Alumni Spotlight: Eagle Ranch Graduate Lindsey Pittman

Success Stories

At 13, Lindsey came to the Blessing Home at Eagle Ranch as what some might call “a handful.” She was an energetic kid with a lot to say. Conflicts with her mom were frequent and caused a lot of turmoil at home. Happily, it didn’t take long for Lindsey to find her footing at Eagle Ranch, doing well in her studies, making friends with her roommates, and bonding with the houseparents, teachers and staff. Lindsey started allowing herself to enjoy the field trips and the camping outings and was able to find peace in the beauty of the Ranch itself. Her parents were in counseling as well, and things seemed to be better when she would go home on the weekends.

But when her time at Eagle Ranch had come to an end, Lindsey was crushed to hear that her parents had chosen to end their marriage. Confused and disappointed, she shut down, even avoiding sharing with others about her time at the Ranch. Her mom would eventually end up moving away altogether and Lindsey, an only child and still a teenager, would find herself left alone with her father. “My parents and I didn’t have the happy-ever-after ending we all thought we were supposed to have, and in my mind that was not okay. I had convinced myself that my story was not one of success and I had never felt more alone.”

Finding Strength and Resilience

Later in that same year, Lindsey received a terrifying call from her dad. “Lindsey, I’ve just been in a wreck, and I’m trapped in my car.” In true dad form, he added “Don’t panic!” Forced under a transit bus, it took the paramedics at least an hour to free his car. Suffering from head trauma and broken vertebrae, her dad was fortunate to be alive, but it would take some time for him to resume life as he had known it before.

Lindsey was attending college at the time and was still reeling from her parents’ divorce. “It was at that point, faced with the possibility of losing my dad, I found myself drawing on what I had learned at the Ranch all those years ago from my counselor. I was able to identify the root cause of my fear. That’s how I got through it.”

This was just the start of how Lindsey was able to dig into the well of knowledge she had stored and use it to care for others and persevere during challenges. From helping her grandfather in his final days to grieving the loss of a childhood friend, Lindsey found she was stronger and more equipped than she thought possible.

As time went by, even the relationship with her mom improved, due in part to what Lindsey says again, she learned while at Eagle Ranch. “I felt very much that it was about building a relationship and helping me learn to enforce my own boundaries. That was critical in helping me and my mom restore our broken relationship so many years later. As a kid, you don’t even realize what you are learning until it’s there. Then it’s there. I learned a lot at the Ranch about processing my emotions and finding what is really triggering me, but as an adult I really embraced it.”

Using Her Strength to Help Others

Lindsey loves her job as a paraprofessional in Cobb County and working with special needs students. She is able to connect with them in a way that they know she “gets it.” Lindsey’s students know she is going to be there when they have a problem. “I can use so much of what I learned at the Ranch to help with the kids and their emotions,” says Lindsey. Perhaps her ability to closely identify with the struggles of her students and help them process was one of the many reasons she was selected as Classified Employee of the Year at the school where she teaches.

Sometimes Lindsey finds herself thinking back to her days at the Ranch. “Even though my life was tumultuous, there was such a sense of peace at the Ranch,” said Lindsey. “Serenity and beauty were all around me and that’s what I think back on now. Sometimes I even think how much I would like to come back and volunteer my time, give back.”

Today, Lindsey is building a life with her husband, Nolan, and sees God’s plan in her story. “I’m happy where I am, and I know I am exactly where God wants me to be,” said Lindsey. “Even though our family did not end up where I thought we should, all those around me at the Ranch, the amazing teachers, my houseparents, the counselors…through it all God did something big in my life, and now the family I am building is the family I wished I had as a child.”