The Unique Challenges Facing Today’s Young Adults

Our newest emerging adult generation face a unique challenge. They are overwhelmed with options and possibilities, told they could do and be anything they want to be, but generally, lack the skills and preparation they need to step into these adult roles. When you add a background of childhood trauma, mental illness, or substance abuse, it’s almost impossible to navigate this transition to adulthood. This can be perilous considering these years are when a person makes decisions and outcomes that have lasting ramifications.

The demands of looming independence can easily exacerbate mental-health issues or create new ones for emerging young adults. Although our society deems the 18th birthday the official crossover to adulthood, neuroscience shows us the brain continues to grow and develop until at least 25. Brain development in this time period mostly takes place in the pre-frontal cortex and cerebellum, the areas related to emotional control and higher-order executive functioning. As much as we want to urge our youth to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and embrace adulthood already, it’s simply not that easy.

When our teens and twentysomethings are begging for the freedoms and perks of adulthood, but genuinely cannot manage the responsibility and maturity that comes along with it, how do you safely empower them? At Calo Programs we recognize this difficult challenge and have tailored unique programs to address these very issues.

Calo Young Adults is a cutting edge transitional emerging adult program offering a unique blend of clinical support and real world experience in a charming East coast, Mid-Atlantic town of Winchester, Virginia. With the support of clinicians, vocational coaches, and mentors, each young adult creates his/her own unique treatment plan based on desired personal growth and aspirations. Our team works to be a steady resource of guidance, empowerment, and motivation while creating the optimal safe environment for success.

We’re experts in generating the structure needed for young adults to develop healthy skills for independent living. Overwhelming tasks like enrolling in college, applying for a job, or developing a monthly budget are broken down into manageable steps with the guidance and encouragement of coaches. With today’s technological, fast-paced working environment, it’s easy for standard applications to become paralyzing with the number of tasks and questions presented, questions students feel like they should know the answers to but don’t. Staff meets students exactly where they’re at and work on their level to develop the competence needed for the task. Success in these small accomplishments leads to immense boosts in confidence, self-concept, and empowerment for the future.

YETI stands for Young-adults Emerging, Transitioning, and Integrating and is Calo Program’s newest premier program located in Bend, Oregon. A compelling hybrid of New Vision’s Wilderness immersion therapy with transitional programming. We’ve combined the best of both worlds by allowing young adults to experience the intensity of wilderness with the practical skills and application of independent living in civilization.

Students engage in adventure activities such as whitewater rafting, rock climbing, surfing, mountain biking, canoeing, and skiing. These are intense, adrenaline-producing activities facilitated in a trauma-informed capacity that push students out of their comfort zone. This allows students to discover self-identity and worth, feel empowered and accomplished and maybe even develop a new healthy outdoor hobby to outlet stress and frustration in the future. Activities are not the primary focus of work in the field, but they offer a rich and complex experiential backdrop for personal growth and a heightened perspective of achievement. While in town students hone skills for independent living by volunteering, attending college advisement meetings or resume and mock interview workshops, and engaging with the local community. YETI’s masterful blend of various therapies, environmental immersions, and transitional programming jumpstarts a successful transition to adulthood.

Unfortunately, we don’t foresee the challenge of young adult transitions getting easier any time soon. However, we recognize the unique struggle this generation faces and are equipped to come alongside and walk with them through this tumultuous process.

About Calo Programs

Calo (“kay-low”) Programs ( is a behavioral and mental health provider specialized in healing the effects of complex developmental trauma. Calo is comprised of Calo Teens (, Calo Preteens (  – both residential programs located in Lake Ozark, MO predominately serving adoptive families, New Vision Wilderness (  – “NVW”), therapeutic outdoor behavioral health programs located in Bend, Oregon and Medford, Wisconsin, Calo Young Adults ( – transitional living program for young adults in Virginia – and Embark by Calo ( a therapeutic workshop and family intensive program for those reeling from issues of trauma, attachment and adoption.

For more information please contact Thomas A. Ahern, at [email protected].

The Unique Challenges Facing Today’s Young Adults
last modified: August 1st, 2017