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A History of George Junior Republic

Our Founder: William Reuben George

George Junior Republic was founded by successful businessman William Reuben George in 1909. The name “Junior Republic” reflects Mr. George’s intention to assist at-risk youth by offering them the chance to join a small society where they could learn what it means to be a responsible citizen. At the time, he established “fresh air camps” giving urban youth an opportunity to visit the countryside.  Although these activities were popular philanthropic endeavors, Mr. George believed that these camps did not do enough to help what at the time were called “delinquent youth.” It was responsibility, ultimately, that Mr. George saw as the key to helping young people.

Residential and Treatment Facilities Expand, Change, and Grow

Through the first 60 years of the organization's history, George Junior Republic was seen primarily as a place where court-ordered sentences would be served by delinquent youth. In the 1970s, a major renovation of the campus took place, new residential facilities were constructed, and a new residential treatment model was implemented to focus on family style living and behavioral modification. Currently, live-in married couples known as Counselor/Parents, all with post secondary degrees in related fields, reside on site, and master's level social workers provide individual, group, and family counseling.

A Broad Continuum of Care

Between 1980 and 2000, a major emphasis was placed on a broader continuum of care. This included program expansion for mental health services and drug and alcohol treatment. At the same time, physical structures for these programs were built and highly qualified staff members were hired to provide treatment.

After undergoing further expansion and improvements to the residential facilities in the last decade, George Junior Republic is now able to offer:

  • A professional staff of more than 700 employees across the organizational system.
  • A unique full-time staff of “counselor/parents” who live on our campus and are available 24 hours a day.
  • A 62,000 square foot Maurice Cohill, Jr. Academic Center where classes are taught by Grove City Area School District employees.
  • A 16,000 square foot program center.

George Junior Republic maintains a broad continuum of residential and non-residential treatment that includes General Residential, Drug and Alcohol, Diagnostic, Special Needs Mental Health, Intensive Supervision, Short Term Shelter Care, and Community Based In Home Services. Each year, between our campus in Grove City and the prevention and aftercare programs, more than 3,000 youth and families are entrusted to our care.