7Everyday Hero John Davis uses mountain climbing to help at-risk teen boys

Counseling psychologist helps teen boys succeed

There is no simple solution to help teenagers in crisis. But 7Everyday Hero John Davis is succeeding at helping entire families cope with life's challenges.
 
He started the 2Xtreme Foundation in 1999 to help teen boys. 
 
"It was formed mostly out of frustration of having to turn families away because they couldn't afford therapy," said Davis. 
 
Davis is a counseling psychologist who focuses on at-risk teenage boys. 
 
"I can see who they're going to be when they're 25, they just can't see where they're at because they're so stuck," explained Davis. 
 
2Xtreme's approach is multifaceted. In addition to meeting one on one with the teen, the foundation offers a mom's group, and a dad's group. 
 
"At the end of the day, these guys don't need me, they need their parents. They need relationships. People crave relationships," Davis said. 
 
The signature 2Xtreme program uses challenging mountain climbs that build confidence, and teach the teens to trust others and themselves. 
 
"He uses these expeditions to help the boys. 'You hang with me and you continue to grow and I'll take you on an experience you never thought was ever possible,'" said Carl Mikesell, uncle of a teen in program. 
 
2Xtreme also uses service projects to help the teens and the community. 
 
"He taught these struggling kids that there is a village out there that will help them," said Chris Mikesell, aunt of a teen in program.  
 
"And then they get to give back," added Carl Mikesell. 
 
"The reason we're called 2Xtreme is we have extreme situations that come through the door. So, I have to match fire with fire," said Davis. 
 
And it works. 
 
"My son is just thriving. He is at C.S.U. and he is a phenomenal young man, all because of John. He knows how to connect to these young guys," said Ruthie Neuwirth, mother of a boy in the program. 
 
"Our son was a good kid but really struggling. I can't imagine where our family would be without John," said Diane Sudmalis, whose son is also in the program. 
 
"John has been probably the biggest influence in my life," said a young man who has completed the program. 
 
"John to me is like a big brother," added another young man. 
 
The journey from troubled teen to successful young man can be challenging and emotional. And for Davis, a rather time consuming process. He puts in hundreds of hours because he wants to see the boys succeed. 
 
"I love being a part of the process and the process doesn't stop in an hour session. I make myself available to the guys all day everyday. I just wanted to blow up their world is so big, that they wouldn't stop growing," Davis said. 
 
Thanks to John Davis, the 2Xtreme foundation has helped thousands of teenagers, who in turn have positively impacted thousands of others. 
          
"We have turned out some amazing men. We have a senator, we have a congressman, we have pro athletes, current and past. We have guys who are doctors, lawyers, I mean they're amazing young men, they just have a big hiccup in their lives. At the end of the day, that's why I come to work, I love to help people and I love kids," said Davis. 
 
To learn more about the 2Xtreme Foundation and John Davis go to www.2xtreme.info.
 
Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on 7NEWS. Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here.
 
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