A family is forever. We remain involved in our children’s lives for a lifetime. Each graduate becomes an automatic member of the HCYR Alumni Association, entitling them to apply, regardless of age, for one of HCYR’s college scholarships, for emergency financial aid and for other benefits, such as coming for stays at the Alumni Retreat House or attending reunions.
Letters home (mostly Facebook postings and emails) provide an ongoing report to family and friends back at the Ranch. Facebook helps us to keep track of our graduates, to see photos of their families, to hear about their lives, and to share important events. Over time, our alumni are validating that the Youth Ranch has played a significant role in their successes, and that the family aspect of the Ranch, along with our “never giving up” on them, has been very important.
Our alumni stay active in ‘giving back’ through Christmas gifts or fund drives. They become big brothers and sisters to children living here now. They also return with their own families. Favorite items during trips home include showing their spouses and children exactly where they lived, or where they worked on a landscape project, or where they caught a big fish.
They love to tell stories as we drive around or spend the day. They call HCYR Founder Gary Priour “Papa Gary” and his wife Carol “Mama Carol”. They introduce their own children to Grandpa and Grandma, and to other Ranch family members from their era. Memories tumble out and bonds are rekindled. Gratitude is a common theme, as the Ranch stands out for them as a refuge, a place where they found acceptance, guidance, encouragement, and home when they had nowhere else to turn.
If you lived at HCYR or BSRC at any time since 1977, and have not been in touch since you left the program, please email Rochelle Engleman Flowers ’89 at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about special opportunities designed just for you, including visits to the Alumni Retreat House, reunions, and scholarships. We want to hear from you!