Meet A Resident
Mason was 11 years old when he arrived at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch almost seven years ago. His mother, a single parent living in Pittsburgh, PA, felt like she wasn’t able to supervise Mason adequately and he was hanging out with the wrong crowd. Many of the risk factors were present that generally point to a kid that would probably get into trouble, experiment with drugs and end up dropping out of school. His mother’s intervention through Boys Ranch caught him before those risk factors caught up with him. She felt that Boys Ranch could offer her son more opportunities.
“I felt safe the moment I got here,” Mason said. “Although it was a scene change from Pittsburgh, I was not really fearful of moving to Texas. Mom grew up in El Paso and she told me that living in Texas would be different and how to adjust to it.
“I try to involve myself in a lot of different activities. I’m involved in choir, band, football, baseball and theater.” Mason portrayed the Tin Man in the school production of “The Wizard of Oz.” “It was my first acting experience. It was fun.”
Mason participates in the vocational training program, works in the horticulture department and earns an allowance for his efforts. His work crew tends the athletic fields and supports other horticulture needs of the Ranch.
He is involved in the Boys Ranch religious education program. “I’m an assistant Sunday school teacher. The younger kids look up to the older kids and I feel like they need a good role model.”
Mason traveled to Mexico on Boys Ranch sponsored mission trips. Mason and his peers helped poor families and orphanages in Acuna. “I thought it was very rewarding. Seeing the way kids react to you makes you feel good about yourself.”
Mason is a straight ‘A’ student. He was the quarterback of the varsity football team and a pitcher on the baseball team. “I want to coach football and baseball. I plan on getting a teaching degree in Social Studies and majoring in athletic training or exercise science.
Mason remains close to his mother and speaks with her daily on the telephone. “My Mom appreciates the supervision here and how it keeps you honest. You can’t get away with as much as you can at home. When I used to tell her that I didn’t like Boys Ranch, or I wanted to come home, Mom always said I’ll thank her for it some day.”
After graduation, “I’m thinking about going back to Pittsburgh to college, or maybe to West Texas A&M University. I want to play college sports (football or baseball) and I’ll probably play at the college that gives me the best offer.”
Without Boys Ranch, “I’d be a real bad kid. I had real bad friends. Looking back, I can see I was headed down the wrong path.”