The following are stories of boys whose lives have been changed by the people, programs and services of CBR YouthConnect. They are living examples of the CBRYC mission to help troubled youth become hopeful and productive citizens. Click here for our Admissions Newsletter.
When Alex came to CBR YouthConnect from California, he was withdrawn, isolated and confused. Having suffered several psychotic episodes, Alex was unsure where to turn and how to deal with it. During his time at CBRYC, Alex has learned to become more outgoing – a quality his primary therapist said will take him far. Alex has enjoyed working with the animals at CBR YouthConnect and has consistently attended other programs, earning himself a place on the Honor Squad – an exclusive group devoted to rewarding boys who are doing well therapeutically and educationally. His time at CBR YouthConnect has also revealed Alex’s love for the outdoors, especially gardening and fishing. His goal is to someday work in the electronics field as either a technician or engineer. Alex will be the first to tell you that coming to CBR YouthConnect was a good move for him. “It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it,” he said.
Shawn was in a lot of trouble in his hometown of Philadelphia. When he came to CBR YouthConnect, he discovered that one key to staying out of trouble was to busy himself with other pursuits. He became involved in the campus’ Vocational Technology program, earned the right to attend some classes at the local high school and even secured himself a place on the high school’s football team. Shawn’s therapist said he poured his heart and soul into football “like it was the most important thing he’s ever done.” The concept worked. Shawn enjoyed success in school and was excited to move back home and find work.
An outgoing boy who enjoys everything from working on cars to surfing and mountain biking, Bruce found his downfall as a teenager in the form of substance abuse. The California teen said the problem took him away from many of the things he loved, including working on land speed racers. When he came to CBR YouthConnect, he had one major goal: to become a stronger person and return to what he loves doing. Bruce completed his treatment in under a year and was able to return to his family with more focused goals. He hopes to open his own automotive shop or maybe even become a firefighter one day.
If one thing about his time at CBR YouthConnect stands out for Jerry, it is being able to take part in the animal-assisted therapy programs available to all of the boys on campus. Growing up in Alaska, Jerry had never been on a horse until coming to Colorado. It quickly became a favorite activity of his. But even higher on his list of favorites was being involved in the New Leash on Life program, which allows boys to rescue dogs from the local animal shelters, train them and adopt them out to loving homes. Jerry found that training a dog wasn’t as easy as he once thought, but was a very rewarding experience. He was also thrilled at the end of the program to find his dog a great home. An outdoorsman who loves to camp, Jerry plans to pursue a career in construction and is thankful that his time at CBR YouthConnect taught him, among other things, to be a better listener.