Building Unique Youth Alternatives (B.U.Y.A)

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Checked November 6, 2011
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Building Unique Youth Alternatives (B.U.Y.A) is a teenage boot camp, designed as a last-ditch resort for parents with children exhibiting severe social problems, including truancy, drug and alcohol use, gang affiliation, and/or juvenile criminal charges. The program utilizes Bassett High School in La Puente [1], California as well as several other locations during the 9-week program.

The Founder is Ret. Sergeant Major Tony Luna.

The program is targeted for children suffering from various issues, ranging from defiant conduct directed toward parents, teachers, figures of authority, etc. to children suffering from drug and alcohol use, truancy and gang affiliation.

A common name for the program among the staff is claimed to be "Boot Up Your Ass".

Program structure

The program has two phases:

The first phase involves removing the child from their normal environment to a camp located in the Angeles National Forest. The week long camp serves as a "reality shock" that includes physical training set in a military background, as well as various exercises and classes that serve to determine the cause of the problem(s) faced by the child and the appropriate therapy that will follow in the next weeks.

The second phase consists of 10 weeks of Saturday meetings, as well as in-home visits from staff to monitor progress and address any issues noted by the parent, teaches, etc. of the child.

There is a former convicted felon on staff, the medic is not licensed, and the program is not licensed because it is a "day" camp, although they do take the children to federal ground for a week.

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