Onarga Academy
Holistic Care and Vocational Training for Boys with Unhealthy Sexual Behaviors and Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

An individualized, trauma-sensitive, and holistic approach to addressing boys’ emotional and behavioral issues, and educational, recreational, and vocational goals.


Onarga Academy is located in the quaint community of Onarga, IL, on a former military academy campus. Onarga Academy opened in March 1990 as a residential treatment facility for boys. In 2008, a transitional living program home was added to the campus. In 2010, a group home was completed. In 2012, Onarga Academy celebrated the opening of its new Grand Prairie School. Shortly after, the school added a new vocational training building, offering woodworking areas, a bay for car detailing and oil changes, and furniture building. In 2013, Onarga Academy expanded its aftercare program by adding two therapeutic foster care homes, nearby.


Onarga Academy is located approximately 90 miles south of Chicago, on a historic site in Onarga, IL. The main campus features an administrative building residential halls, group home, transitional living home, school, and auditorium. Additionally, two therapeutic foster homes are located just a block away. The school also operates the Cornerstone Café in downtown Onarga. Café work provides the boys with real-world experience in business operations and service industry. The beautiful and recently remodeled auditorium is home to the Onarga Professional Development Institute.

Innovative Programming

Onarga Academy offers boys, ages 11-20, a structured, homelike environment where they can safely address their unhealthy sexual behaviors and their emotional and behavioral issues. Programming also addresses any related underlying chemical abuse issues.

In addition to residential, educational, vocational, and foster care services for youth, Onarga Academy also operates a professional development institute that provides training to individuals and groups who work with youth.

Onarga Academy Programs


  • Accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services (COA)
  • Licensed as a Child Care Institution by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)
  • Staff certified as Addiction Counselors through Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association
  • Chemical Health Program licensed for Level I and II care through the Illinois Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and is Medicaid certified for Level I care.
  • Grand Prairie School accredited by North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA-CASI)
  • Medicaid eligible

Onarga Videos

Waiting Child
Summer, Raymond and Shawn are looking for a permanent home
Gerard Academy Names Employee Ambassador of the Year
Gerard Academy Names Employee Ambassador of the Year
Onarga Program Changes'
Onarga Program Changes
Gerard's SHIP comes in'
Gerard’s SHIP Comes In
Dr. Michelle K. Murray Chief Clinical Officer
Nexus Names Dr. Michelle K. Murray Chief Clinical Officer
Kristin Danielson Clinical Director
Gerard Academy Names Kristin Danielson as Clinical Director
Gerard Academy Youth Flip for their Flops
Gerard Academy Youth Flip for their Flops
Gerard Academy Welcomes Elaine Hansen
Gerard Academy Welcomes Elaine Hansen as Senior Development Coordinator
Gerard Academy Names Karen Wolf as new Associate Director
Gerard Academy Names Karen Wolf as new Associate Director
Making Lives Brighter for Youth in Foster Care
Making Lives Brighter for Youth in Foster Care
One of these boys is in foster care. You can’t tell who because.. Nexus CARES
The Library
The Library
A list of resources for parents
Parenting Partner
Parenting Partner
Helpful articles for parents
Family Matters
Family Matters
(Q&A with Dr. Michelle Murray, Ph.D.)