Who We Are
Thank you for visiting Alpha Academy! What exactly is Alpha Academy? Find out more about us below.
What is Alpha Academy?
We are a Christian-based, mentoring program in San Luis Obispo, California designed to give students a break from their regular life and guide them toward a better path.
How did it start?
Son Care Foundation was formed as a result of its founder, Jack Gould, having been in Law Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services for 32 years, seeing the traumatic results of poor choices made by young adult men. The common element of these choices was that the men had no real plan for their life. The founders believed that while there were numerous resources for young men already in trouble, there was a real need for a preventative mentoring program. Jack, and his wife, Karen, decided to create a mentoring program for these young men to learn to put together a Life Map to guide them in making wise choices. The Life Map would help them look at their identity, ability to relate to others, and plan a successful life. This program called Alpha Academy started in 1994 in Texas and later moved to Woodlake, CA. In 1998, we relocated to a 40-acre ranch in San Luis Obispo, CA. Now, we are a program under the nonprofit Son Care Foundation, Inc.
What is the goal of Alpha Academy?
We have three goals we try to help each student achieve:
1. That you are able to make a plan and have the self-discipline to follow it. We call this plan a “Life Map.”
2. That you can create and maintain healthy relationships in the areas of family, friends, romance, work, etc.
3. That you would come to understand who you are on a deep level. We like to say we help you find your “True Identity.”
What are some of the skills you teach?
We focus on lifeskills like: life planning, follow through, budgeting, time-management, spirituality, relationships, decision-making, goal-setting, and job skills (just to name a few).
Who is Alpha Academy for?
Alpha Academy is for any young man age 18-25 who is not happy with how life is going and needs to take time to press pause and evaluate how to make it better.
What do participants in Alpha Academy do?
There are two ways young men are involved in our program.
For men looking for guidance and personal growth, but have way too many commitments at the moment, consider our non-residential mentoring program. Alpha Academy’s non-residential mentoring program is the perfect option for someone with school, work, or housing commitments. At a time and place that is convenient, a mentor will make themselves available to listen to, guide, and support you. Alpha Academy mentors walk hrough the three key areas of life that we think everyone needs help with:
- Who are you at your core? What is your personal identity? And is that identity built on truth?
- What is your place in your community? How do you make every relationship in your life healthy? What do you do with unhealthy family, friends, significant others?
- Where do you plan on going next? What is your calling/mission? What skills do you need to grow to find more success in your plans?
Typically a mentoring session is weekly and last for about 60 minutes. We also offer weekly small groups for several guys in the mentoring program to get together. There is no charge for any non-residential mentoring service Alpha Academy provides.
We do not provide mental health counseling, substance use disorder counseling, or have any intention of imposing a particular religious view. We offer mentoring in the areas of relationships, emotions, finances, vocations, education, spirituality, and physical health. We are not certified experts in any of these areas, just caring men with experience who want to give back. If you are in need of these services in a more clinical or professional way, we will be happy to walk you through that process and support you in the ways we are qualified to help.
Alpha Academy’s residential mentoring program is for young men who are ready for a 24-week immersive mentoring experience. They take an extended break from the craziness of life and dive deep into who they are. Our residential mentoring program occurs twice a year and lasts nearly 6 months. During that time you will be living onsite, working and growing as a person. You will be living in a house with 2-4 other young men who are also here to grow, earning a paycheck through various job opportunities, and participating in daily mentoring sessions. You will also have the opportunity to go on several camping trips, learn new skills, and bond with friends you’ll keep for life.
The residential program is a big step for most people. There is very little cell phone and internet use here. We want a space free of the drama and distractions that we all have been held back by in the past. Don’t worry, this isn’t prison, just a group of people who all want to turn the volume down on their world for a bit while they get a vision and plan for who they are and where they’re going.
Young men in the residential mentoring program can expect:
- To be working hard on emotional issues, and tackling some pretty tough subjects. We go to the hard places, so that healing can happen.
- To have a lot of fun, but also learning to embrace a lifestyle that doesn’t hold fun as the highest priority. Often this program isn’t fun, but it’s always good. Due to the length of your stay, there will be periods of routine and maybe even boredom, but each day here brings growth.
- To be with people different than you. We make our services to any young man aged 18-24 who is willing and able to learn and grow. This means we may have Alpha Academy students from Cal Poly or Cuesta. We also frequently have students from out of California. Our students all have a wide range of backgrounds and struggles.
- To be working weekdays from 7:00AM to 12:30PM and in mentoring sessions between 2:00PM and 5:00PM. They get paid for their work, we want them to save money while here. The work is physical, but doable for all.
- To be hanging out and having fun with your housemates every evening and weekend. We do a lot together and get to have a lot of great experiences because of the resources of Alpha Academy.
How can I help?
Become part of the team of live-in mentors who manage the Alpha House. Make a major difference for others during evenings and weekends with the flexibility to go to school or work another job.
Additionally, you may donate here. We are grateful to those who are able to give in any form.