I was never the loud and wild kid who openly disobeyed authority. I was quiet and superficially respectful, which allowed me to get away with so much more. As they say, it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for.
Fortunately for me, the Chandlers and staff members at Tierra Blanca Ranch were able to see through my act. They were able to see me, not as a troubled teenager, but as a kid with so much potential.
When I was able to see myself through their eyes, I started to soften and open up. I started to see my potential and began to crave success.
If I remember correctly, my junior and senior years of high school I achieved close to a 4.0 GPA, something I never thought I would be able to do. However, my change went deeper than just a better GPA. I began to value myself, my confidence increased dramatically, and I had a passion and fire within me to succeed like I never had before.
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it was because of the excellent staff members and the Chandler family that I was able to make such a big change in my life.
They provided me with a safe and structured environment that I desperately needed at that pivotal time in my life. Not once did I ever feel unsafe or abused.
While living at Tierra Blanca Ranch I was taught what a good work ethic was. We backpacked all over the ranch. We helped build fences, checked and mended the fence line, helped take care of the livestock, went on cattle runs, etc.
It taught us a good work ethic and how to work well with others. We were never overworked and the staff members were nine times out of 10 working right alongside us.
However, the majority of the week, our main focus was on school.
Some of my happiest memories are from living at the ranch. I learned how to barrel race, brand calves, go on cattle runs and so much more. The Chandlers and staff became a part of my family.
I owe them so much for helping me turn my life around.
I have gone back to visit Clyde, Kay and Scott Chandler multiple times in the past seven years since graduating from high school. I never once saw any of the kids in the program at that time abused or mistreated.
I find it extremely hard to believe that that would ever take place at Tierra Blanca Ranch.
In the seven years since leaving TBR, I haven’t met a better person than Scott Chandler. He has devoted his life to helping kids that everyone else has given up on.
I am thankful every day that I was a student at Tierra Blanca Ranch and was provided the opportunity to turn my life around.