I had a lot of anxiety around going to school. I always was a little anxious about school, even when I was in elementary school. After my parents’ divorce, things took a nosedive. I started missing days – about every other day – in sixth grade, but I managed to get through the year. In 7th grade I had an experience with bullying that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had panic attacks every day when it was at its worst.
I was diagnosed with anxiety, major depression and ADHD. I stayed home for about a year and half, and then I tried private school. I missed hundreds of days of school. I ended up getting two years behind because of it. We were kind of at a loss about what to do.
When I came to Eagle Ranch, I was 100 percent sure that I was dumb, that I was not going to do anything in life, that I was not going to succeed. I thought I wouldn’t even graduate high school. I was ready to drop out and not even get my GED. It was not the shining life I had hoped for.
I got to know everyone here and felt more comfortable. I help out in the barn a couple of times a week. I really like being around horses. Horses just kind of get it. Over time, I started to gain confidence.
I still get anxious over the stress of school, but I know how to manage it more. I haven’t missed a single day of school since being here. I’m on the A/B honor roll and made the A honor roll last semester. I have confidence. I know that no matter how dark things get, no matter how hopeless you may feel, there is always an option; there is always a choice to make things better.
Anna and her family graduated the program in May 2021. At her graduation ceremony, Anna shared a bit more about her experience here:
“I came to the Ranch broken and battered. I was confused. I didn’t see a substantial future ahead of me. I was insecure, and unstable. I felt as if a strong gust of wind could knock down at any moment, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get back up again. Now, I know that there is a future ahead of me, and a bright one at that. I am confident in myself and my abilities, and I know that I can succeed.”