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Pacific Quest Reviews & Testimonials

We love hearing from our alumni! Below are recent stories, Pacific Quest reviews & testimonials of the sustainable growth and change that has occurred at Pacific Quest and beyond!

If you are an alumni or alumni parent that would like to share your story, please reach out to

pacific quest reviews Pacific Quest Reviews 2

A Year Later

“A year after attending Pacific Quest, the experience remains at the core of our “new son”. He speaks fondly of his time there, the people he met, and the changes that it has helped him make in his life since. Our son is now engaged in life – PQ helped him find purpose, ambition, structure, true friendships and a healthy lifestyle. It’s still an ambition of his to come back and volunteer one day – that says it all!”

– Alumni Parents, son completed PQ’s Adolescent Program

A Letter of Gratitude: My Son’s Journey

“I’m posting [this] for a few reasons – to let others know they are not alone, to thank a handful of people and for those who know someone to give them some support. Many years ago my son was asked ‘Did your mom prepare you for the path, or did she prepare the path for you?’ Interestingly enough our answers were different. Over the past few years, my son has struggled with what is now being called ‘A Failure to Launch’. … There are so many programs out there, how do you know what is the right one? We both used the internet to try to find the right place – we wanted to deal with the cause, not just the the symptoms. With so many options – how do you know what works, what doesn’t. It was daunting! And then we lucked out when we called a program recommended an Educational Consultant.

So here is my first THANK YOU – to our educational consultant! He spent hours with my son (and I) to find out what the issue was, what motivated him, my thoughts and feelings and then he recommended four places. Places that he had personally been to and he felt would work for my son. …

Here is my second THANK YOU – to my son’s therapist during his stay at PQ. She and our educational consultant kept me informed and kept me SANE. While their main goal was to help my son, they also helped me.

And it is a journey… he needs to learn how to cope, how to pick himself up when life knocks him down, to be independent. I need to learn to let him make his mistakes and let him clean up after! I need to embrace the positive and forget the negative. We both have a long way to go and for the first time in years I really believe that we can make it. There is so much more I could write and that will have to wait for another day! And one last THANK YOU to all that have helped my son and I on this journey!” Read the full story.

– Alumni Parent, son completed PQ’s Young Adult Program


“Our son left [home] a broken young man struggling with depression, anxiety and substance abuse. As the weeks passed, the letters home depicted a young man showing signs of self awareness, strength and hope for the future. The pictures sent to us amongst the gardens, banana trees and in the kitchen preparing the food they had grown he was smiling like I hadn’t seen in months. It has been six months since he left PQ, and he continues to talk about his experience with the gardens and the foods they prepared and ate. He often talks about returning there one day!”

– Alumni Parent, son completed PQ’s Young Adult Program

The Perfect Program

“Pacific Quest was a perfect program match for our son, who was lost in so many ways. The program, the staff, the location, the therapists– all of these elements of PQ coalesced to help him find his way. He loved the beautiful setting and the land work. He worked hard, figuring things out, making progress in his own time. His therapist was wonderful and our weekly family sessions were helpful for all of us.

The mid-program parent weekend was amazing–and we parents discovered we were not alone! I will be forever grateful for PQ and the opportunity it gave our family to be stronger and healthier. PQ was a great stepping stone for our son, who continued to learn and grow at a residential treatment boarding school. After he graduated from High School, he went to Art School, where he is thriving and living his dream.

PQ was an integral part of his progress and we are so thankful he could attend the program and start turning his life around.”

– Alumni Parent, son completed PQ’s Young Adult Program

A Story of Hope: My Daughter’s Journey of Healing

“My daughter spent three and a half months on the Big Island in your program and I will be forever grateful for all that she gained from being part of your program. I am writing this in Pacific Quest reviews in the hopes that other parents can gain a sense of hope. … Pacific Quest not only saved my daughter but it saved me too.

PQ provided a much needed basis of removing all the negative coping mechanisms and beginning to chip away at my daughter’s inability to find healthy coping skills. She was also taught the very important lesson at PQ that there is no such thing as normal. There are many different ways to be a human being and express the feelings that we all experience. My daughter was part of a program that encouraged health for her body and her mind when she was with PQ. … Thank you PQ!” Read the full story.

– Alumni Parent, daughter completed PQ’s Adolescent Program

A Son & Daughter

“Over the last 2 years both my children were fortunate enough to have been helped by Pacific Quest. One was an adolescent, and the other was a young adult, each based at the different PQ locations on Hawaii’s Big Island. Each location is deeply rooted in nature and offers the residents an integrated experience of working with the land and in nature.

Both my children returned deeply impacted by the therapeutic aspects of horticultural therapy that they experienced at Pacific Quest, while both their experiences were very different, they both spoke lovingly of the grounding aspects of gardening and growing food and they cycle of nature. The work on the land helped them get in touch with a new baseline by which to judge their actions.

My husband and I visited them there and were able to see the gardens for ourselves. The environment and experience that PQ offers its residents is full of both symbolism for their growth and daily hands on grounding experiences. We were aware of other wilderness therapy programs, but the amazing bounty of exotic fruits and plants at PQ fills one with wonder for the natural world and helps to bring hope to the environment.

The amazing guides and coaches at PQ helped to weave the experience into something very meaningful for my children using stories, practical activities and cooking to help them heal. Both my children have said that their time working on the land at PQ had a lasting and deep impact on their psyche.”

– Alumni Parent, daughter & son completed both PQ programs

The Garden

“My son came to the program needing to connect with something outside his room. He had been an active Boy Scout and enjoyed the outdoors. He knew how to camp and hike and take care of himself in that environment. The Pacific Quest program with the base being an organic farm/garden was a perfect outdoor experience to help our son. He found the garden very therapeutic for him by working with his hands, seeing the plants grow, eating the fruits and vegetables he helped take care of. It made him appreciate what the earth has to offer and give him the peace he needed to begin his healing process. The food he ate was very healthy and he felt much better once he was consuming a much more nutritious diet.

The garden helped us as a family because it was a wonderful place to reconnect with our son. We worked side by side and had something important to do to move in the same direction together. Our son had a lot of pride in showing us the farm and the knowledge he had gained by being there. It gave him confidence to get back to feeling he had a life worth living.

We are eternally grateful for the experience Pacific Quest had to offer and hope they continue to support many more children and young adults in the future.

Thank you for all you do.”

– Alumni Parent, son completed PQ’s Adolescent Program

Our Visit

“My husband and I spent two days at Pacific Quest last September, visiting our daughter and participating in family therapy. We had seen photos each week and received calls and emails discussing how the horticulture work contributed to the students’ therapy, but seeing Pacific Quest in person confirmed that the growth analogy is neither token nor hype.

Connecting to the natural world fostered our daughter’s creativity as she designed her own contributions to the landscape, showed her the tangible results of hard work and teamwork, and encouraged her to try new herbs, fruits and vegetables. She saw the direct health benefits of eating clean, healthy food, lots of water, regular sleep, and fresh air. It certainly made high school biology relevant to her, and as our daughter gave us a guided tour of the facility and explained the personal growth concepts, she interwove biology, psychology and horticulture seamlessly into the discussion.

She showed us how to pinch off bigger leaves while leaving a couple smaller leaves to prune small herbs in transplanting them, and understood the need to pare away the excess. We severed baby banana shoots from the parent trees, recognizing that the babies needed their own space, not to be crowded under the shade of the parents, after having first taken nutrition and support from the parent trees.

She learned growth takes place best when the environment is conducive; it’s important to get rid of the weeds which choke new life; and different plants require different amounts of water and light. Some of the natural world was noxious, like mosquitoes, ants and blisters, but the positive results far exceeded the annoyances, and that was a pretty important life lesson, too.”

– Alumni Parent, daughter completed PQ’s Adolescent Program

Here you can read more Pacific Quest Reviews & testimonials.

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