History & Philosophy

About Pacific Quest

In 2004, we set out to create a new kind of outdoor-based, integrated therapy program for teens and young adults. Our mission: provide the tools and skills they need for lifelong, sustainable, and positive change. We’ve been family-owned and operated since day one; we plan to stay that way.

Clinical Programs
History of Pacific Quest

In the late 1990s, PQ’s founders discovered the personal and professional satisfaction of working with teenagers in wilderness therapy. In 2003, they relocated their families to the Big Island and started developing a new therapeutic wilderness program. They envisioned a nurturing and safe outdoor environment—a space for teens and young adults to experience, practice, and build new ideas and skills through a strengths- and community-based approach.

Today, we’ve realized that vision with over three thousand families from all over the world.

This approach has attracted a community of experienced professionals with a passion for innovative, evidence-based modalities and highly individualized treatment experiences.

Our Mission

Pacific Quest Cultivates Change in our youth, their families, our employees, and our community. We disrupt the cycles of internalized stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and other mental health challenges facing our students. By equipping our students with the tools they need to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives, we’re cultivating change and promoting sustainable growth.

The 5 Ps of PQ

These are the core values we hold closely each and every day at Pacific Quest. They determine our priorities, how we make decisions, and how we execute our mission of Cultivating Change.

We are Purposeful
We craft exceptional experiences for youth and their families with purpose through thoughtful planning, a wealth of experience, and input from professionals, families, and our students.

We are Professional
Responsive, transparent, and professional communication is central to a trusting and meaningful experience.

We are Problem Solvers
We deploy creativity, flexibility, and empathy to adapt to and meet the unique needs of the families, their youth, and our community.

We are Productive
PQ works eagerly, efficiently, and tirelessly in pursuit of our goals.

We are Positive
We are unwavering in our belief that the future is bright and full of possibility.

Diversity & Inclusion

PQ was founded on the belief that the mental, emotional and physical health of every individual is an essential path to realizing their own purpose and healing themselves and their community. It is in the growth and transformation of the self that a person can then begin to change the culture of the community around them. PQ was founded  purposefully in a place that offers a deep connection to culture so that our staff, participants, families, and colleagues can recognize the importance of it, and the idea that we can learn from other communities. The Rites of Passage model, deep in our roots, teaches the importance of our diverse lives and communities, and our capacity to change and grow. Our treatment model promotes connection and acceptance as young people begin to understand themselves and open their hearts and minds to the world outside their own needs. Working on the land, the view becomes wider, we see the bigger picture of trauma, healing, and growth.

It is our belief that change happens every day, not just in one moment. We must live what we want to see in the world. We embrace and honor adversity, change, and progress. Pacific Quest is a place where ALL people—regardless of race, religion, or gender—have an opportunity to grow and learn. We have and will always examine our practices in sustainability and diversity.

Our daughter went to Pacific Quest (PQ) in the spring of 2018. She suffered from depression and anxiety. Regular therapy at home was not enough and we heard about PQ. We were very reluctant to send her away from home. However, the staff made us feel better about the decision. Now, we know it was the best decision we could have made. It changed her life! The healthy living made a huge difference. The on-going therapy with Andrew Vispo (who was absolutely fantastic) helped her immensely and helped us. We will be forever grateful to PQ, Andrew and the rest of the staff.

-Kerrie H