John Volken Academy

Transforming lives through a holistic recovery program that addresses substance abuse and personal development.

The John Volken Academy is a unique institution that stands out for its long-term residential program designed to treat young adults struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. With campuses in the United States and Canada, the Academy caters to men and women aged 19 to 34, offering a path to recovery that extends beyond overcoming substance abuse. The Academy’s approach is comprehensive, focusing on extensive personal development, career preparation, education, and the practice of healthy living, all of which are deemed essential for permanent recovery.

Founded by businessman and philanthropist John Volken, the Academy is part of a broader mission under the John Volken Foundation to help individuals in need become self-supporting and contributing members of society. Volken, who achieved significant success as the CEO of United Furniture Warehouse, eventually shifted his focus towards philanthropy. His decision to create the John Volken Academy was driven by a desire to address social neglect, particularly the need for long-term, residential treatment and life-skills training for those battling addiction. The Academy was named in his honor by the Foundation’s Board of Directors, reflecting his considerable contribution to its establishment and success.

The John Volken Academy program is structured around the Therapeutic Community model, which emphasizes the importance of a supportive group environment for recovery. Participants engage in a variety of activities designed to aid in their rehabilitation, including setting boundaries, effective communication, social engagement, and workplace integration. The goal is for students to develop holistically—mentally, physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually—until they are fully prepared to rejoin society as responsible, contributing individuals.

The cost of the program, aside from a relatively small one-time admission fee, is covered by the John Volken Foundation. This arrangement ensures that the program remains accessible to those who need it most, supported by Volken’s substantial investment of his personal assets into the Foundation. In addition to the Academy, Volken also established Lift the Children, a charity focused on aiding orphans in Africa, showcasing his commitment to making a significant difference in the lives of the disadvantaged globally.

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