OCTOBER 2019:  "EVERY BRILLIANT THING"....WAS BRILLIANT                                          

There is a play with a life-affirming message so powerful that the Utah Shakespeare Festival is offering it to every public high school and university in the state of Utah to help stem the tide of youth suicide. Every Brilliant Thing, by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe, is an ingenious, heartfelt, highly theatrical one-person show wherein the narrator interacts directly with the audience.

Audience members learn that when the narrator was a child, his mother suffered from depression and attempted suicide. The narrator decided to make a list of all the things that make life worth living to persuade her to live, starting with #1, “ice cream,” and continuing to one million. This inventive, beautifully rendered theatrical experience is unique in the way the audience becomes a support community for the narrator and gains rich insights along the way about the things hiding in plain sight that make life worthwhile and wonderful.

On October 16th, students at Kolob Canyon were able to participate in this theatrical experience at the OTC Training Center.  Our students were part of the play both as actors and as they shared their own "brilliant things" throughout the show.  Because this play deals with the significant topic of suicide prevention, we spent time processing with our students following the play.  We feel very fortunate that our students had the opportunity.




Kolob Canyon is pleased to welcome Wendy Penrod as our new Admissions Director.  Wendy comes to Kolob Canyon with a wealth of experience.  She has been working with youth for the last 13 years in both the private and public sector.  Wendy actually worked as a mentor at Moonridge Academy many years ago and we are thrilled she has returned!   Most recently Wendy collaborated with local officials and educators implementing mental health preventive measures in schools and developing programs for students in risk.  Wendy is trained in DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Procedural Justice, and Trauma Informed Care. Wendy earned a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in classical acting from Southern Utah University.  While at SUU, Wendy met and fell head over heels in love with TJ Penrod.  The two just celebrated their twelfth wedding anniversary. Together Wendy and TJ sponsor an annual acting competition for teens.  Wendy believes with her whole heart that a comprehensive, compassionate approach with families is the most effective way to help youth become their best selves.

Five fun facts about Wendy....

1. Wendy loves improv theatre. She and her husband TJ own and operate a non-profit improvisational theater in Cedar City. They do weekly improv comedy shows and have traveled all over doing improv. Wendy is also the camp director for Camp Improv Utopia West, a weekend summer camp for improv artists from all over the world.

2. Wendy loves thrills. She loves super high rollercoasters and has been skydiving three times.

3. Wendy loves to travel and has been to 45 states, three countries, and plans to add even more numbers to those totals.

4. Wendy loves painting her nails and has a nail polish collection that could rival any professional nail salon.

5. Wendy's favorite color is leopard print. You name it, she's got it in leopard print.


KOLOB CLINICIANS TRAIN IN TRAUMA-FOCUSED EQUINE PSYCHOTHERAPY                                                

Our Clinical Team works tirelessly to enhance their skills so they can improve the lives of our students.  Our therapists have long been trained in Equine Therapy and have seen the benefits that it brings to the lives of our students.   In late September our amazing clinicians participated in additional extensive Trauma-Focused Equine Psychotherapy.  The training was provided by Natural Lifemanship.  Since 1986 this group has helped people overcome trauma and toxic stress by teaching clinicians how to help their clients form healthy relationships, with the help of horses.  Our clinical team Craig, Virginia and Ruth along with our Equine Director Anndi felt that this opportunity and training will provide even more support to our students who have experienced trauma.