The Jury is Out

by | May 30, 2024 | Blog

Dear Friends of Boundless:

The research on the impact Boundless has on adolescent mental health and education, independently researched and written by Laura Ziliotto, is complete. 

Please click here for the full report. 

A few weeks ago, I sensed that the conclusions were rather stellar. I called Laura  like an eager schoolboy and asked her,

“Can I tell the donors that we are the best program out there?”

She thought that was absurd.

“No, silly. We could have spent ten million dollars on one thousand participants and umpteen control groups and we could still not make that claim.”

I retrenched.

“How about we say that we are the best program out there for these particular kids?”

She became pensive for a moment, and said that indeed, she believed that to be true.

“But I can’t say that. There is no rigour behind that claim.”

So, dear reader, you’ll just have to take my word for it. I think we are the best program out there for these kids.

I can forgive you if you need more evidence. Dare, if you will, to read the attached and you will see loads of evidence. 

But just in case the notion of reading 30 pages of research cannot compete with other priorities in life – like taking out the recycling – I have endeavoured to summarize the research in 150 words or less. Read this and you will get the gist. 

Also, feel free to peruse the many quotes from students and their parents peppered throughout the document – they tell the real story.

So, to summarize:

The kids’ lives were transformed academically and socially. The severity of anxiety and depression eased considerably. Their family members didn’t recognize them when they returned. They first arrived at Boundless like wilting flowers. They came back warriors.

What worked?  Connections to staff. Imposing obligations. Structure. Expectations. Fantastic staff:student ratio. Physical fitness. No phone or internet. Scaffolding the learning. Relentless emotional support.

What didn’t work? It’s kind of hard to answer that question when not one parent made a suggestion for improvement. Nevertheless, Laura was persistent.

We need more focus on “Beyond Boundless”. More emphasis on preparing kids for maintaining their healthy routines. The kids need to be better able to jump back into the real world.

There is one line in the study, embedded deep in its maelstrom that I am especially proud of. I quote directly,

” The Boundless School seamlessly and preemptively responded to the growing need for supportive education for adolescents with comorbid mental health disorders.”

Yes we did. We saw it coming. It’s nasty out there for young people.

Thanks to you, the reader, who stand behind all this.

Warm regards,


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Steven Gottlieb
Steven Gottlieb