and commitment to Christian values,
WTBR provides loving,
caring families and homes for boys
so they can become healthy, happy, self-sufficient citizens.
West Texas Boys Ranch...
...seeks to give youths sense of belonging!
By Roy K. Robb West Texas Boys Ranch, board liaison
As published in the San Angelo Standard Times
San Angelo, Texas, is quickly becoming a popular place to retire and lead a quality lifestyle in one of several retirement communities and centers. People often mention the beauty of living in West Texas, the serenity and peacefulness and change of pace from a previous hectic lifestyle. And, of course, the intangible aspect of friendliness and genuine caring from the people of West Texas.
For the boys at West Texas Boys Ranch this is even more true. West Texas Boys Ranch is located between San Angelo and Mertzon, Texas, and a young man coming to live here will find love and guidance when what they may have come from is oftentimes a tumultuous home and a troublesome lifestyle.
Far too often, the boys have experienced a lack of love and of guidance needed for their age. Sometimes there may just be no one able at this time to provide a home for them. At other times, boys come from stable home environments, but for other reasons, are unable to function successfully in that home. West Texas Boys Ranch was established 66 years ago for boys experiencing these problems.
The establishment of a working ranch for the boys who needed such an environment was a dream by many leaders in West Texas in 1947, and one that has been made a reality by the generous contributions over the years.
Oftentimes, a boy who comes to the ranch in desperate need of help often displays feelings of despair, hopelessness and sometimes fear that he may never have a chance at a meaningful, successful life. Often they act out their anger and resentment at what life has dealt them.
The entire staff at West Texas Boys Ranch is committed to replacing those feelings with ones of excitement, joy and peace of mind as they fill life with genuine love and Christian guidance.
In order to facilitate a change, Jeremy Vincent, ranch administrator, says ”we must earn the trust of the boy and show genuine care and concern for his overall well being.”
Here a boy can live, work and study among adults whose faith in God and love of young people may be something new and different from what was prevalent in the troubled and often chaotic homes they came from.
At WTBR we accept boys ages 8 to 17. Most of our boys are placed by their parents, family members or other caregivers. At this time we are not accepting children from other states as we try to emphasize family involvement and frequent home visits when possible. WTBR asks each boy for a one-year commitment to the program. However, the boys are allowed to stay until they graduate high school, providing they are following the established rules and policies of the ranch.
All boys participate in the Education Program, which encompasses attending school at Irion County. They are supported at the Ranch by the on-campus Learning Center with tutoring four days a week.
The boys are offered opportunities to participate in the farm and ranch programs which include our horse program, 4-H program and the summer work bell program where the boys are compensated for their work and are exposed to a variety of vocational skills.
All boys participate in a behavior management program developed to help the boys reach and maintain acceptable levels of behavior, internalize positive values and identify areas of strength as well as areas which need improvement.
All boys participate in the Christian education program. WTBR is committed to ensuring the boys entrusted to our care have every opportunity to be nurtured in a Christian environment. The boys attend church weekly with their cottage parents and also attend our Sunday evening chapel on the ranch. Many of the boys also participate in youth group activities at their church.
It would be a very long story to write or tell about all the wonderful happenings taking place daily, monthly and yearly at West Texas Boys Ranch, but we are only able to do what we do because of the prayers, donations and volunteers of the people who support our efforts.
Because West Texas Boys Ranch is partially a working ranch, a home and school for young people, as well as a place to begin a new life, the donations to help financially are critical, the continued prayers from individuals who cannot physically help are critical and volunteers to help are critical. WTBR has provided a caring environment for many years because of the concern of individuals, churches and organizations in the West Texas area who have donated money, time, talents, construction materials, mechanical equipment, tack supplies, horses, food and vehicles for the continued operation.
If anyone would like to tour the ranch or discover what the current needs are, give us a call.
If you are aware of a boy who needs help, contact WTBR and we will begin the application process. The ranch office number is 325-949-1936 or visit our website at WTBR.org.
Home Away from Home
West Texas Boys Ranch is a non-profit organization offering guidance, structure and opportunities through a family-based program and Christian environment so young men may realize their greatest potential. Since it's inception 66 years ago, West Texas Boys Ranch has served thousands of boys from Texas and beyond.
At West Texas Boys Ranch a boy is measured by his potential rather than his past. It's here in a family setting and ranch environment where boys rediscover their self-respect and become useful, proud and productive citizens. West Texas Boys Ranch is a place where boys learn the value of work, grow spiritually and achieve academic success through the example of a caring staff.
West Texas Boys Ranch utilizes a family-based model of care. Boys live in individual homes or "cottages," with up to eight boys in a cottage and married "cottage parents" who serve as parental role models. Each boys has his own room and enjoys the camaraderie of other boys in the house. In this environment, boys learn responsibility and help with cottage chores. Positive behavior is reinforced.
Life at the Ranch...
Boys Ranch offers an enjoyable, yet structured living experience for boys. A well-balance, study-play-work program develops a sense of responsibility and dependability. The boys attend local public schools and participate in the ranch education program, designed to enhance academic skills. Tutors are available to help with homework and basic skills. Many of the boys play on school or community athletic teams, participate in 4-H shows, and learn farming and ranching techniques just like other boys.
On the ranch property, there are a number of recreational facilities available - a pool, tennis courts, gym, playing fields, driving range, horseback riding, fishing, camping and wide open spaces. Boys learn vocational skills and earn spending money for their work on the ranch. Older boys may have the option to work in town.
Guidance and Planning for the Future
For each boy, a plan of service is designed to address specific needs. A family visitation schedule is developed that is best suited for each boy and his family. One of the goals is to reunite the boys with their families if and when possible. West Texas Boys Ranch encourages a minimum stay of one year because this gives the boys, their families and our staff an opportunity to make progress.
West Texas Boys Ranch provides career counseling for boys when they graduate from high school. College scholarships and vocational training are available through the West Texas Boys Ranch Foundation. Many of our alumni move on to college, the military and successful careers in a variety of fields.
At West Texas Boys Ranch the hearts are big and the sky's the limit!
The West Texas Boys Ranch welcome referrals from school counselors, ministers, law-enforcement officials, parents, grandparents and other concerned individuals. Applications may be requested by calling our office at 325-949-1936 or toll free at 1-800-756-9827. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information can be found at www.wtbr.org.
Once we receive a completed application, we review it to determine if the program will address the specific needs of the boy and his family. If so, the family is asked to come to the ranch for an interview and a tour of the facilities. A decision regarding placement is usually made within 10 days. Services are never denied due to inability to pay because of the West Texas Boys Ranch Foundation and the generosity of donors.
WTBR is an exempt non-profit corporation under IRS Code 501 (c)(3) and is a public charity under IRS Code 170 (b)(1)(a)(vi). Charitable contributions are received from individuals, corporations, businesses and both public and private foundations. Many contribute memorials and/or honors. Gifts in the forms of wills, trusts, annuities, livestock and other financial planning may be made to WTBR or the West Texas Boys Ranch Foundation.