National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs to Honor Larry D. Olsen with its Leadership Award| Mike Merchant, President| Sean Rourke, Vice President | Mesa, Arizona

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Wilderness therapy pioneer and founder of nonprofit ANASAZI Foundation will receive award and deliver keynote address at the association’s annual conference

Contact: Sean Rourke ANASAZI Foundation 480.892.7403 sean@anasazi.org

ANASAZI Foundation

Larry Olsen is widely recognized as the father of modern primitive survival education and a founder of the wilderness therapy industry, which today serves more than 25,000 youth and young adults.

"If we will listen long enough, we will hear the truth about our selves."
Michael J. Merchant
President, ANASAZI Foundation

The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) has named wilderness therapy pioneer Larry D. Olsen as the winner of its Leadership Award. The award, which honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the care of struggling young people and their families, will be presented at NATSAP’s annual conference in Savannah, Georgia.

Larry Olsen is widely recognized as the father of modern primitive survival education and a founder of the wilderness therapy industry, which today serves more than 25,000 youth and young adults. He is the author of “Outdoor Survival Skills,” considered by many the definitive book on the subject. Soon after the book’s first printing in 1967, Olsen developed an outdoor survival course designed to build self confidence and other skills in probationary students seeking readmission to Brigham Young University. With the assistance of Ezekiel Sanchez, an early participant, the 26-day course quickly gained recognition and expanded to include adjudicated youth from the local community. In 1969, the pair was recognized for their work with a national award titled “Youth Rehabilitation Through Outdoor Survival.”

In 1988, Olsen and Sanchez formed the nonprofit ANASAZI Foundation, which continues to provide Joint Commission-accredited behavioral healthcare services based in large part on the principles, primitive curriculum, and non-punitive environment of their earlier programs.

Nominations for the Leadership Award are solicited from all NATSAP members, and the winner is selected by a vote of the NATSAP Board of Directors. For more information, visit http://www.natsap.org.

"The only guarantee in parenting is that no matter what I do with a heart at war, I will only make it worse."
Michael J. Merchant
President, ANASAZI Foundation

ABOUT ANASAZI FOUNDATION
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2008, ANASAZI Foundation is a nonprofit (501c3), nationally recognized, licensed, and Joint Commission-accredited behavioral healthcare provider known for its nurturing and non-punitive approach to helping struggling young people. ANASAZI's menu of services includes a 42-day (minimum stay), wilderness-based treatment program for youth 13-17 (including those often labeled as “troubled teens”) and young adults 18-25, as well as parenting workshops, leadership and marriage courses, outpatient counseling, and community drug awareness and education forums. Visit http://www.anasazi.org for more information.

Contact:
Sean Rourke
ANASAZI Foundation
480.892.7403
sean.rourke(at)anasazi(dot)org

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