About Us

A Rite of Passage Program

Desert Lily Academy

Since 1984, Rite of Passage has been operating rehabilitative and educational programs with the goal of improving the lives of youth, families and communities. While remaining true to this mission, ROP has evolved from an experiential group home to a nationally-recognized organization that delivers innovative youth programming across the country. 

Our specific work with young women began in 2001. Today, we operate 14 female-specific programs across the country that provide trauma-responsive services through a relational and strengths-based, cognitive-behavioral framework. Our commitment to excellence is reflected in our CARF accreditation 3 years running, and with a nearly 20-year history, our 183-acre campus has improved the lives of thousands of young women. 


Treatment & Trauma-Informed Care

Our treatment approach begins with a foundation of safety and caring relationships and always focuses on the specific needs of each individual young woman. 

Desert Lily helps youth identify the trauma-related needs behind their disruptive behaviors and develop the coping skills they need to overcome their pasts; in fact, we specialize in assisting youth with histories of Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSEC) and human trafficking. We also maintain a collaborative partnership with The Kempe Center, an award-winning Colorado nonprofit dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. 

Our services include a variety of cutting-edge evidence-based curricula, as well as female-specific groups that address each young woman’s treatment goals and help her understand her feelings, emotions and strengths. Our fully-integrated Rite Path program offers comprehensive mental health services directly on-campus. 

Through targeted interventions and an individualized treatment plan, our young women learn to believe in who they are and develop a positive strategy for achieving who they want to become. 

Family Engagement

Desert Lily Academy strongly encourages family involvement, holding the belief that positive communication between the program and the home creates the foundation upon which our young women grow and succeed. Families are invited to engage with their daughters and the program by taking part in treatment planning, family conferences, on-campus events, and athletic competitions, as well as individual and group family therapy.


Education Services

Desert Lily Academy provides students with year-round, quality education tailored to meet the specific needs of the young women in our program. Small classrooms and highly-qualified, motivated staff provide rigorous instruction that promotes a culture of academic growth and achievement.

Classrooms are organized to foster a culture of empowerment that promotes female strength, intelligence, and ambition. Walls are decorated with motivational posters and messages that remind each young woman how unique, capable, and valuable she is. Our education team also works in collaboration with students, families and home school districts to provide an academic experience that meets all of their distinctive and varying needs.

Extracurricular Opportunities

At Desert Lily Academy, we believe that learning should extend beyond the classroom. Through our extracurricular programming, students are offered exciting new avenues for learning and growth. 

Opportunities to participate in sanctioned high school and club sports—such as track and swimming—provide positive competition and prosocial interactions between students, their peers, and staff. On-campus clubs offer a chance for our young women to explore areas of interest, as well as learn about history, literature, music, and art in an engaging setting. 

Desert Lily Academy (DLA) is a Rite of Passage program providing female-specific programming in a normalized, trauma-informed setting that promotes learning, growth and positive change.