.htm.  (Reporting guide is for USA only at this time.)
Director abuses children at fake, unaccredited school for ‘troubled kids,’ passes herself off as a psychiatrist: Police – Crime Online Director abuses children at fake, unaccredited school for ‘troubled kids,’ passes herself off as a psychiatrist: Police by Leigh Egan August 26, 2019 435 Shares Tweet There have been 30 police reports against a fraudulent Georgia “school” and now, its director is facing a slew of felony charges. Atlanta’s ABC Channel 2 reports that on Friday, a grand jury indicted Rommys Beltran, the former director of Advancing Youth Academy on Holcomb Bridge Road in Alpharetta, on 29 charges, including child cruelty, theft, battery, and insurance fraud. Four other people that worked at the school were also indicted on battery and child cruelty charges. According to court documents, the school was initially approved as a business in 2010. AJC reports that the school lost its accreditation in 2014. The school reportedly remained in business regardless and continued to take parents’ money and enroll students. How do you protect your children from predators? Join Nancy Grace and a team of world-class experts for the online course ‘Justice Nation: Crime Stops Here’. “The person in charge of the school was charging people tuition and essentially really taking their money for services they couldn’t provide,” Roswell Officer Lisa Holland previously told Channel 2. In 2015, officers with the Roswell Police Department raided the school after numerous complaints from parents. Although children were sent to the school to learn discipline, many parents were reportedly shocked by the so-called discipline the school staff allegedly doled out. Further, Beltran is accused of pretending to be a psychiatrist and billing insurance companies for psychological services, despite the fact that she’s not a doctor in any field. “We have discovered more than $300,000 in insurance claims submitted for payment by Beltran before her arrest,” Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said. “My investigators believe that many of the claims are fraudulent.” Parents reported that children were being pepper-sprayed, handcuffed, made to sleep on concrete, given unauthorized haircuts and forced to walk like dogs. AJC reports that one child allegedly ended up in the hospital after being made to run with tires. Further, a former van driver for the school told police she saw “two cadets handcuffed lying on the floor eating.” The woman added that her own daughter was enrolled at AYA, but when she took her out and enrolled her in a different school, she learned that since AYA was not an accredited school, her daughter, who was supposed to be a high school senior, would have to start school as a freshman. Rhonda and Rob Repasz enrolled their son in AYA with the understanding that he could later re-enroll in public school without issues. They said they were shocked and hurt when they realized none of his credits gained at AYA would transfer. The couple said they ended up losing $12,000 in tuition to AYA while their son struggled to retake his ninth-grade classes while enrolled back in public school in tenth grade. “She knew what she was doing. She knew it was wrong. She deceived us. She lied to us and that’s wrong,” Repasz said. “I just don’t want this to ever happen to anyone else.” Sandy Springs attorney Doug Rohan spoke with AJC and indicated that parents of around 21 students plan to file a civil suit against Beltran after her recent indictment. “These families have been suffering for years,” Rohan said. AYA is now permanently closed. Check back for further details.  Source: https://www.crimeonline.com/2019/08/26/director-abuses-children-at-fake-unaccredited-school-for-troubled-kids-passes-herself-off-as-a-psychiatrist-police/#

 

 Last Updated: January 7th, 2020

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