The ‘C’ in our R.A.N.C.H. acronym for Level Four is ‘Change.’ Change is part of the adjustments you make on your way to becoming more independent. “You’re not going to leave a different person. What we want is for you to be equipped with the thought processes to help you through your life,” said Chris Langley.

We grow in our leadership by leading a community of teenagers who may not want to conform. Not everyone comes as a natural leader, and so some have to really step out of their shell in order to get these guys moving.

During Level Three, residents become a captain (kitchen captain, dorm captain, horse captain, grounds captain, etc.), getting more responsibility and new learning experiences. You have to learn whole new ways of getting others to work with each of these changes. This teaches us new ways to get our friends at home moving in positive directions in our social groups.

Resident Zack K. commented, “You have to have the desire to change.” In other words, you have to choose to change before you will. Whenever a resident complains about being here, Zack turns it around on them and asks, ‘What have you done to graduate?’

I always tell other residents to be honest, because not being honest only holds you back. When folks are honest, and work through their issues, they have less trouble moving up. We can only change ourselves and not others when encountering a problem.

“Figure yourself out. Whatever that means to you, find something you want to improve on and begin to address it,” therapist Austin Davenport advised. Change can be really scary to me, or anybody.

Things such as handling temptation, developing healthy relationships, and positive goal-setting will help us for our entire lives. Residents have to change and learn a new way of living life that works for them,, even if they may not have seen a problem in their lives before. But change, and growth, are good for you. They are essential to growing up.