Before Joshua came to Eagle Ranch, he was afraid, unsociable and unmotivated. He refused to go to school and made every excuse to stay home. This led to many arguments, and Joshua would retreat to his room, which he saw as his “safe place.” He would hide out in his room for hours, sometimes for days, and refused to come out, talk, or even eat. Desperate for help, Joshua and his family found Eagle Ranch.
“When I first got here in the summer I was kind of a wreck,” said Joshua, “I was reluctant. My biggest fear was school. I was traumatized by it. My goal was to get out of the Ranch before the school year started. That was my plan.”
Fortunately, Joshua found that school didn’t have to be a negative experience. In his time at Eagle Ranch, he has experienced profound growth and development. Joshua rediscovered his love for mathematics, and found a new area of interest and talent: woodturning.
Through woodturning, an exploratory class he took at Eagle Ranch School, Joshua became fond of working with his hands and creating something intricately beautiful out of something that was once unadorned. His success in woodturning gave him confidence that led him to share about his experience with his fellow classmates at Eagle Ranch School.
“The joy I discovered in woodturning was something that motivated me to raise my hand and go up to speak,” said Joshua, “And really, that is a fear I have conquered . . . that I can go up and speak in front of 30 people, and I actually enjoyed it!” He is now excited to step into a classroom.
Through the academic and behavioral success Joshua has experienced so far in the program, his self-confidence has grown exponentially, and his motivation to do well academically has made a huge impact on his outlook of the future.
“Now I have a lot more motivation, because I have something that propels me. I know I have what it takes to do well in school, and to excel in anything I put my mind to,” Joshua noted. “Learning that has really motivated me. I don’t know what made me give up before I came to the Ranch, but I certainly don’t want to give up now.”