SKY'S THE LIMIT FUND

Transforming Lives through Wilderness Therapy

Milpitas, CA   |  www.skysthelimitfund.org

Mission

The mission of Sky’s the Limit Fund (STLF) is to transform the lives of youth in crisis and their families by providing access to wilderness therapy programs, coaching services to guide families during the transition home, and outreach to educate the community on the benefits of wilderness therapy.

Ruling year info

2010

Executive Director

Rochelle Bochner

Main address

Sobrato Center for Nonprofits 510A Valley Way

Milpitas, CA 95035 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-2592172

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (F12)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Numerous studies document a rise in mental health illness in American teens. 1 in 5 teens has had a serious mental health illness, such as depression and/or anxiety. Left untreated, the illness can lead to life-threatening consequences. In a 2017 survey of American high school students, 17% reported they had seriously considered attempting suicide in the last 12 months. Yet, less than half received treatment in the last year. Wilderness Therapy is an effective form of treatment for youth suffering from mental health illnesses including but not limited to severe anxiety, depression, suicide attempts, substance use. The families seeking wilderness therapy treatment for their youth have tried traditional therapy, out and in-patient care, juvenile detention and for some, jail. Nothing has worked. Unfortunately, wilderness therapy is expensive and rarely covered by health insurance companies, making it an unattainable option. STLF makes wilderness therapy accessible.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Access to Wilderness Therapy

STLF believes that cost should not be a barrier to any family seeking effective and lasting treatment for their child’s mental health illness. STLF provides financial assistance, ranging from $3,000 - $10,000 per youth, to offset the high cost of wilderness therapy. We partner with 10 wilderness therapy programs across the United States and we require our partners to match our funding with a reduction in tuition, which is significant considering most insurance companies do not provide coverage for wilderness therapy. In fact, 89% of STLF families reported that their health insurance did not cover any of the wilderness therapy and/or after-care expenses for their child.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Young adults

Family Coaching - Statistics show that the best formula for success happens when a youth graduates from a wilderness therapy program and has a support mechanism for transitioning to the next stage of life. Realizing the importance of this follow-up support, STLF created the Family Coaching Service in 2016. Offered free-of-charge to all STLF families, this 12-15 week service involves the entire family. Coaches lay out a weekly curriculum, which includes phone calls, homework and psycho-educational materials. This hands-on approach helps guide families out of the pitfalls of relapse and into healthy, balanced family dynamics, and a life of success and independence for the youth. We also offer this program to non-STLF families for a fee of $1,500.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Young adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Increasing the percentage of STLF families who enroll in a transitional support program from 65% to 80%.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Family Coaching Service

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

80% of youth transition to an after care program following wilderness therapy. After care is also expensive, so we encourage STLF families to participate in our Family Coaching Service.

90% of STLF parents/guardians will report they recommend wilderness therapy as effective treatment for youth in crisis.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Access to Wilderness Therapy

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

STLF families receive surveys 3 and 12 months following wilderness therapy treatment to obtain feedback on STLF program and mental health state of youth and family following treatment.

85% of STLF parents/guardians will report their child is in a healthy mental state 12 months post wilderness therapy treatment.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Access to Wilderness Therapy

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

STLF families receive surveys 12 months post treatment to gather feedback on STLF program, wilderness therapy and mental health state of youth and families.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to provide youth in crisis with financial need the means to receive effective and lasting treatment for their mental health illness. Through wilderness therapy and the STLF Family Coaching Service, youth can transform their lives and become healthy, functioning members of their family and community. In addition, we want to bring awareness to the mental health crisis facing youth today and the benefits and efficacy of wilderness therapy.

Our FYE 6/30/2021 goal is to provide $550,000 of support to approximately 110 youth in crisis and their families and to serve 45 families through the STLF Family Coaching Service.

In addition, we plan to host 4 community outreach events.

We have implemented a Parent to Parent mentor program to provide additional support to STLF families. This is a new service whereby experienced parents share information and offer support to families whose youth are currently in a wilderness therapy program.

Our Wilderness Therapy Support Program addresses the mental health and well-being of youth in crisis with financial need by providing access to wilderness therapy and transitional support. Wilderness therapy is the prescriptive use of wilderness experiences by licensed mental health professionals to meet the therapeutic needs of clients. By immersing youth in the wilderness for 8-12 weeks, wilderness therapy programs combine the powerful effects of nature with licensed mental health professionals and trained field guides, enabling youth to focus on their mental and physical health. The wilderness provides hands-on learning opportunities and natural consequences, forcing the youth to take responsibility for their actions and the outcomes. The youth learn leadership and healthy coping skills to aid in their recovery and wellness.

STLF’s Wilderness Therapy Support Program includes:

1. Access to Wilderness Therapy - STLF believes that cost should not be a barrier to any family seeking effective and lasting treatment for their child’s mental health illness. STLF provides financial assistance, ranging from $3000 - $10,000 per youth, to offset the high cost of wilderness therapy. We partner with 10 wilderness therapy programs across the United States and we require our partners to match our funding with a reduction in tuition. Therefore, $5,000 from STLF, when matched by the partner program, becomes a $10,000 reduction in tuition for the family. This is significant considering most insurance companies do not provide coverage for wilderness therapy. In fact, 89% of STLF families reported that their health insurance did not cover any of the wilderness therapy and/or after-care expenses for their child.

2. Family Coaching - Statistics show that the best formula for success happens when a youth graduates from a wilderness therapy program and has a support mechanism for transitioning to the next stage of life. Realizing the importance of this follow-up support, STLF created the Family Coaching Service in 2016. Offered free-of-charge to all STLF families, this 12-15 week service involves the entire family. Coaches lay out a weekly curriculum, which includes phone calls, homework and psycho-educational materials. This hands-on approach helps guide families out of the pitfalls of relapse and into healthy, balanced family dynamics, and a life of success and independence for the youth. We also offer this program to non-STLF families for a fee of $1,500.

3. Parent/Guardian Support: STLF provides guidance, mentors and resources to help families successfully navigate the treatment process. STLF recently added Parent Mentoring to the program. This new service connects parents who are new to wilderness therapy with alumni parents who have sought wilderness therapy for their child. Alumni parents share information about how wilderness therapy works and offer support to families whose youth are currently in treatment.

We run several donation campaigns and host several fundraising events every year to generate the income necessary to fund our Wilderness Therapy Support Program and operating expenses. Our wilderness Partner Programs are committed to reaching out to their families and alumni to support STLF. Every year since inception we have increased revenue, grown our support base, reached more families and served more youth in crisis. Staff and Board members are committed to the mission.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone. The impact may be financial, social, emotional, and/or physical. This is unchartered territory and the impact on mental health is significant. A goal for STLF is to pivot and adapt rather than cut budgets, furlough employees, and reduce service levels. STLF will continue to help as many youth and their families as possible by providing the same level of support, adding two to four new wilderness therapy programs, and dipping into cash reserves. This allows us to operate prudently while still maintaining a reserve for the following year.

Due to COVID-19 and the uncertainty surrounding the fundraising climate, we are being conservative in our fundraising goals and mindful of our expenses in FY2021. In addition to a monthly review of our financial statements, we will perform a detailed quarterly review and forecast. If necessary, we will adjust future revenue and expenses accordingly.

This past fiscal year, 2020, STLF provided $738,156 of support to 141 youth in crisis and their families. 51 families participated in our Family Coaching Service. Since inception in 2010, STLF has provided over $3.5M of support to over 715 families across the United States. Combined with the matching reduction in tuition from our partner programs, this is over $7M in support to youth in crisis. In addition, we have served over 140 families in our Family Coaching Service since its inception in the spring of 2016. STLF’s model is unique as no other non-profit organization in the United States provides access to wilderness therapy as well as a transitional support program.

We are proud to share that Evoke Therapy Programs and Northwoods Wilderness Therapy-A New Vision Program joined our Partner Program in August 2020.

STLF is a Friend of the OBH Council (Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare), supporting its research and member program accreditation. STLF collaborates with Dr. Michael Gass, Director of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Center (OBH Center), to share research and data supporting the efficacy of wilderness therapy. Dr. Gass and OBH fully support the mission of STLF and the importance of providing those in need with access to wilderness therapy.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    STLF serves youth and young adults in mental health crisis from families with financial need. The youth range in age from 11-23 and suffer from a variety of mental health illnesses including severe depression and anger, suicide attempts, substance abuse, self-harm, bullying, bi-polar and gender identity issues. We accept applications from any youth whose primary residence is in the United States. We have served youth from races including, but not limited to, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and White. STLF provides opportunities to people who, due to financial restrictions, are unable to participate in wilderness therapy treatment. STLF only provides support to individuals and families with financial necessity.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Our families expressed a desire to receive additional weeks of support through our Coaching Services. As a result, we extended the support by 6 weeks, if requested by the family. In addition, we created a new program wherein we provide families and young adults participating in STLF Coaching Services the opportunity to be reimbursed for up to $2500 of treatment for the youth or young adult in his/her home community following wilderness therapy. This extends the treatment period and gives the youth/young adult and family additional support to continue and expand on the gains made in wilderness therapy.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Asking for feedback has strengthened the sense of comfort our families have with STLF knowing we are listening and improving our services where appropriate and necessary.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

SKY'S THE LIMIT FUND
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

SKY'S THE LIMIT FUND

Board of directors
as of 7/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lisa O'Hearn-Keck

Rochelle Bochner

Lani Dorff

Jeff Deaton

Alhouse Deaton. CEO and Owner

Lisa O'Hearn-Keck

Dean of Students, Palo Alto Prep School

Barbara Krancer

Naomi Chavez-Peters

Great Leader Consulting

Dave Segre

Partner, Cooley LLP

Sid Kapur

Technology Investor, Symphony Technology Group

Tara Saul

Megan Keller

Alexis King

Owner, Alexis King Interiors

Cath Cioth

Jennifer Taylor

Founder of JET ED Consulting

Brenda Zane

Mayo Clinic Certified health and wellness coach

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/30/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data