About Us


In the mid-1990s, the Colorado Division of Youth Services (DYS) responded to the steady rise in the juvenile offender residential population by investing in a state-of-the-art, in-state, academic model program focused on teaching youth skills and competencies in a normalized, high school environment. Through a competitive bidding process authorized by HB 97-1318, Rite of Passage was selected as the Design Build Operator. In 1999, construction began on what is now Ridge View Youth Services Center.

Before its official opening in 2001, community leaders and stakeholders formed the Ridge View Academy School Board to oversee the on-site charter school. Ridge View Academy is now an accredited, alternative education charter school within Denver Public Schools. In 2013 – 2016, RVA has earned the Center for Excellence Award from the Colorado Department of Education.

In 2013, Ridge View expanded its services to Colorado counties to serve youth in need of treatment, education and other social services. Through these successful public-private partnerships, Ridge View has cared for, counseled and educated over 4,300 court-involved and at-need young men, helping them to make positive, lasting change in their lives. Today, Ridge View students embrace the academic model program with demonstrated pride in their school and associated behavioral changes and achievements: 85% are program graduates and nearly 2,000 received high school diplomas or GEDs.

Rite of Passage

Ridge View Youth Services Center is operated by Rite of Passage, a leading National provider of evidence-based therapeutic and educational programs for youth. Rite of Passage provides a diverse continuum of care with evidence-based programs in education, youth shelter programs, family and community aftercare and intensive treatment for youth involved in the juvenile justice system.

For over 30 years, Rite of Passage has been improving the lives of youth. Through its work at Ridge View and other academy programs, Rite of Passage has developed the Academic Model™ framework to articulate its program philosophy, methodology, and specific evidence-based practices.


The Academic Model™ is the framework for Ridge View Academy’s programming and services. Beginning with a foundation of safety, accomplished through caring relationships, qualified and trained staff, fosters a culture where students can learn.

Staff model pro-social skills, utilize the appropriate amount of empathy and provide youth with problem resolution skills. Assessments identify individual student needs and strengths and develop their intrinsic motivation for change.

Evidence-based cognitive behavioral interventions help students develop skills to overcome aggression, disruptive behavior, and heal from traumatic events in their lives. Since many of the students will return home, family involvement and treatment are provided at an appropriate intensity.

The normalized environment enables each student to develop and practice skills in the therapeutic, academic, vocational, health/wellness, family and community activities. Through these experiences, the student gains competencies and skills to attain Treatment Plan goals; then, new goals are established and the process of positive change is moved forward, creating a new vision and hope for the youth.

Meet Our Qualified Team

Kent Moe has worked with Rite of Passage since the organization was founded in 1984. He has been recognized by the State of Colorado with the “Best Practice Award” for developing intense Transition and Aftercare Programming. Mr. Moe attended Sierra Nevada College where he majored in Psychology with an emphasis on High Risk Youth Studies and completed post graduate certificates at University of Nevada, Reno in Human Resources and Non-Profit Management.

Kent Moe
Executive Director

Jay Koedam holds a Master’s of Science in Education, and has worked for Rite of Passage since 2004. At RVA, Mr. Koedam oversees to the day-to-day operations on the campus and is “in the mix” with students.

Jay Koedam
Program Director

Evelyn Schott, Director of Student Services, holds a Master of Arts, and has over 25 years of experience working with at-risk youth from the State of Colorado, Division of Youth Services. In her role at Ridge View, she oversees the clinical, medical and case management departments.

Evelyn Schott
Director of Student Services

Scott Hays, Clinical Director of Ridge View Academy, holds a Master of Arts in Community Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Addiction Counselor. Mr. Hays started practicing therapy in 2006 and has worked for Rite of Passage since 2013. He currently oversees the Intensive Wellness and Recovery Program (ASAM Level 3.1), and believes in a holistic approach to recovery and encourages therapeutic engagement on multiple levels.

Scott Hays
Clinical Director

Dr. Edward Cope, Principal, holds a Ph.D. from Denver University in Curriculum and Instruction. As principal, Dr. Cope shapes a vision of academic success for all Ridge View students, and works to cultivate a culture of academic rigor and excellence.

Dr. Ed Cope

Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and has over 20 years of Human Resources experience. She has an extensive background in recruitment,
employee training, incentives, benefits and payroll. She also has strengths in the area of intercultural communication, team building, and managing change.
Jennifer supports the employee experience at Ridge View and is devoted to promoting employee growth and equity.

Jennifer Robinson
Human Resources Manager