The mission of Collier Youth Services is to provide at-risk youth a chance to grow toward their potential in an environment that promotes belonging, dignity and hope.  The mission is based on a philosophy of deep respect for the inherent worth of each individual and the belief in the capacity for personal change that is consistent with the ministry of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.

Wickatunk, NJ – Collier High School, a state-approved, private, non-profit school for students whose needs cannot be met within their public school, just celebrated the implementation of their new Collier High School Kateri Program, and the completion of their new permanent space to house the program, in Smith Hall. 

Thanks, largely in part to a generous donation, Collier was able to renovate the third floor of Smith Hall to create a space that was more conducive to the students’ needs.  The newly renovated space includes a community room where students and staff “check in” in the mornings, as well as four large instructional areas, confidential offices for social workers and administration to provide quality education and therapeutic services.

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On the morning of Wednesday, November 13th, guests entered Smith Hall to, and were greeted with a warm welcome from Collier High School students. Each guest was made to feel special as they were escorted to the top of the stairs by a Collier student.

In attendance were Senator Joseph Cryan, Freeholder Lillian Burry, Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger, Freeholder Susan Kiley, along with Collier Board Members, supporters, students and Collier staff. Guests mingled and enjoyed refreshments as greetings were made.

Then everyone gathered to witness and participate in the official ribbon cutting.

(Left to right: Freeholder Susan Kiley, Senator Cryan, Freeholder Lillian Burry, Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger, Sr. Debbie Drago)

Located in the Wickatunk section of Marlboro Township, Collier High School’s departmentalized academic program prepares students for admission into four-year colleges, community colleges, technical/vocational schools, and full-time employment. Due to the students’ growing needs, Collier High School implemented the Kateri Program, a specialized program designed to meet the needs of our students who benefit from a smaller environment with emphasis on individualized support. With a maximum student teacher ratio of 5:1, instruction is based on student ability and course work is designed to provide the requirements for post-secondary education. Students are integrated into the main campus for course work, sports, and clubs based on their individual interests.

To read a previous TAPinto article about the history of Collier Youth Services, and the three main programs helping local youth, click here:

About Collier Youth Services

Since 1927, Collier Youth Services has focused on improving the lives of underserved youth with academic, developmental, and emotional challenges. Collier operates an array of programs, including Collier High School, Collier Middle School, Collier Residential Program, and Kateri Day Camp. Collier’s mission is built on an unwavering belief in the worth and potential of all individuals and their capacity for change. For more details, please visit or call 732-946-4771.