Calo Culture

We define “culture” as knowing what you need to do when you come to work in the morning without having to read a manual or be told what to do.

Culture is the attitude we bring to work every day— the pattern of thinking and acting with the customer in mind. It’s the habit of doing the right things, and doing things right. It’s a thousand behaviors inherited from team members who came before us, behaviors that we model today and then pass on as our legacy for team members who come after us. It’s behaviors and attitudes that are core to who we are: respecting differences, honoring deadlines, listening to each other, keeping promises, returning phone calls and emails as promptly as we can, being on time for meetings.

If you want to grow your organization, if you want to improve treatment, if you want engaged and happy employees and therefore engaged and happy families there is one thing that if done right will change your world. That is culture.

What is the purpose of Culture?

  • Source of meaning of work; inspirational; source of motivation
  • Aligns the organization [less need for external control]
  • One of the criteria as a basis for making decisions (washplant)
  • Criteria for evaluating, hiring, and retaining people
  • Raises people’s sight from just focusing on own area
    • – TEAMMATES.
    • – Serves as a common goal
    • – Increases collaboration
    • – Conflict is around means not ends
  • Influences how work is to be done

“Calo Culture means I get to live my life with purpose.”

Jeanna O.

Calo Staff

“I believe that the first time I ever really was aware of what the right culture could do here at Calo was the first time I was asked to speak for a student’s graduation ceremony. It seemed to be a sudden realization of how the everything in the culture comes together. How we build the relationships, provide an empathetic place for the student to be understood and grow and, on the day of graduation, see just how profoundly you have been a part of changing the lives of an entire family. You realize how much you have meant to these students, because they take great care in choosing the people that they ask to speak during this important moment in their life. Then, when the ceremony is done and the student is on their way to the rest of their life, you realize what a profound change they have made in you.”

Douglas M.

Calo Staff

“I joined Calo as someone preparing to abide and attempt to fulfill a mission. I never predicted I would be the one transformed for the better, by members of my Calo family embracing, accepting, and inspiring me, by simply being who they are: individuals capable of profoundly changing lives and creating joy through relationships.”

Cory N.

Calo Staff

“We can all be an artist… in anything, food, whatever. It depends on how good we are at it. Calo’s art is to change lives and creating joy. We’re about to paint our masterpiece.”

Zachary V.

Calo Staff

Below are details on CALO’s Core Values. We cannot “set” organizational values, we can only discover them. Nor can we “install” new core values into people. Core values are not something people “buy in” to. People must be predisposed to holding them. The task therefore is for us to find people who are already predisposed to sharing our core values. We must attract and then retain these people and let those who aren’t predisposed to sharing our core values go elsewhere.

These Core Values are so fundamental that we would hold them regardless of whether or not they were rewarded or became a competitive disadvantage. These core values are ones we hope our children will hold when they become working adults. We envision these Core Values being as valid 100 years from now as they are today.


Without both students and coaches, our program does not exist. Calo is unique from generalized
treatment centers because we create community and build relationships for long-term success.


Every person that enters the doors of Calo, from our professional staff, to our students, is key to their own success as well as the success of their peers. Our leadership, admissions, clinical, residential, adventure therapy and medical teams are each passionate about the Calo mission and make student success their number one priority.


The keys to our success lie in peer-to-peer interaction based on the specific emotional needs of the student as well as building relationships with trusted and innovative clinicians and coaches. This cutting edge, specialized treatment model occurs in a safe environment were students are able to thrive at their own pace.

Welcome message and introduction
Below are 2 letters from our CEO, Alex Stavros:
Welcome message from Alex Stavros
Creating Alignment at Calo


Students can only reach their highest potential when given the proper tools early in life. The community-centered approach to Calo’s model gives each student their best chance for life-long success by overcoming early emotional, traumatic or attachment challenges.


Unlike other generalized treatment program, Calo does not use a series of rewards consequences to modify student behavior. This one size fits all model does not serve the specialized student who has trauma at the core of their emotional issue. Professionals that can be trusted, in a team-based setting allows students to grow at an individualized pace without fearing or learning to simply avoid punishment.


Behavior modification may appear to produce changed behavior for troubled teens and preteens, but it does not create internal change or the ability for growth into adulthood. Our students don’t need to behave themselves first, they need to trust those around them and develop a new internal compass – not based on trauma or survival.

The reason for our success is no secret. It comes down to one single principle that transcends time and geography, religion and culture. Grow or die – the simple idea that if you are not growing you are dying. This is our secret sauce. If we can define CALO in just one word. It is Growth.

We believe living and working in the growth zone where we are slightly overwhelmed, slightly over worked, a little uncomfortable, uncertain and it is unsettling.

Carol Dweck talks about two human mindsets. CALO employees believe firmly in the Growth Mindset and we push ourselves and others every day to live life with that mindset.

The Importance of Company Culture & Core Values
Alex Stavros, President and CEO of Calo, discusses the importance of core values, how company culture affects business, and what those company cultures can teach us are discussed. Watch now


Altruism is a trait often lost by students after a life of traumatic experiences. By returning a student’s sense of community and their ability to give without return, we help repair past trauma and offer the real opportunity for healing.


When students work in teams, alongside advisors and coaches, to improve the lives of others they see both selflessness and gratitude in action. These are both important values within the treatment process.


By serving others, teens that have experienced trauma, can feel a sense of self-worth that may have been taken from them in the past. Service empowers our students to realize their true potential.

The People who make up Calo, MAKE Calo
In this article our Director of Business Development and Admissions explains why the people at Calo and the people that interact with Calo make Calo, Calo. Read more

Read more about our Core Value of Service


Empathy is one of the most powerful agents of change used within the Calo model. Through positive, empathetic interactions, the student is placed in an environment where relationships can truly be agents of change.


When our students feel understood they feel a new sense of self-worth. A newly acquired sense of personal value, formed from a relationship with a peer or coach helps our students successfully progress through treatment.


The key to a successful, empathetic treatment program involves letting the student know that they are worth the time our adult staff is putting toward their treatment. We know about the trauma from their past, and know they have the tools within themselves to move beyond it.

Read more about our Core Value of Empathy

Calo Culture Awards and Spotlight
See our recent highlights and culture awards!

Our vision is to become to childhood trauma what St. Judes is to childhood cancer

I believe in the approach to RAD that Calo uses. It is a one of a kind place that is giving us hope for our son."

Adam B., Calo Parent

Joint Commission Accredited
NATSAP Accredited
Missouri Social Services Approved
AdvancED Accredited