These are testimonials in regards to Gem’s founder & Executive Director Jim Hershey and his prior work with students and their families.
Thank you for helping to save our daughter. That’s exactly what you did when we sent her to you at the age of 16, tremendously overweight, terribly unhappy and desperately seeking herself.
I, for one, can attest that the impact on my daughter and my family is priceless. You may not know this but when my daughter first asked me if she could attend this type of program, she called me and indicated she needed to go do this so that she would not die before I do. Those words still resonate in my head on an almost daily basis, and I am very appreciative as to the good work you and others did to ensure the tools were made available to my daughter to take control of her own physical and mental well-being and grow into the vibrant 25 year old who is contributing to society that she is today.
Thank you for all your effort to lovingly serve our daughter and our family. We are deeply thankful for your commitment and your approach to health and well being. You made all the difference in our lives.
Our daughter’s work with Jim was responsible for the greatest possible combination of physical and emotional growth we could've possible imagined. Jim’s interpersonal skills allowed him to positively connect with and reshape the future of many struggling teens and ultimately, we thank him every day for saving our daughters life. His ability to connect with struggling individuals and helping them find their inner strength is remarkable, and his patience with each case remains unparalleled. It was a privilege and a blessing to have him work with and change not only our daughter’s life, but significantly improve our entire family's relationship.
After just six months, our daughter returned calm, comfortable, making FAR better decisions, courteous and accountable.
Through activity, focus on fitness and your weekly group and individual sessions, we watched a whole new life unfold for her. To be fair, we didn’t expect the depth and breadth of results we got back when she came home.
You helped me gain the greatest gift I could hope for, knowledge and belief in myself. I knew deep down that I was going to have to deal with what was bothering me for so long, but I never could even image starting the process, let alone feeling in control of it. I will take these lesson with me the rest of my life and for that I am eternally grateful!
I have always told people that Jim has an inherent quality – a gift, I think – to be incredibly professional and yet unfailingly compassionate in the same space. Through our many years of working together, through the highs and the lows and the lowest lows, through many shifts in both of our lives and roles, some of the greatest catalysts in my life have been the wisdom of his words and a place to feel heard. I wish I could put words to how important that was, and how important Jim was, in my journey of healing. To work with someone who truly loves what they do makes all the difference when you find yourself in the vulnerable position of needing support. I consider myself very privileged to know one of those rare individuals who have mastered the art of being there.
It’s Jim’s immovable passion for this cause that sets him, and this endeavor, apart. GEM is the product of this remarkable passion.
When I first met Jim, I was incredibly resistant to change, doing poorly in school, had a semi-toxic relationship with my family, on top of being a 17-year-old girl weighing in at 300 pounds. Starting my weight-loss journey I had a very naïve belief that all my problems stemmed from my weight. Jim changed that. Jim helped me discover that life is about developing healthy habits, maintaining healthy relationships, and setting goals for yourself. Jim will tell you how it is, and push your emotional boundaries to levels an individual has never reached. Throughout Jim’s guidance I was able to drop 120 pounds, but the real change happened inside. Jim made me realize how incredible my family is, and to this day I thank him for that. I have recently graduated college with honors, started law school, and continue using the lessons that Jim has instilled upon me. I recommend Jim without reservation, as he has been an absolute blessing for me, my family, and most importantly my future.
I’d almost forgotten the past struggles that had caused my life to first intersect with Jim’s. It was in the darkness of that intersection that my parents and I made the decision to entrust a time in my life to fully commit and focus on pursuing my health. It was saying “yes” to that decision that makes the pain of my past a place I visit, and not a place I live. I am so grateful for that.