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Youth Opportunity, Mt. Juliet Academy for Girls

Teaching Girls the Path to Success Through the Power of Community and Love

Mt. Juliet Academy for Girls is a Youth Opportunity facility in Mt. Juliet, Tennesse, offering residents (ranging in ages from 12 to 17 years old) the care and treatment needed to succeed in a world that has otherwise met them with stumbling blocks and immense hardship. This unique establishment was designed to house and provide young girls with programs that will teach them the skills they need to succeed confidently. 

For the past 31 years, Demetria Refoure has devoted herself to the betterment and well-being of young men and women whose people and systems that are supposed to support them have failed them. She has made it her mission to facilitate real, transformative care so that those who cross her path have a chance to make fundamental changes for themselves and their futures. She tells us, “I love what I do. This is my passion; I love it. I know that God has placed me on this Earth just for this.”

Demetria affectionately referred to as Ms. Dee, has been the facility administrator for Mt. Juliet Academy for Girls since 2016. She manages an incredible team of specialized departments, and together, they are changing the lives of young girls in our area in a way that has a lasting impact on our communities. 

Normalization is the key to success for each girl that makes their way through the doors of Mt. Juliet Academy for Girls. Ms. Dee and her staff work diligently to ensure the academy's young ladies understand what normal looks like, as many of them have come from places where normalcy should have been prioritized. The academy has dorm-style bedrooms, a game room, a family-style dining area, an outdoor recreational area, and a fully equipped music studio. The programs offered at the facility include education, ACT tutoring, independent living classes, family and separate therapy sessions, Teen Outreach Programs, and life skill groups. 

One of the most impactful resources for the Mt. Juliet Academy for Girls is the community's involvement. Every girl is paired with a mentor from the community, who takes them under their wing and participates in scheduled visits. Several Mt. Juliet area churches have a significant presence at the facility as they invite the girls to participate in church activities and provide them with lots of fun, on-campus activities, including birthday parties! Ms. Dee explains, “I truly believe the young ladies need to see [community involvement] and see how a community is supposed to look and how it’s supposed to feel... It’s a big part of their success.”

With Ms. Dee at the helm, Mt. Juliet Academy for Girls is teaching young ladies to use their voices and become their own advocates so that they find their place in a community that is ready to embrace them with open arms. And love is at the center of it all.  

The center provides a vast array of programs that focus on Mental Health
Treatment, Art, Music & Recreation Therapies and Education. The program is based on
community reintegration and engagement through service-learning projects... (Youth
Opportunity, Mt. Juliet Academy – Youth Opportunity )