This is a staff list for Teen Challenge of Florida (Locations: Arcadia (closed), Bonifay, Orlando, Sanford, Fort Myers, Pensacola, Tarpon Springs (closed), Davie, Tampa, Lakeland, Jacksonville, Vero Beach, and Oveido (closed).)
(aka Treasure Coast Academy)
(we are working to acquire the complete records for ALL years)
We advise current and/or former staff to report any abuses you may have witnessed while working at Teen Challenge. 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 Teen Challenge, you have the right to take action.
If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Teen Challenge, please contact email@example.com 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.
Please don’t place your loved one in Teen Challenge and rescue them if they are there now.
|Jerry Nance||President/CEO||Arcadia Location--Mr. Nance was a "crusader" with the founder of Teen Challenge, David Wilkerson. There is no other information on staff at this location.* This program is closed.|
|Dave Rutledge||Director||Bonifay Location--(a.k.a. Gateway Military Schools, Christian Military Schools, Gateway Christian Military Academy) See the lack of qualifications, excuses, and cover-ups admitted by Rutledge regarding the Bonifay location of Teen Challenge, click here. There is no other information on staff at this location.* HEAL is in the process of reviewing the enrollment materials for this program.|
|NO NAMES||NO TITLES||Orlando Location--There is no information on staff at this location.*|
|Derek Johnson||Staff||Sanford Location--Johnson's qualification is that he is a Teen Challenge "graduate" from 1998.|
|Jose Martinez||Staff||Sanford Location--Martinez' qualification is that he is a Teen Challenge "graduate" from 2003.|
|Ruth Farrell||Staff||Sanford Location--Husband Joseph "graduated" Teen Challenge cult in 1996. Subsequent to working at the Sanford location, the Farrells ran a group home called DeLand Girls Center and after it was closed went on to work at the Lakeland Girls Center.|
|Joe Farrell||Staff||Subsequent to working at the Sanford location, the Farrells ran a group home called DeLand Girls Center and after it was closed went on to work at the Lakeland Girls Center. Reportedly deceased.|
|Maria Jones||Staff||Jones reportedly worked for the Sanford location subsequently to working at DeLand Girls Center and later Lakeland Girls Center. Jeff and Maria Jones are now reportedly divorced. Maria Jones reportedly no longer works for Teen Challenge.|
|Jeff Jones||Staff||Jones reportedly worked for the Sanford location subsequently to working at DeLand Girls Center and later Lakeland Girls Center. Jeff and Maria Jones are now reportedly divorced.|
|Scott Lipinsky||Staff||Sanford Location--Lipinsky's qualification is that he is a Teen Challenge "graduate" from 2003. There is no other information on staff at this location.*|
|Kevin Cummings||Executive Director||Fort Myers Location--Southwest Florida Women's Center--Cummings' only qualification is that he is a Teen Challenge "graduate" from 1998.|
|Karen King||Program Manager||Fort Myers Location--Southwest Florida Women's Center--Karen's only qualification is that she is a Teen Challenge "graduate".|
|Diane Libretti||Educations Coordinator||Fort Myers Location--Southwest Florida Women's Center--Libretti's qualification is that she is a Teen Challenge "graduate" from 2005.|
|Allan & Gwen Vann-Horn||Executive Directors (married)||
Pensacola Location--ALL PROGRAMS--Allan Vann Horn is a Teen Challenge
The following is a statement from Mrs. M who is trying to rescue her husband as of July 29th, 2009:
Thank God I'm not crazy!!!! I knew this was a cult! Please feel free to contact me to help put these evildoers out of business, They are just a bunch of ex-addicts/sexually abused reforms, that are more messed up in their minds they our loved ones that they are allegedly helping. Using God's name to made tax free dollars! They makes millions of dollars of tax free money by flying under the radar. They claim non-profit/non denominational. This means no taxes and no one governs them. They are sick twisted people and sadistic as well. I am trying desparately to get my husband out of there with no success. He was original Court Ordered but should have graduated 7-12-09. Now he is not scheduled to graduate until sometime in October 2009. This is in an attempt to keep him from his wife and children. For some reason they will not allow him to return home to his wife and little girl. Both of us are chronically ill. Myself I have come out of remission and have active cancer again. My prognosis is grim, and I am taking care of our 9 yr. old little girl who is in end stage renal failure and needs a kidney transplant and is on dialysis 11 hours a day at home. This is just the tip of the iceberg. And I have been doing this all alone. I have been tormented, neglected and thrown out to the wolfs by these people. I have done nothing but be kind and respectful up until now. I want my husband back and my little girl wants her daddy. They are forcing him to divorce me and I know this from my husbands mouth when he snuck to call me. The Pastors wife who counsels the married men, kepts telling me that my husband found God and wants to dedicate his life to God and doesn't want to be married to me anymore. Up until two months ago, my husband said it was his counselor and his sisters wanting this, not him and reminded me of how much he loved me. Now, I don't even hear from him anymore. I am so afraid that I've lost him and will never have the chance to have him hold me one last time, or be with his baby girl. I will help you in anyway I can, and I would appreciate any and all help from you.
|Kendrick Haynes||Program Manager||Pensacola Location--Men's Program|
|Johnathan Taylor||Counselor||Pensacola Location--Men's Program|
|Ronnie & Pam Horner||Security (married)||Pensacola Location--Men's Program|
|Deric Cain||Videographer/IT||Pensacola Location--Men's Program|
|Chris Brown||Emerging Leader's Intern||Pensacola Location--Men's Program--Chris's qualification is that he is a Teen Challenge "graduate".|
|Geno Hayes||Counselor||Pensacola Location--Men's Program--Geno's qualification is that he is a Teen Challenge "graduate".|
|Hope Hayes||Counselor (Geno's wife)||Pensacola Location--Women's Program|
|Sarah Piazza||Intake Coordinator||Pensacola Location--Women's Program|
|Steve & Tammy Anderson||Counselor (married)||Pensacola Location--Women's Program|
|Scott & Andrea Lipinsky||Scott-Business Mgr. Andrea-Program Mgr. (married)--Same Scott that is also staff at Sanford location above.||Pensacola Location--Women's Program|
|Bernie & Carol Foschini||Bernie-Ed. Supervisor Carol-Counselor||Pensacola Location--ALL PROGRAMS|
|Dan & Sheila Poer||Dan-Intake Coordinator Sheila-Exec. Admin. Asst||Pensacola Location--ALL PROGRAMS|
|Carla McDonald||Program Assistant||Pensacola Location--Women's Program|
|NO NAMES||NO TITLES||Tarpon Springs Location--Website under construction. There is no staff information available for this location.* This program is closed.|
|Rick and Donna Fernandez||Directors (married)||Davie Location--South Florida Teen Challenge--Rick and Donna are both "graduates" of Teen Challenge cult training.|
|Barbara Cooper||Intake Coordinator||Davie Location--South Florida Teen Challenge--|
|Christin Gonzalez||Teacher||Davie Location--South Florida Teen Challenge--Gonzalez' only qualification is that she is a Teen Challenge "graduate".|
|Nicole Kehrt||Counselor/Teacher||Davie Location--South Florida Teen Challenge--Kehrt's only qualification is that she is a Teen Challenge "graduate".|
|Leticia Rosete||Support Staff||Davie Location--South Florida Teen Challenge--Rosete's only qualification is that she is a Teen Challenge "graduate".|
|Alyson Chambliss||Volunteer Teacher||Davie Location--South Florida Teen Challenge--|
|Patrice Risi||Choir Director||Davie Location--South Florida Teen Challenge--Risi also works for "Grace Christian Academy".|
|Stephanie Risi||Asst. Choir Director||Davie Location--South Florida Teen Challenge--Risi also works for "Grace Christian Academy".|
|Gregory Del Valle||Executive Director||Lakeland Location--Lakeland Girls Home--(a.k.a. Lakeland Grace Academy)|
|Donna Grasso||Teacher||Lakeland Location--Lakeland Girls Home--(a.k.a. Lakeland Grace Academy)|
|Alexis Brokas||Teacher||Lakeland Location--Lakeland Girls Home--(a.k.a. Lakeland Grace Academy)|
|Chassity Franey||Dean of Students||Lakeland Location--Lakeland Girls Home--(a.k.a. Lakeland Grace Academy)|
|Barbara Taylor||Counselor||Lakeland Location--Lakeland Girls Home--(a.k.a. Lakeland Grace Academy)|
|Kim Allen||Counselor||Lakeland Location--Lakeland Girls Home--(a.k.a. Lakeland Grace Academy)|
|Leesha Whitfield||Admin. Asst.||Lakeland Location--Lakeland Girls Home--(a.k.a. Lakeland Grace Academy)|
|Megan Brooks||Direct Care Staff||Lakeland Location--Lakeland Girls Home--(a.k.a. Lakeland Grace Academy) Brooks qualification is that she is a Teen Challenge "graduate" from 2008.|
|Jennifer Baisden||No title||Lakeland Location--Lakeland Girls Home--(a.k.a. Lakeland Grace Academy)|
|Victoria Allred||No title||Lakeland Location--Lakeland Girls Home--(a.k.a. Lakeland Grace Academy)|
|Tammy Cowey||No title||Lakeland Location--Lakeland Girls Home--(a.k.a. Lakeland Grace Academy)|
|Cheri Herrera||Case Manager/Counselor||Lakeland Location--Lakeland Girls Home--(a.k.a. Lakeland Grace Academy)|
|Heather Echert||Direct Care Staff||Lakeland Location--Lakeland Girls Home--(a.k.a. Lakeland Grace Academy) Echert has no college education and no professional background in helping drug addicts or the mentally ill.|
|NO NAMES||NO TITLES||Jacksonville Location--There is no staff information available for this location.*|
|Maynard Sweigard||Exec. Director||Vero Beach Location--Vero Beach Boy's Ranch--Sweigard is a Teen Challenge "graduate" from 1974. HEAL is in the process of reviewing the enrollment materials for this program.|
|Nathan Sweigard||Program Director||Son of Maynard.|
|Aaron Sweigard||Staff||Vero Beach Location--Vero Beach Boy's Ranch--|
|April Edmiston||Staff||Vero Beach Location--Vero Beach Boy's Ranch--|
|Robert C. Morrison||Staff||Vero Beach Location--Vero Beach Boy's Ranch--(formerly at Bonifay location)|
|Mike Glesson||Staff||Vero Beach Location--Vero Beach Boy's Ranch--|
|Mike Aaron||Staff||Vero Beach Location--Vero Beach Boy's Ranch--|
|Wayne (last?)||Staff||Vero Beach Location--Vero Beach Boy's Ranch--|
|Jackie Robinson||Staff||Vero Beach Location--Vero Beach Boy's Ranch--There is no other staff information available for this location.*|
|NO NAMES||NO TITLES||Oveido Location--There is no staff information available for this location.* This program is closed.|
|*Teen Challenge, 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.|
|Teen Challenge Information--See www.heal-online.org/StraightandTeenChallenge.htm|
|HEAL Review-- Teen Challenge Ranch in Morrow, AR Contract & Enrollment Materials HEAL is in the process of reviewing the available enrollment materials for the above program(s). In the meantime, we invite you to read the review of the Teen Challenge Ranch of Morrow, AR contract linked in this segment as the contracts are likely very similar and the program ought to be avoided.|
|Holmes County Sheriff's Report 1 on Bonifay Location|
|Holmes County Sheriff's Report 2 on Bonifay Location|
|Holmes County Sheriff's Report 3 on Bonifay Location|
|Holmes County Sheriff's Report 4 on Bonifay Location|
|Holmes County Sheriff's Reports Spanning Years (Out of Order) on Bonifay Location|
Dear Mr. Rutledge,
Thank you for contacting HEAL. Due to the fact that the families and survivors of Teen Challenge with whom we are in contact are pursuing legal action against you, we cannot divulge more information about those cases at this time. And, we honor our word to protect the confidentiality of those who contact us. We do require sworn statements before we make any statements online about verified abuses.
If you are unfamiliar with financial planning or business operations, that is not our problem. We are certainly not going to advise you on how to raise money to continue your work in harming children and families. If you do not have the funding or training to do a job properly, especially when it comes to taking care of children in need, then you really ought not to be in that line of work.
All of the HEAL coordinators are survivors of abusive treatment facilities. So, I suppose you could say we have all lived with other inmates/students/captives. And, two of our coordinators "earned" their way up to "staff" within two separate programs. While I am not one of them, we do have the experience of which you are asking collectively. And, we can honestly report that based on our knowledge and experience you are harming children whether you choose to believe it or not.
HEAL's phone number is listed on the HEAL website on every page. We can be reached at (206)244-1894. Also, we would need a sworn statement not only from parents but from the children/adult survivors/graduates of your program as well. And, we would need to be given contact information for each family and "graduate"/former "student" of your program to insure that we would get the necessary cross-sampling to give an accurate portrayal of your program. In the meantime, based on our own research, knowledge, and experience, we will keep with our current position regarding your program.
I do not believe you have an understanding of the word "empty" or "rhetoric" based on your last sentence. HEAL has responded professionally and reasonably to each of your inquiries although we have no obligation to do so and certainly have more important matters on which to spend our time.
It is unlikely that we will continue in this fruitless dialogue. Should you turn over your complete records of families/former students, parent handbook, student handbook, complete contract with waivers, and a signed statement from your program's director stating that all information is complete and accurate along with a detailed description of your program and what privileges/punishments are assigned and for what behaviors at what levels of your program, we will not be able to assist you. Please see our site at http://www.heal-online.org/helpteen.htm for more information on how you can take steps to have your program removed from our list of suspect/abusive programs.
West Florida Teen Challenge/Teen Challenge Boys Ranch in Bonifay is not
accredited nor licensed. The program uses a home-school service
through Gateway Academy in Holmes County, FL. One of HEAL's
volunteers who prefers to remain anonymous received the following e-mail
in regards to questions and concerns raised about Gateway Academy/Teen
Challenge Boys Ranch in Bonifay:
From: Luna, Lisa
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2011 12:04 PM
Dear [Name Removed]:
Thank you for your recent e-mail to “We’re Listening” regarding Gateway Academy, in Holmes County, Florida. Our office has been asked to respond.
Private (non-public) schools in Florida are not regulated, controlled, approved, or accredited by the Florida Department of Education. Section 1002.42, Florida Statutes, does require private schools to complete an annual survey each year and submit it to the department. The department is then responsible for organizing, maintaining, and annually updating a database of the information contained in the annual survey. A directory of private schools is available on the School Choice website at http://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/Information/PrivateSchoolDirectory/.
Our records indicate that Gateway Academy, in Holmes County, Florida, has submitted an annual survey. However, it must be stressed that submitting annual survey data and being listed in the directory of private schools that is developed from the statutorily required database should not be used by any private school to imply approval or accreditation by the state.
Additionally, the Florida Department of Education does not officially recognize any of the various agencies that accredit private schools. Requests for information about the accreditation of a specific school should be directed to the school staff or its designated accrediting agency. Please note that there are many organizations with widely variant quality standards and program requirements that accredit private schools.
Ultimately, the acceptance of diplomas from private schools will be subject to the requirements of the receiving institution or employer. An organization that offers a diploma program with little or no required academic study may be considered a diploma mill. You may wish to check with the Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org), or the Florida Attorney General’s Office (http://myfloridalegal.com/) to review any claims related to the acceptability of private school diplomas.
We hope this information is helpful. If you have additional questions, please contact the School Choice information hotline at (800) 447-1636.
Director of Scholarship Programs and Home Education
Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice
[End of E-mail Message]
As you will see by the above e-mail, Teen Challenge in Bonifay is not accredited, licensed, nor regulated by Florida State government agencies, officials, nor departments. This is an excellent reason not to place any child in Teen Challenge.
|Teen Challenge Vero Beach Boys' Ranch Police Reports from 2005-December, 2011. The most recent are first and the older reports follow in this report. Reports include poisoning, battery, abuse during "exorcisms", and other incidents. Click above hyperlink or click here for more information.|
|Article: In God's Name: Abuse at Religious Group Homes in Florida (Tampa Bay Times, October 27th, 2012)|
|1/13/21: COPE Conversion Program Progress Report: Teen Challenge in FL|
REPORTING GUIDE FOR VICTIMS, SURVIVORS, AND WHISTLEBLOWERS:
2. File a consumer complaint with your home state's attorney general against Teen Challenge and include your request for compensation for any harm done to you. You can find the easy online forms for filing such a complaint (which may result in an investigation, prosecution, and/or civil resolution on your case) under your home state's (state where you currently reside) header at https://www.heal-online.org/report.htm . If your home state is Florida or you'd like to file with the Florida State Attorney General as a non-resident, here is that link: https://myfloridalegal.com/pages.nsf/Main/60FD9BD8FA71A5B185256CD1005EE5C5
3. If you do not wish to file a consumer complaint, you can contact a private personal injury attorney and look into suing in tort/civil court. However, if you can't afford the retainer, you should expect to settle out of court with a non-disclosure agreement which may bar you from speaking publicly about the incident because you've agreed (even if with a grumbling assent) to the terms of the settlement. You can find legal resources at https://www.heal-online.org/legal.htm and legal causes of action related to institutionalized abuse claims at https://www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm .
4. You may post a statement about your experience at your program on our unmoderated message board at http://pub40.bravenet.com/forum/show.php?usernum=3407841501&cpv=2 OR send a new e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject "Post My Feedback" and we will post your feedback (e-mail printed to .pdf disclosing your name and e-mail address and any information in your e-mail with that subject) to https://www.cope.church/feedback.htm and add a direct link to those .pdf files to this page .
5. You may also wish to provide a guest sermon. Guest sermons are posted at https://www.cope.church/sermons.htm , under Progress Reports/Guest Sermons at https://www.heal-online.org where appropriate, and on program info pages when applicable. So, one provided by you on your program would also be placed on this page . Guest sermons should be written into the body of an e-mail and sent to email@example.com . Your first and last name will be disclosed (contact info will not be unless you expressly ask for that). For sermons available on our site see https://www.cope.church/sermons.htm (and sermon archives linked on that page). If you have questions about this option, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see https://www.cope.church/givetoday.pdf to get an idea what your sermon may be worth.
Last Updated: February 8th,2021
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