Testimonies from Graduates
Below are the real-life testimonies given by three of Lives Under Construction Boys Ranch Graduates. NOTE: The names and places of these boys are changed to protect their identity but the stories are from real life situations.
Marty was 15 years old and was very involved with gang activity to the point of being asked to kill someone. He was using drugs, alcohol, staying out all night, skipping school, and had no respect for his family.
Eventually, he was sent to a psychiatric treatment hospital in a “large city,” where as a part of his after care, it was recommended that he complete the LUC program. After spending some time in jail, he received an armed escort to the airport just to make sure he reached the Ranch. He was very defiant at first and wanted to be in control.
After several months of breaking the Ranch rules, and then doing his consequences, Marty changed the priorities in his life. He began daily Bible studies, developed consistent strong work habits, and asked God to help him change his attitude and behavior.
In school, he had mostly A’s, played on the basketball team, and helped his business class win first place in a state competition. When he went home, he invited former gang members to his home for Bible studies and to play basketball.
He has now graduated from high school with honors, completed two years of college while working for UPS, and is now in the Marines.
Jasper was adopted into a large family in which he had caused a lot of conflict by the time he was 15. After being placed in three different child-care facilities, Jasper’s self-image was so poor that he was either abusive to others or destructive to himself.
Each previous facility had declared that Jasper could never function normally in a public school and would probably never be able to control his behavior enough to function in a family. At first, Jasper’s boundless energy got him into situations in which he made poor choices for which he received the consequences of his actions. His reaction to our correction was either tears or anger.
We soon recognized that Jasper had some mechanical abilities that needed to be channeled in a constructive way. As a result, Jasper spent most of his free time fixing our tractors, lawn mowers, and vehicles. This provided the opportunity for him to experience the good feeling of being a productive member of our Ranch family, and Jasper’s self-respect grew.
Soon, Jasper was earning above average grades in a public high school and was in demand by our employers to work for them. Perhaps Jasper’s most notable attributes were his willingness to help others and to be forgiving even in the face of adversity. When Jasper went home, we missed his big hugs and cheerful attitude.
Jasper worked at a machine parts factory and became active in his church. His excellent work habits, quiet disposition, and excellent mechanic abilities serve him well in helping others.
When Ted was about 5 years old, his father left him. Ted was a very active boy and from that day forward, most of his energy was channeled into destroying things near and dear to him. Ted became even angrier when his mother remarried because he knew that meant his mother had given up on his father returning.
As Ted’s grades fell, he hung around with friends who got him involved with satanic worship. Soon his life was a mess. At age 15, Ted came to the Ranch because, even on medication, he was out of control at school and at home and was using drugs.
While at the Ranch, Ted learned study and work habits, came to know Christ, participated in drama at the school, played the fiddle with the Mel Tillis Band, and was able to overcome his anger and bitterness with his family. After graduating from high school, Ted supported himself by having various jobs ranging from dish-boy to manager of a quick food business.
Now Ted is going to college to become an attorney, and he says he is getting straight “A’s.” He also states that he is having a hard time convincing his teachers that he is not a genius!