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The Aztecs believed in a 9 stage spiritual journey that was finally rewarded by unspeakable glory (the
Heavens). Sacred temples were constructed 9 stories high that reached the forest light above the trees.
Once one achieved this 9 stage journey, their spirit was in union with the cosmos (9 planetary spheres).
9 Heavens Healing Academy seeks to impart the values of its 9 principles upon young people as well as
to encourage youth to begin their own journey.


The 9 Heavens Healing Academy was established in 2007 by Curtis Bell to meet the needs of
marginalized youth living in poverty, single parent families, illiteracy and gun violence. Shortly after
starting the program, 9 Heavens partnered with Youth Achieving in Academics, Athletics, and Character
Education (Y.A.A.A.C.E.) creating a wrap-around program for these youth. 9 Heavens, to date, has
operated 90 relocation weekends and provided additional follow-up meetings for the youth when they
were back at the Y.A.A.A.C.E. program located at Jane and Finch in Toronto. 9 Heavens Healing Academy
used the unique concept of bridging youth from the North side of Finch and the South side of Finch that
assisted them to foster a friendship between otherwise rival gang members. This program allowed 9
Heavens to sell its benefits to the Toronto Police Services Board which funded 9 Heavens for of the
weekends. In 2009, 9 Heavens was successful in securing funding from Youth Justice Canada for an
additional 80 weekends over a 4 year period through Justice’s Gun & Gangs/Drug Intervention initiative.
For almost a decade, the 9 Heavens’ mantra has been, “A Soldier Cannot Heal on the Battlefield.”
Many youth today are suffering from mental health problems stemming from PTSD from living in violent
streets. 9 Heavens has adopted the term “Urban Survival Syndrome” which Americans use pertaining to
people living in these violent circumstances. The health problems that result from this syndrome
include: mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychosis, and substance abuse. The Vision of 9 Heavens
Healing Academy is to offer a long term treatment facility that provides significant time to heal,
appropriate treatment, clinical care in a safe environment. This is our solution to the current practice of
punishing the victim by incarceration.


9 Heavens Healing Academy aims to eradicate guns and gang violence in Canada.


9 Heavens Healing Academy will assist youth to heal in a manner that will result in healthy
people, healthy parents, and healthy lifestyles.


 HOPE – light a torch within a human spirit; a torch that burns with hope.
 FAITH – believe in a higher power and gain or restore faith.
 HEALING – know that the healing process begins with forgiveness.
 HEALTH – make physical, mental and emotional health your priority.
 BALANCE – live in harmonious balance with Mother Earth.
 RESOLVE – create an ability to resolve both internal and external conflicts.
 COURAGE – understand that self-discipline is often courage in disguise.
 RESILIANCE – find resilience in the face of adversity.
 RESPONSIBILITY – accept responsibility for our actions and words.


 To heal the disrupted spirits of our youth
 To provide necessary socialization skills
 To expand participants’ frame of reference beyond their streets
 To examine the issues of mental illness and substance abuse
 To support positive fathering skills
 To create and interconnectedness with Mother Earth

9 Heavens operates upon 9 Dimensions -

1. Healing: including, gang intervention, anger management, counselling for mental illness (i.e.
PTSD, substance abuse), restorative justice
2. Creativity and Fun: including, arts, music, culinary skills, creating apparel, day trips (i.e.
Wonderland, African Lion Safari, indoor skydiving, busker fests, county fairs, rib fests), laugh
therapy & comedy
3. Environmental/Outdoor Education: including, outward bound experience, animal therapy,
hiking, the world biosphere reserve
4. Character Building: including, empathy, personal and interpersonal skills, trusting friendships,
self-monitoring/self-awareness, growth during puberty, how to treat women
5. Agriculture: including, organic gardening, cropping, importance of recycling
6. Fitness and Nutrition: including, various sports, rock climbing, circuit training, yoga, fitness
training, martial arts, healthy eating
7. Literacy, Vocational Skills and Post-Secondary Opportunities: including, entrepreneurial
training, earning high school credits, carpentry, mechanics, landscaping, barbering
8. Life Skills: including, hygiene, eating in a restaurant, team-building, leadership training, resolving
conflicts, parenting,

9. Cultural and Traditional Learnings: including, sun dance, harvest festival, medicine wheel,

The 9 Heavens Healing Academy is committed to reclaiming, restoring and healing the spirit of youth by
building their confidence and positive self-image. 9 Heavens will provide them with hope for their
future. We believe every individual has unrealized potential and deserves the right to discover it. 9
Heavens is confident that with the opportunity at our academy, youth will flourish and expand their
abilities beyond that which they previously believed.


“The most magical moment is watching a young person do something they thought they
could never do and discover it for the first time. A seed grows into a tree right before
your very eyes.”
~ Curtis Bell Sr.

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