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Carlee

Children and Families

“Before Eagle Ranch, everything was hectic, from family to peers. At home, my family was always either arguing or completely ignoring each other. I felt totally alone.

After constant nights of fighting, when I went to school I would be so depressed. I held back tears and was always late to class from crying in the bathroom. My ‘friends’
didn’t make it better. I was hanging around in the wrong crowd, just wanting to be accepted.

At Eagle Ranch, it was different. I was surrounded by people who cared about me and all the bad influences were gone. I finally had a chance for a new beginning. My family isn’t shattered anymore. My school work is getting done—mostly—and my friends are actual good friends.

When I first came to Eagle Ranch, I still struggled by doing the wrong things to fit in. Now, I do what I know is right and forget the people who don’t like me for it.

I’ve learned so much about myself and my family. I learned that I’m beautiful inside and out and that I’m unique and funny, and not afraid to be myself despite what other people think of me. Most important, I learned that Melanie and Ted genuinely care about me and that I care about them. Now, we can even get along in the same room!

Before Eagle Ranch, and in the beginning, I honestly didn’t know if God was real. I questioned Him. But now it’s different. I’m not just going through the motions; I believe.

After graduation, I feel that my biggest challenge may be sharing my feelings, but I don’t see it as a huge challenge or anything.

I feel that my family is ready to graduate because we have come so far and we’ve worked so hard together. Now, if we have problems we can solve them efficiently and share our feelings. Of course we aren’t perfect, but at least now we’re a family.”

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