Dr. Andrew “Andy” Sapp, a 1993 graduate of Brookings-Harbor High School, was honored this week as a top young professional in Idaho.
Sapp is the son of Lewis and Dolores Sapp of Brookings, longtime owners of Brookings Sports Unlimited.
As the founder and president of Cherry Gulch in Emmett, Idaho, a therapeutic boarding school for boys ages 10 to 14, Sapp was named one of Idaho’s 40 top professionals under 40 by the Idaho Business Review.
“We are building brighter tomorrows for the boys of today with the wide-open space of country living and the benefit of a metropolitan area,” Sapp told the magazine.
At BHHS, Sapp was student government president, won a district wrestling championship and place second in state wrestling.
He went on to wrestle for Oregon State University, where some of the coaches volunteered at a local juvenile hall.
“Through those mentors,” says the magazine article, “Sapp grasped a profound truth: Just one positive and caring adult can make a huge difference to a kid.”
After graduating from OSU, Sapp was inducted into the U.S. Navy, for an internship at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., and went on to receive his doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.
“His work with children and adolescents in the fields of mental health and psychology have taken him to environments ranging from a youth correctional facility and an inner city foster home,” writes Idaho Business Review. “Work at a therapeutic wilderness program inspired the model for Cherry Gulch.”
Sapp founded Cherry Gulch in 2006 on 220 acres north of Emmett, drawing boys from around the country and all over the world to help them deal with issues such as depression, family conflict, violence and social coping problems. The school has grown to a staff of 57 serving 34 students.
“It’s easy to be dedicated and determined when you believe that the work you are doing will save lives, help families, contribute to your community and ultimately create a better world,” Sapp told the magazine.
Sapp, in turn, pointed with pride to other awards for the school and its students.
“In 2010, Cherry Gulch was selected by the Idaho Psychological Association as the overall winner of its Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award. For the last four years they have been selected by Woodbury Reports for “Excellence in Education.”
The chess team has been state champion four years in a row in the novice division, and Cherry Gulch students have earned awards in judo, BMX bike riding, fishing, art, 4-H, and etiquette. He says students volunteer in community projects and enjoy competing in Team America Rocketry Challenge and FIRST Lego Robotics League.
Dr. Sapp said he is grateful for all the people who have helped make Cherry Gulch a success.
“No one accomplishes anything really worthwhile or enduring alone,” he said. “There are so many people who have helped me reach my goals and have put their fingerprints all over Cherry Gulch, making it much better than I could have.
“Without such an amazing group of people we could not do the great work we are doing,” he added. “Together we are working on something that is greater than ourselves and will hopefully outlast all of the people who are currently involved.”