Symone had a big personality, positive outlook and million-dollar smile. Her spunk and charm were contagious. At school, Symone was popular and gifted athletically. From the outside looking in, it appeared she had it all together.
At home, things looked much different. Angry outbursts, her parents going through a divorce, and a fight in school led Symone’s mom to make the difficult decision of seeking outside help. In the summer of 2018, Symone’s mom brought her to Eagle Ranch.
“My mom and I had a really tough relationship and argued a lot. I was angry and not a happy person. I had emotions built up, a bad attitude and would talk back to everyone,” said Symone, thinking back. “When I heard about Eagle Ranch, I didn’t want to go. I had such a big future–I was a track star, I played softball, and I was popular in school. I didn’t think I had any problems, so it was like a big nightmare.”
It took a while for Symone to adjust to her new life at Eagle Ranch. For the first 6 months she was here, Symone convinced herself she would be going home sooner rather than later. Once Symone accepted that she needed to work on her anger issues, she opened up to the program and the hard work that needed to be done in order for her and her family to grow.
“I worked with my counselor as much as I could on ways I could improve, especially on how to express my feelings. It’s hard for me to do that sometimes, but I get better every day,” said Symone. “I wanted to be back at home, so I worked hard to address my issues and become a better version of myself. I didn’t want to be the same person I was when I came here.”
Now a graduate of the program, Symone shared that she has experienced growth in learning to control her emotions, improve her behavior and excel academically. For her family, they have learned to discuss their issues in a calm way instead of breaking out into an argument.
“Eagle Ranch helped me realize that I’m thankful for my family and for what I have,” said Symone. “Home is more positive, and I have a much better relationship with my Mom. Eagle Ranch pieced our family together again and has changed me as a whole person.”
Symone and her family graduated the program in May 2021.