Life Changing Stories (Testimonials)

Our son attended RLA for four years.  Each year we gave him the choice to return or not.  He enthusiastically chose to return and graduated as an Ontario Scholar.  His work ethic, study skills, and grades all improved, but more importantly he grew into a strong minded individual and is a great adult.  There was a lot of tough love at RLA. When we and he reflect on those days, he would not trade it for anything. Any young man wanting or needing to be better than who he is today would greatly benefit from RLA.  Will it be easy; NO.  Will it be worth it; YES.

D. Deschner, Parent


“Two Niagara high schools have been graded among the best in the province by the Fraser Institute’s Report Card on Ontario’ Secondary Schools.  The Robert Land Academy in West Lincoln is the region’s No. 1 school, coming 18th out of 568 schools…Robert Land Academy scored 9.7 out of a possible 10 points;…”

The St. Catharines Standard


I am going into second year university, and this school has changed me for the better. I honestly wish that I had gone to this school far sooner. The teachers and staff are all kind, but use every opportunity to mentor the students in discipline and self-control. Not only this, but I felt that I could always go to staff with any problem that I had, no matter how small or personal. The classes were thorough, and the teachers very good at explaining ideas in ways that supported each student’s needs. The ideals that built the foundation of the school (loyalty, labour, courage, commitment, and honour) were the kind that, if given a chance, cement themselves in students’ minds, and can persist even years after graduation. I have seen this same phenomenon from many of my fellow alums. The student experience was very difficult. A challenging environment and demands to fulfill your potential: both are not easy to cope with, but students come out stronger because of it. I fully and unhesitatingly support the school and its ideals.

A. Strasser, RLA graduate


Our 15 year old son graduated this year from Robert Land Academy. We couldn’t have found a better place for structure, discipline and great experiences for him. The staff is very professional, they know how to motivate, encourage and challenge each student. We highly recommend this Academy if your son needs this kind of support, we always felt listened by the staff and the communication with the parents is very good too.

B. Cisneros, Parent


Our son graduated from Robert Land Academy after two years at the school.  We can only say that his experience there was transformative.  Before entering the school he did not have a sense of self or purpose. Two years later, with the close involvement and guidance of faculty and his rediscovered capacity for hard work, he graduated high school, with numerous academic awards and other distinctions.  As of this writing he has finished his first undergraduate year at a reputable university, and has earned placement on the Dean’s honor list.  This outcome was something we could not have imagined or dared to hope for, only two years earlier. We believe that Robert Land Academy’s approach to its students is unique in the world of schools dedicated to helping young men through a troubled adolescence to a place in the adult world.  The curriculum is rigorous and challenging, with no recognizable grade inflation and provides every resource for meeting university entrance requirements.  The school’s highly structured, “military” environment removes any possible ambiguity between students and academic staff.  What the entering student learns first is that he has to earn the respect of others and his position within the community.  Through this process, he comes to respect and value himself. The teaching staff are both experienced and extraordinarily dedicated, and they helped our son form his first adult relationships based on mutual respect and admiration.  Relationships with peers were formed that may last for the rest of his life. He had his first experiences with leadership and responsibility for others at Robert Land, and they were powerful and gave him first awareness of abilities and strengths he never imagined he had.  The school location is very isolated and the facilities are spartan but adequate and the absence of luxury gave our son a renewed appreciation for the comfort and privilege he had enjoyed at home.  We recognize that the Robert Land Academy is not necessarily the answer for everyone with a young man in need of redirection.  But we do think this school is a hidden gem with a unique approach to helping kids who have lost their way to build an identity, and to find their place in the world.

Z. Stauber, Parent


As a previous student I really miss the school I go to public school now but when I look back I see so many valuable values and life lessons learned I served at the head masters table and I learned more about having a job than any other schools I’ve been to and I guarantee that if I had gone for a year I would have been so much more  productive but I love the school and if given the opportunity I would go back and do better than I did in the past and not challenge everything thanks for reading this. Jayden Hughf

J. Hughf, Former student


We loved the experience our son was able to have at RLA. It is amazing how every teacher, staff and administrative assistant knew our son’s needs, faults and skills perfectly. We highly recommend the school. It has discipline but with a good heart at all times.

B. Sobrino


A great institution where discipline, sports, personalized instruction and high academic standards yield total care. Thank you for helping my son find the path to a bright future.

S. Asamudo, Parent


Our son attended RLA and graduated successfully.  The school pushed him hard and he achieved far beyond what he thought he was capable of.   The staff at the school are caring and consistent.   Everything they do is for the goodness of the child.   They prepared our son to return to life outside of RLA and today he is thriving.   We are so pleased with our decision to send him to RLA.  We miss the staff and teachers.  They will be our family forever.

M.  Solomon, Parent


The staff at RLA is amazing and is dedicated to every student. The discipline is amazing and they learn to balance, free time, school and peer recreational time. I get to talk to him twice a week and I get to see him once a month during the school year.


He is spending the summer there and he is having the time of his life. He is fishing, swimming, hiking, and biking.

RLA has been great for my brother and my family.

T. Baz, Sibling


Our son is returning for his third year. We felt the staff had a great understanding of our son. We feel the protective environment and extra guidance was what are son needed through the maturing age of 14 years old until 16 years old. We seen a huge improve on his maturity through his experience at RLA. Thank you staff at RLA.

C. Hagen, Parent


They say It takes a village to raise a child and they’re right! My son has ADHD, Asperger’s and a dash of OCD….. Robert Land Academy was my port in the storm!  I really don’t know what I would have done without them! They were like family to me, it’s been 2 years since my son graduated with them and I still think of them often and miss them!


Public schools were not willing to teach my son,  he kept slipping through the cracks. They kept failing him and transferring him to the basic level.  Well,  RLA only offers academic level and my kid, the one everyone else failed,  graduated on the honor roll!


It was a love/hate kind of thing for my son(obviously) he complained but he also bragged big time about the school and through it all he did appreciate the quality of education he received.


I’m military, so my son was familiar enough with the environment, at least that aspect wasn’t a culture shock to him.  It was still a huge wake up call!!!  The rules and structure was exactly what he needed.

D. Barker, Parent


RLA is an incredible school for the right child.


Our son attended RLA for 2.5 years and graduated this year with an “A” average and received a scholarship to his chosen university.  Prior to arriving in RLA, he felt completely detached from school.  He was content with going through the motions of completing his work but was indifferent to the final product and marks received.  He was a very good kid.  He neither had a learning disability nor behavioral issues but he was unmotivated, bored, disengaged and distracted by social media and gaming.  Something had to change so, midway through grade 10, we decided to send him to RLA.


Fast forward to today and he is a completely different person.  He was a boy that returned as a young man.  Every time we would see him over breaks, I would always say, “You’ve grown!” but it wasn’t necessarily in height.  It was because his experiences in RLA provided him the confidence to stand taller with his shoulders back and head up high.  He was earning his promotions in rank, his marks continued to improve, he was achieving his personal objectives and was being recognized for the fine athlete that he was.  In addition, he felt like he belonged to a brotherhood.


If you are thinking of sending your son to RLA, full disclosure:  IT WON’T BE EASY!  Your son will feel like he’s been ripped from his comfort zone and thrust into another galaxy.  First of all, it’s a “device free” campus.  The only time boys are on a computer is to do schoolwork.  That alone is huge!  Secondly, their entire day is programmed so they study hard, eat well, play sports, exercise, interact with each other and get plenty of sleep.  Rinse and repeat.  Accommodations are modest. They will have a job, if not several (mine enjoyed laundry and working in the kitchen).  Every minute of their every day will be supervised.  Teachers are strict and will not tolerate disrespectful behavior.  Poor conduct will be reprimanded and if any boy puts themselves or anyone else in harms way, they will be expelled.  Boys will behave as gentlemen.


We spent well over $100K educating our son in RLA and we would do it again in a heartbeat.  It was worth every single penny and my son will tell you that it was the best thing that has happened to him.  As parents, we look at it as font-loading our investment in our child’s future  “Surviving RLA” is a badge of honor for the students who make it through and our son is confident that because of his experience in RLA, he is now equipped with the tools and skills he needs to tackle university and beyond.  The world, as they say, is his oyster.

A. Hunter


My brother goes to this school and he isn’t just learning math, science and all that stuff, he is doing activities from swimming in lakes to zip lining across the forest and taking long hikes! This school is so good and I totally recommend it.

K. Rosen, Sibling


This is a good school, so unique that one could rarely find in other places. It teaches traditional values. I sent my problematic son to RLA for 3 years and he now turns out to be a fine young man. My husband and I are forever grateful to RLA. This school has saved us in so many ways. Our son was properly disciplined and well trained where we couldn’t. He was taught to take notes neatly in the classroom and take care of himself in the dorm. His self-regulation ability was improved so much that he could actually self-study. He learned to take responsibility for every word and action he says and does. He learned to respect people and to make friends. He realized that one needs to work hard in order to achieve something and has been putting it into practice since. Thanks to RLA’s food, physical exercise and a routine time schedule, our son has grown so much taller and stronger over the years. RAL has raised my son’s self-esteem as he is equipped with new skills and hands-on experiences there. He takes pride in being a RLA student once and has endured the hardship. Students might think the school is too harsh, but no discipline seems  pleasant. To human beings, all discipline is painful, but later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Indeed, no pain, no gain.

A. Yang, Parent


This school not only saved my son’s life but set him on an entire new path for an amazing life.  The teachers were outstanding and heads and shoulders above any public school teacher, the boys exercised and were active for several hours a day, my son met boys from all over the world who he will have life long friendships with, they learned skills that they never would have learned at home, they were held accountable for their bad decisions, and they learned self discipline.

You may hear that it is hard and tough – but it should be – because life is hard and unfortunately “kids today” feel entitled and aren’t disciplined as they should be.  The boys are outside, active, no electronics, and no drugs.  My son came home a different boy – much better.  He’s confident, calm, disciplined, active, focused, and proud.  He now looks on this “old friends” and wonders what will happen to them – as they fail school, play video games all day, and smoke every night.  I can’t imagine where my son would be if I didn’t have the courage to send him to RLA.   The interesting thing is that he did say it was hard – but he won’t stop talking about the staff and his RLA friends.  The good thing is they now have a summer program as an additional option for boys.  I’m so incredibly grateful for the staff and teachers at RLA !  It was the best thing I ever did.

J. Johnson, Parent


My son has been at Robert land for almost three years. It is an amazing school  with amazing teachers and staff. My son has learned not just academically but physically and mentally for the best.


The staff is so dedicated to his growth and well being. He has done some really interesting projects and trips. I have to applaud Robert land with their communication skills. I would not hesitate to recommend Robert land for anyone’s son.

E. Rosen, Parent


This school and it’s regimen has been a game changer for my son. It is a demanding environment but also caring , the staff is dedicated to making sure these boys succeed.

A. Singh


“This past year of my life was one of great success.  I was able to accomplish things that I had never thought possible.  My relationship with my parents, which had once been bleak and uncomfortable, is now full of love, comfort, trust and communication.”

L/Cpl M. Beasley, RLA graduate


“It would appear to me that you have truly discovered a unique and effective method of providing service to this very special segment of student population.  In my capacity as teacher, principal and now superintendent I, like you, have seen far too many youngsters ‘fall through the cracks’ of the institutional educational system.  Your efforts to provide a safety net for these unique and challenging individuals appears to be well matched to their needs.  Congratulations!”

Paul Perron, Superintendent of Education, Niagara Catholic District School Board


“Just a quick note to let you know that Shane will be graduating next month from the University of Ottawa with his Bachelor of Social Science (major criminology) degree!  A big thank you again to all of you that were part of his four years at RLA.”


M. Henderson, Parent

“Your home at RLA was the special place that helped my son find his place in life.  He has become the person we always knew he was capable of – and now with this foundation he can forge ahead.  Thank you!

R&J Sone, Parents


“Before he attended Robert Land, we saw a son who had little if any respect for either himself or his fellow-man.  Now we see a son who believes in himself and who wants to get involved in the world.  This is truly an amazing accomplishment in two short years.”

B. Busch, Parent


“As a concerned parent, it was so disheartening to watch helplessly as Sean’s amazing potential evaporated in our modern, unstructured educational system….I am so proud of the effort Sean has put into all aspects of the RLA program and I am very happy for Sean because he is now experiencing healthy, positive success as a result of his positive efforts.”

Dr. T. McKay, Parent


“I attended Robert Land during the school year of 1991 and 1992.  Now close to five years later, do I realize the positive effect that Robert Land has had on my life… I am completing my degree in Religious Studies/Philosophy…I can safely say that RLA saved my life.  Prior to attending your school I was on the fast track to nowhere.  I am now finishing my degree and I will be enrolling in a Master of Divinity program at Huron College with the goal of entering the Anglican Priesthood.  Much of my success I owe to RLA.  Robert Land Academy helped me realize my potential, and has helped me make me who I am today…In a world of guilty bystanders who only wish to criticize our youth, you have decided to stand up and be counted and extend a hand to a generation that needs values, stability and leadership.”

A. Bourque, RLA graduate