By Jane St. Clair

It’s a fact: Most girls are more successful at single-sex schools.

They are more likely to major in traditionally male subjects such as math and science, and more likely to excel at them. They are also more apt to participate in sports, and to speak up in their classes.

At all-girls schools, girls have access to more female adult role models. They take on all the leadership roles at their schools — editor of the student newspaper, captain of the basketball team and president of the senior class.

Less distracted by boys and social pressures, girls at single-sex schools can concentrate on their studies. For this reason, and because every class is taught in a way that appeals to girls, these students achieve higher scores on their standardized tests and are more likely to go to college.

It’s a fact: Most female CEOs of large companies and women who have achieved high political office are graduates of women-only colleges.

The Difficult Years of Adolescence

An all-girls school is a particularly good choice for young girls struggling through the sometimes difficult years of adolescence, a time when female self-esteem tends to fall and depression increases.

Teenage girls are now using more drugs, alcohol and tobacco than boys are, sometimes for gender-related reasons, such as weight loss. They are more likely to experience depression and to do anything, including taking prescription drugs illegally, in order to feel better. High school girls often try too hard to please boys, and many start experimenting too early with drugs, alcohol and sex.

At an all-girls school, the enormous pressure to look and act in a certain way and to fit in socially within a co-ed environment is not as prevalent. Girls are instead encouraged to take risks and experiment, but with healthy passions like horseback riding, academics, sports and hobbies.

Copper Canyon Academy

Copper Canyon Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for troubled girls ages 14 to 17 years old offers a wholesome outdoor environment in a beautiful Southwestern landscape near Rimrock, Ariz. There, girls learn horsemanship, the perfect form of therapy for alienated teenagers who need to learn how to love and trust again. Many girls who have not responded to talk therapy become more open and receptive as they work with animals.

Copper Canyon’s academics are superior because each girl has a program designed for her learning style and needs. The college preparatory curriculum is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Accreditation and School Improvement.

Besides obtaining a top-notch high school education and becoming physically fit through a structured outdoor program, Copper Canyon students undergo a comprehensive therapeutic program of personal growth workshops; individual, group and family therapy; and 12-Step meetings. Family members are full participants in the program, and remain in close contact with their daughters and sisters.

The therapeutic component is designed particularly with young girls in mind to help them face gender-related issues, and to work through any mood disorders or depression that is so prevalent among this age group.

A hostile teenager who is leading a secret life is often just a lonely, lost young woman who needs to find a new direction. At Copper Canyon, she will enjoy working with dogs and horses, become part of a small group of girls with similar problems and goals, and be treated with kindness, consistency and fairness by a highly professional staff of educators and counselors.

Parents of troubled teenage girls do not have to struggle alone. All they need to know is that they have helping friends at Copper Canyon Academy.