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Staff

MEET OUR TEAM

We have an amazing set of staff who are here for the long term, which is exactly what this campus, and what these students, need. Ultimately, we want to accomplish the organization’s mission, which is changing hearts and bringing hope to individuals, families, and communities

Tim Smith: Chief Executive Officer

Tim Smith helps struggling youth at caribbean mountain academyTim Smith joined the organization in 2020 as Chief Innovation Officer and was appointed CEO in 2022. After graduating from IPFW (Purdue Fort Wayne), Tim and his wife, Angela, moved to Indianapolis where he attended the IU School of Law. Upon graduation and admission to the Indiana Bar, Tim and Ang returned to Fort Wayne where Tim joined MedPro Group. After 25 years and many different leadership positions, Tim retired from MedPro Group in 2019. His last position was as SVP of Operations & Technology where he led close to 350 employees and contractors who, together, were responsible for assuring all company stakeholders had a “best-in-class” experience. Tim has been active in local politics and has served on numerous boards. His passions include spending time with his family (five adult children and more than nine grandchildren…all under age 3), woodworking and hunting. He and his family have been active members at Grace Gathering Church for their entire lives.

John Pierce: Program Director

John Pierce helps struggling youth at caribbean mountain academyJohn Pierce is the Program Director at Caribbean Mountain Academy. He started in this role in the summer of 2021 after moving to campus with his wife, Rebekah, and their four children: Rosie, Joshua, Jesse, and Ruby. Before starting at CMA, John worked for several years in Education as a teacher and school administrator. Much of that experience was within alternative Education, focusing on innovative ways to engage students and promote a positive learning climate. He also led his staff in gaining professional development in supporting adolescents with multiple barriers to learning and being a trauma-informed school. John also previously worked in the field of accounting, tax, and business management. He received an Associate’s degree in Biblical Studies in 2006, a Bachelors’s in Education in 2013, and a Master’s in Education in 2017. His educational background and various career experiences prepared him for success in his current role as Program Director at CMA.

Click here to support John Pierce.

Benjamin Sede: Director of Operations

staff at caribbean mountain academy help struggling teensBenjamin Sede is the CMA Director of Operations. He served as a Youth Pastor for seven years at the Dominican Methodist Free Church while serving as Scoutmaster for the Dominican Scout Association in San Pedro de Macoris, D.R. He graduated in 2013 from Universidad Nacional Evangelica, UNEV (a Christian University) in Santo Domingo, D.R. with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration. He worked for a worldwide sales and customer care business as a senior supervisor when he resigned to respond to God’s call into the ministry as a Seminarian Student. While Benjamin was part of the Resident Life Staff at Hillcrest Academy, he also served as the Baseball Coach. He served for nearly two years as Youth Pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Underwood, MN. Erick graduated with the Master of Divinity, M.Div. in the spring of 2018. In the Fall of 2019, Benjamin accepted the call to serve as Campus Pastor at Caribbean Mountain Academy where he brings his vast international leadership experiences with Youths, Churches, and families. He gets to provide spiritual care and biblical teaching to the CMA Staff, the Students, their families, and also to the Missionary English-speaking community in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic Benjamin enjoys spending quality time with his wife Fabiola. Benjamin’s favorite part of CMA is being able to spend time individually with students and staff during mealtime.

Click here to support Erick Benjamin.

Joy Clifton, M.S. LMHC: Therapist

Joy Clifton helps struggling youth at caribbean mountain academyJoy Clifton is a counselor at Caribbean Mountain Academy. For over a decade, Joy has worked with adolescents and children in the mental health field. Through private practice, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida, Joy has provided counseling services for mental health, behavioral, and substance abuse needs to various populations. She is also an Ordained Minister in the Church of God and has served in the local church as a staff pastor and served alongside her husband Nolan in outreach/missions and children/student ministry. Joy is grateful to be a part of the CMA team and is honored to serve the needs of the CMA students and families. She and Nolan are from Florida and have two daughters, Hope and Anna. In her free time, she enjoys embracing the local culture, baking in the kitchen, and going on adventures in the great outdoors.

Click here to support Joy Clifton.

Ashlyn Fawley, MSW, LSW: Therapist

expert staff at caribbean Mountain academyAshlyn Fawley is a counselor at Caribbean Mountain Academy. She has been passionate about bringing restoration and hope to the world around her since a young age. She received her undergraduate degree in counseling at Grace College in Winona Lake, IN in 2012 and subsequently held a variety of roles: assisting middle and high school-aged youth in the schools, aiding in local and national disaster relief through the American Red Cross, and supporting the development of a women’s addiction rehabilitation program. Ashlyn went on to pursue her master’s degree and licensure in social work, working in healthcare and community mental health settings, specifically in addictions therapy. God opened the door to serve as a therapist at CMA in the summer of 2020, where Ashlyn appreciates the opportunity to serve alongside her husband and three small children. She loves to experience and learn from other cultures, and share in discovering more about the greatness of a globally present, all-knowing, and all-powerful God with her family.

Click here to support Ashlyn Fawley.

Jocabed Reyes: Youth Coach

best boarding school for troubled youth caribbean mountain academyJocabed Reyes is a youth coach at Caribbean Mountain Academy. She grew up working with her family to help those struggling in her community, including the homeless and those with emotional and addiction problems. She enjoyed being a youth leader in her church where she helped teenagers learn about God and serve the community. She is currently studying clinical psychology with the goal of getting her master’s degree to continue helping others. Jocabed grew up in Jarabacoa in the central Dominican Republic. She loves hiking, riding her motorcycle in the mountains, and visiting local rivers with family and friends. Her favorite part about working at CMA is building relationships with students through one on one conversations and helping them improve their lives.

Daniel Vincent Schlenker: Youth Coach

expert staff at caribbean mountain academy help troubled teens with therapy and academicsDaniel Vincent Schlenker serves as Youth Coach at Caribbean Mountain Academy. Prior to coming to CMA, Daniel worked at a Christian Therapeutic Boarding School for Struggling Youth in the Kansas City area for 9 years. Daniel served in several roles including Mentor/house staff, volunteer and service project coordinator, Director of Activities, teaching assistant, campus cook, and Domestic & Haiti Mission Trip Coordinator. Throughout all his years there Daniel was most passionate about the mentoring and discipleship of youth and young adults. Daniel loves cooking and finds creative ways to integrate it into most days; he finds it to be one of the best ways to encourage as well as to mentor and teach the students. Daniel is excited to have the opportunity to express his heart for worship getting to sing at church on campus as well as be able to practice and apply his Minor in Spanish.

Click here to support Daniel Vincent Schlenker.

Adela Silva: Youth Coach

expert staff at caribbean mountain academy help troubled teens with therapy and academicsAdela Silva is a Youth Coach at Caribbean Mountain Academy. Adela is an empty nester of 4 wonderful sons and 3 beautiful grandchildren that call her “Gamma Yaya”. She has dedicated 14 years in public education, (11 years as a 2nd-grade teacher beginning in 2008, and then 3 years of middle school teaching Visual Arts which she has a passion for). Adela is very active in her church with the youth group, women’s bible studies, and loves dancing with her silk flags of praise and worship. In her spare time, Adela’s hobbies are painting, gardening, carpentry work, and do-it-yourself projects.

Adela wants to serve God’s plan for her life and share her life’s experience to build and encourage others like the scripture says in Proverbs 27:17; “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Click here to support Adela Silva.

Mark Bemenderfer: Staff Support Coordinator

caribbean mountain academy - best staff that work with troubled teens and help them heal and manage their issuesMark has been involved in missions for more than 25 years, living in east Asia with his family for most of that time. While his ministry primarily focused on personal evangelism and discipleship, he and his wife also saw the need for family and parenting discipleship. As they raised their children on the mission field and ministered to college students and young professionals, they saw the importance of a godly family in preparing the next generation for faith in Christ and service for His kingdom. They appreciate CMA’s commitment to discipline youth in need and counseling and training their families so that the whole can be strengthened in Christ and a foundation laid for future growth in Christ. Seeing the intensity of ministry that CMA staff pour out, they are burdened with a desire to do whatever they can to pour into the staff, to keep them spiritually and emotionally healthy to keep serving families in crisis!

Click here to support Mark Bemenderfer.

Kim Hembry: Missions Coordinator

the staff at caribbean mountain academy make it their goal to help troubled youthKim Hembry is a native Texan that has a heart for teaching, training, and equipping individuals and communities to walk in healing and freedom from various forms of bondage, trauma, and addiction. She comes to us with several years of teaching experience that has been gained by serving in education both domestically and internationally since 2009. Also, she has worked with at-risk youth by serving at a therapeutic boarding school in Texas, by conducting an intervention program at a juvenile detention center, and by participating in other forms of outreach and restoration programs for youth and women that have experienced varying degrees of trauma. Prior to coming to Caribbean Mountain Academy, Kim had several opportunities to serve on the foreign mission field, including short-term trips to Guatemala, Costa Rica, Germany, Israel, and Egypt, as well as living in Guatemala for a total of three and a half years over two separate long-term assignments. Kim just recently graduated from Agua Viva, a Bible Institute and Seminary in Guatemala, where she finished a program in theological studies. She is also in the process of completing a mental health coach certification program under the American Association of Christian Counselors. When Kim has spare time, she enjoys a variety of different activities, including outdoor adventures like hiking, running, or kayaking, as well as reading, writing, playing board games, or participating in various forms of art. It’s common to find Kim with a cup of coffee in hand and enjoying a wide array of conversations with those that surround her, sometimes pondering deep concepts, and at other times, delighting in lighthearted conversation that’s likely laced with puns and infectious laughter. Kim is expectant for all that awaits her as she joins the Caribbean Mountain Academy team and looks forward to seeing the Lord bring forth the fruit of transformation in the lives of the youth and families that she will get to serve at Caribbean Mountain.

Click here to support Kim Hembry.


Mykayla Hurtekant:
Program Coordinator

top ranked therapeutic boarding schools in the US Caribbean Mountain AcademyMykayla Hurtekant is the Program Coordinator at Caribbean Mountain Academy (CMA). She started this role in November 2021 but has been with CMA since 2018 as a Youth Coach and House Staff leader. Before starting at CMA, Mykayla worked for several years at a ministry dedicated to serving inner-city youth. She received a CNA License (Certified Nursing Assistant) from Ivy Tech College, in Elkhart, Indiana. Mykayla then had the opportunity to move to Costa Rica for a six-month internship where she worked in a community center that provided food and job training to impoverished communities, as well as several after-school programs. Her combined experience and passion for caregiving, ministry, and working with teens has made Mykayla a great part of the CMA team. As Program Coordinator, she supports CMA’s direct care staff (Youth Coaches and Therapists) by training, empowering, and encouraging them in their daily work.

Click here to support Mykayla Hurtekant.


Richard Raposa:
Facilities Coordinator

top ranked therapeutic boarding schools in the US Caribbean Mountain AcademyRichard first visited the Dominican Republic on a short-term mission trip. On the trip, he discovered the ministry of helping struggling teens and families, and he never went home. He has been working in the facilities and maintenance department since the very beginning of Caribbean Mountain Academy (CMA), which was in 2012. He knows everything about CMA’s property and its facilities, from the smallest detail to the biggest. He loves CMA’s mission and is committed to doing everything in his power to keep the campus and facilities running smoothly to fully support the work of changing the hearts and lives of students at CMA. As needed, he also facilitates service projects and works alongside missions teams. Richard is married with four children and will soon be an empty nester. He looks forward to continuing to serve the ministry of CMA as long as the Lord allows.

Click here to support Richard Raposa.

Hope Schmidt: Case Manager

christian therapeutic staff help troubled youth heal and restore relationshipsHope Schmidt works with both students and their families at Caribbean Mountain Academy as the Case Manager and Admissions Specialist. She coordinates much of the behind-the-scenes organization between parents and students while responding quickly to student concerns and questions. Hope grew up as the oldest of nine, home-schooled siblings in a family where building forts, climbing trees, and sword-fighting with sticks were normal occurrences. An author of young adult fantasy and speculative fiction, Hope has a passion for helping teens understand the truth of God’s promises through the darkest of situations. In her free time, she loves reading, writing lists, and hanging out with friends. Her favorite part of working at CMA is building relationships with students and being allowed the privilege of watching them learn and grow.

Click here to support Hope Schmidt.

Andrew Stuck: Education Coordinator

troubled youth heal and succeed with the help of the staff at caribbean mountain academyAndrew Stuck is the Education Coordinator at Caribbean Mountain Academy. His responsibilities include overseeing the education of all the students as well as providing the campus with a healthy dose of sarcasm. He is a third-generation missionary, raised in Ecuador to church-planting parents. He graduated from Bethel College with a degree in Social Studies Education. He holds certifications in TCI and CPR and is working towards a Masters in Educational Leadership. His diverse educational background includes teaching English in South Korea, working in a middle school life skills classroom, coaching mentally disabled adults, and supervising the education of teenagers in a court-placement residential program. Outside of the classroom, he keeps busy making life an adventure for his four children. He and his wife enjoy hiking, reading, board games, and debating which is the best iteration of Doctor Who.

Favorite Part about working at CMA: Witnessing the “aha” moments in students’ relationships with parents and with God.

Click here to support Andrew Stuck.

Andrew Stroup

andrew stroup helps struggling youth at caribbean mountain academyAndrew Stroup is the Executive Director at Caribbean Mountain Academy. He has been committed to children and families for his entire career. He began by obtaining a double major in Youth Ministry and Biblical Studies from Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. In 2008, Andrew began working at Lifeline Youth & Family Services as a direct care staff at Pierceton Woods Academy (PWA). During Andrew’s 10 years of leadership at PWA, he became a certified Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Instructor through the Residential Child Care Project based at Cornell University. He was also certified by IN-AJSOP (Indiana Association of Juvenile Sex Offender Practitioners) as a Credentialed Sexually Abusive Youth Professional (CSAYP) for working with sexually abusive youth in Indiana. He completed his Master’s in Business Administration in 2017.

Andrew’s love for youth and family ministry made his transition to CMA a natural fit, so in April 2017 he transitioned with his wife Erin and their 4 kids to continue their work helping families be restored.

Click here to support Andrew Stroup.

David Walker

troubled youth heal and succeed with the help of the staff at caribbean mountain academyDavid and Jacki can often be quoted saying, “We build big people.” They enjoy seeing discipleship in action as they work most frequently with the parents of students in our programs. David and Jacki love to teach folks who they are through Jesus and guide them into their destiny. As they’ve experienced a fair share of family trauma and heartache as well as, and more importantly, reconciliation, they are able to present a full testimony of the goodness of our Father to the families they work with from CMA campuses. Family Coaching is the culmination of their personal experience and their faith walk over the years as they’ve learned to trust God in the process.

David and Jacki, and their children, currently live in Wheatfield, Indiana, and work remotely with families all around the country to bring lasting change and hope to what were hopeless homes. In addition to this work, they are aiding in the launch of new, in-person, programs across the nation.

Click here to support David Walker.

We can also help you in your search for other schools for boarding schools with therapy, behavioral boarding schools, ranches for troubled girls, military schools, Christian military schools,  or schools for troubled teens. Caribbean Mountain Academy is a Christian therapeutic boarding school for troubled teenagers offering teen counseling. We deal with defiance, depression, post traumatic stress, abuse, and general anxiety. If you have an out of control girl or boy, please think about Caribbean Mountain Academy, a school for troubled teens that offers counseling for troubled teens and out of control teens. If you are searching for residential treatment centers, troubled youth homes, troubled teen schools or troubled teen boarding schools, you have found one.

Therapeutic Boarding Schools | About Caribbean Mountain Academy Staff

The Caribbean therapeutic boarding school staff is a team of compassionate professionals who help struggling teens heal and succeed in life.

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