W E L L N E S Sā€‹


The Upstanding Academy is an enrichment program for 5th-9th grade students. Our programs are led by specialists who have extensive experience working with adolescents and teens. Our programs take place after-school, evenings and Saturdays. Best of all...it’s FREE


Our team of specialists are teachers, school counselors and therapists. We have a love for children and high hopes of improving our community by providing quality programs to school-aged youth.

Each child is unique. We team up with parents, teachers and school counselors/social workers to ensure wrap around support for students. We also connect students to community resources that can benefit them.

For more information, please email us: upstandingacademy@gmail.com 

Or CALL us: 910-939-0688

We offer small group enrichment lessons focused around students’ personal/social/emotional and academic success.  Our lessons are built on the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) evidence based competencies. We also have a Licensed Therapist who works individually with students (all FREE). 



We offer Wellness Retreats that combine small group therapy sessions with the beauty of the outdoors.

  • Friendship Skills

  • Social Skills (interacting positively

      with peers/ building self-confidence)

  • Self-Esteem Building

  • Character Education

  • Random Acts of Kindness

  • Diversity

  • Stress Coping/ Healthy Living

  • Anger Management

  • Yoga for Stress Relief

  • Study Skills

  • Time Management

  • Organization/Note Taking

  • Test Taking Skills

  • Social Media Safety and Awareness

  • Elementary to Middle School Transition

  • Middle to High School Transition

  • Public Speaking (middle School)

  • Peer Mediation/Conflict Resolution (middle school)

  • Additional Topics provided based on specific need

Heily Aktuglu-McGowan, M.Ed., LPCA

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate: A13173

Supervised by: Natasha Nunes: 4781S

NC Licensed School Counselor: 1188732

Contact Me:

Office: 910-833-5902

email: zisperwellness@gmail.com

Office Location:

1136 Shipyard Blvd

Wilmington, NC 28412