Scott Sims graduated Eagle Ranch in 2007. Today, he is a successful, up-and-coming shift manager at a local restaurant. He is happily married, has a beautiful nine-month-old baby girl, regularly attends church, and is grateful for the life he has. However, Scott’s life was not always so bright.
Adopted by his grandparents when he was two-years-old, Scott grew up as an only child. His life—both at home and at school—was filled with turmoil. Constant arguments filled the home, and Scott’s gang involvement and daily fist-fights consumed his days at school. After being expelled from school at the age of 12 and facing jail time, Scott’s school counselor gave him an ultimatum: military school or Eagle Ranch. His family chose the latter.
Scott had difficulty adjusting to his new way of life at Eagle Ranch. When he first arrived at the Ranch, he continued to cause disruptions at school and at home, trying to do whatever he could to get out. Casting judgment on everyone he came in contact with, Scott had difficulty making friends.
“For the first six months I was there, I hated the Ranch. I fought tooth and nail to get out. I was either causing a problem at home before we left, or I was causing a problem in the Hope Home as soon as we got to the Ranch. At home, I didn’t have any rules or any structure, so the whole Eagle Ranch environment was foreign to me.”
Six months into the program, Scott finally came to the realization that he didn’t have to fight anymore— at home, in school, or in the program. Through the counseling he and his grandparents received, Scott gradually was able to let go of his anger and aggression. Scott even began to make friends in the Hope Home and at Eagle Ranch School.
“We did individual counseling for the first few months, but then we came together as a family. It was in these counseling sessions that my grandparents and I were finally able to talk out our problems. It wasn’t always calm and collected. Sometimes there was yelling, and I was disrespectful,” Scott recalled, “but our counselor, Bruce, helped us work through our struggles.”
Because of Eagle Ranch, Scott says that he strives to better himself every single day. All that he learned at the Ranch helped him to become a confident leader, and Scott is able to boast of God’s glory. A man set free from the chains of his past, Scott believes that the 24 months of work at Eagle Ranch are worth the many years of reward he sees in his future.
“If it weren’t for Eagle Ranch, I don’t know where I would be today. I learned how to be an independent and productive person and keep God at the center of my life. I am better able to handle life’s challenges and careful to be precise and powerful when I speak,” said Scott. “I am changed and know God’s not done with me yet.”
Scott Sims is a 2007 graduate of the Eagle Ranch program and lives with his wife and daughter in Dahlonega, Georgia.