Our Approach

Our research-driven approach helps kids find their natural born potential.

No kid is born bad. As life progresses, each one is faced with pressures and environments that can influence decisions. Fortunately for many, foundations of support through families, mentors, role models, and positive environments can guide us, providing opportunities and helping us make the right decisions.

But some kids don’t have that support. There are a multitude of situations that can affect a child negatively, and dim that potential. Family issues, negative influences, and dangerous environments are just a few of many situations that can negatively affect a child’s development and can lead to behavioral issues, learning disabilities, and in some cases offenses. If left untreated and punished, the cycle of negative behavior continues, many times for the rest of their lives.

There is potential born into every child. AMIkids is dedicated to helping our troubled kids realize and achieve that potential, strengthen their community, and have a lasting impact on generations to come.

Personal Growth Model

The AMIkids Personal Growth Model ™ is a comprehensive approach to treatment for youth who have experienced family issues, are struggling in school and are at risk of dropping out, have demonstrated behavior that could lead to offenses, or have been adjudicated and in lieu of incarceration, have been sent to a day treatment or residential program.

The AMIkids Personal Growth Model ™ is designed to target and reduce the risk factors that sustain negative behavior and academic failure, improve successful program completion rates, and promote academic achievement.

The needs of each kid are different, so before services are provided through the AMIkids Personal Growth Model ©, the risks and needs of each kid are assessed. On the basis of these assessed needs, an appropriate treatment plan is developed, which features a combination of Education, Behavior Modification, and treatment.


The education component uses three primary methods to enhance learning: experiential education, project-based learning, and service learning. Participants attend classes in an academic setting, and teachers use a rigorous curriculum designed to address the participants’ individualized needs and diverse learning styles. Teachers implementing this component must be certified and highly qualified on the basis of state, local, and AMIkids requirements. What helps separate AMIkids apart are four “challenge” events put on each year, providing rewards for top performers with once-in-a-lifetime experiences like scuba diving and rappelling/white-water rafting. The other two events focus on Olympic-style events, challenging our kids both academically and athletically, and allowing them to express their talents and support one another through sportsmanship and teamwork.


The behavior modification component is designed to develop or strengthen desired prosocial behaviors and eliminate or weaken antisocial behaviors through three techniques using positive reinforcement: a point card system, a token economy, and a rank system. Staff implementing this component must be designated AMIkids Behavior Modification professionals (i.e., those who have completed the AMIkids Behavior Modification System training).


The treatment component is individualized on the basis of each participant’s assessments, and research-based mental health and/or substance abuse interventions (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, functional family therapy, motivational interviewing) are provided to participants, as well as their families. Participants receive group services on a daily basis, and individual and family sessions are provided on a schedule determined by the individualized treatment plan. Staff members implementing this component are licensed mental health professionals or therapists/counselors who are supervised by a licensed mental health professional.


Providing our kids the tools and guidance to be successful is critical for their development, but finding employment is integral to sustain that positivity and achieve success. At AMIkids programs, our kids are not only encouraged to pursue their GED or catch up on their grades to get back in school, many are provided with various training and industry-recognized certifications to be job-ready when they return to their families and neighborhoods, improving the talented workforce, strengthening their community, and further inspiring them to stay on the road to success. Our programs offer a wide variety of certifications including construction, food service, welding, healthcare, information technology, and more.

us-dept-of-labor-logoIn 2014, AMIkids secured funding from a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor to support the implementation of vocational education and job placement to better serve our kids and set them on a path for success. In 2015, eight AMIkids programs in Florida and South Carolina began offering training and industry-recognized certifications to bolster our communities' workforce talent and gain and sustain employment to open up a world of opportunity in their lives. 

Through this grant, AMIkids students are training for and earning the following industry-recognized certifications:


DOL-certificationsStudents will receive OSHA safety training and certifications to become craft professionals from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). These credentials along with hands-on training will prepare these participants for careers in the construction industry. 

Food Service

Students will receive Food Handler certifications from National Restaurant Association and local restaurant associations. This certification will help participants prepare for careers in the food service industry.


Students will have the opportunity to be certified in EKG Technician, Phlebotomy Technicians and Medical Administration Assistants from the National Healthcareer Association. They will also be First Aid/CPR and Bloodborne Pathogen Training certified, preparing them for careers in the healthcare industry.

Information Technology

Students will receive A+ certifications from the CompTIA IT Trade Industry Association. This certification will help prepare participants for careers in the information technology industry.

How It Works

When students start with AMIkids, they will choose an industry path and create ideal career goals and outcomes. Throughout the process, local programs’ students will be provided with employability skills training, mock interviews, job shadow opportunities, work readiness skills, job clubs, and industry specific mentors to help them become motivated, work-ready young adults.

AMIkids is seeking industry leading employers to provide graduates with employment opportunities to help start their career. Employers can also provide job shadow opportunities, mentor, and volunteer to help prepare participants with the soft skills necessary for their careers.

For more information on Vocational Training and if you are interested in employing or mentoring our graduates, please contact us.