SunHawk Academy Appoints New Clinical Director with a Cause

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David Chandler has over 20 years of therapeutic experience and an unconventional way of helping child abuse victims.

I am reminded, every time we show up for a child, of what a difference BACA would have made to me as a child. I know how my life could have been different had BACA been there for me.

SunHawk Academy, a residential treatment program for troubled teens, today announced that David "Davee" Chandler, LCSW, has been promoted to Clinical Director. Chandler has worked as a therapist for the St. George, Utah Academy since 2005. In his new role, Chandler will direct the medical and clinical departments, and manage program development and implementation. Yet Chandler's efforts to help youth extend far beyond SunHawk Academy.

Outside of work, Chandler is active in Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA), an international organization he co-founded in 1995 that works with local and state officials to create a safer environment for abused children through parental-approved contact, ride-alongs and overall support. Children who have been abused are able to call upon BACA members when they feel scared or in need of a friend, and the bikers provide physical and emotional support and encouragement at a moment's notice, free-of-charge.

"When I look in my mirrors and see two endless strings of bike headlights behind me, and I realize that all these men and women are riding to the aid of the child, I become keenly aware that I am part of a force that is far greater than any of us," says Chandler. "I am reminded, every time we show up for a child, of what a difference BACA would have made to me as a child. I know how my life could have been different had BACA been there for me."

Chandler is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the mental health field for over 20 years helping children, adolescents and adults. Prior to joining SunHawk, he was in private practice as a psychotherapist and worked for the State of Utah Office of Social Services. Chandler has also been an adjunct professor at Utah Valley State College since 1995. He developed his personal passion for helping troubled youth early on, and eventually wound up at SunHawk helping struggling teens who are often in denial of their behavioral or emotional issues.

"The challenge of helping adolescents that don't necessarily see the need for or want help is exactly that - a challenge," says Chandler. "However, I believe our kids deserve the very best care we can offer them and I am personally committed to helping the students at SunHawk reach their fullest potential. I am fortunate to work in a treatment program that is similarly committed."

SunHawk Academy is a teen residential treatment program and boarding school that combines an intense clinical intervention with an accredited academic program. SunHawk treats struggling teens ages 13-17 with behavioral and substance abuse problems. During the program, students progress through levels as they achieve specific academic and behavioral goals. Personal growth of students is encouraged through extensive therapeutic activities, which are under the direction of qualified clinical staff. The program's Life Skills Training component gives each child extensive exposure to real life experiences and challenges, to appropriately prepare them for success in today's world.

SunHawk Academy is a proud member of Aspen Education Group, the nation's largest and most comprehensive network of therapeutic schools and programs. Aspen Education Group offers professionals and families the opportunity to choose from a variety of therapeutic settings in order to best meet a student's unique academic and emotional needs. Aspen Education Group has been profiled by major news and television organizations around the world, including U.S. News and World Report, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and People magazine, as well as on CNN, ABC's 20/20 and Good Morning America, NBC's The Today Show and Dateline NBC, and National Public Radio. Aspen is a division of CRC Health Group, the nation's largest chemical dependency and related behavioral health organization. For more information about Aspen Education Group, visit or call (888) 972-7736. For more information about SunHawk Academy, visit or call (800) 214-3878. For more information about BACA, visit


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