Personal Growth for Alina

Alina Lives Like Other Girls Her Age

Throughout the 2021 summer, Alina climbed on top of a horse. She was determined to learn how to compete in barrels and poles for the Boys Ranch Rodeo, and she took on a big burst of bravery to do it.

It was her first time competing.

“Horses are fun,” Alina said. “I have a fear of horses at the same time. You never know – they might just get mad all of a sudden. That’s why I tell my horse nice things.”

Alina can face her fear of horses because she has a sense of security that comes from living in a safe place. Boys Ranch has become a place where she can be with friends, celebrate special occasions and live like other girls her age.

Alina practices riding a palomino Paint horse through a pole bending pattern.
Alina practices a pole bending pattern for the Boys Ranch Rodeo.

Trying New Experiences

Alina has used her experiences at Boys Ranch to blossom and try new things. For example, Alina has been preparing cowboy poetry presentations, getting ready to overcome her fear of speaking in front of people.

“She has been brave in trying these new things,” said her caseworker, April Sprock.

 Alina has been maturing. Where she once was closed and distant, she has learned to trust adults and interact with more people, her houseparents said. Alina and her housemates attended sporting events, like football and baseball games, as they cheer for the Roughriders and think about getting involved in sports themselves.

Alina’s favorite sport to watch is football, she said, but she plans to run track at Blakemore Middle School – and maybe try basketball.

Alina enjoys sharing space with her roommate.

“She talks to me about her life,” Alina said. “She lets me wear her clothes.”

Alina plays water games.
Alina plays water games with her housemates.

Strengthening Home Bonds

All the girls in the home share holiday celebrations, such as Alina’s birthday party, which included her favorite food – dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets – vanilla ice cream and a cake decorated like her favorite cartoon character. That was a special treat.

Mostly, the girls receive nutritious meals in their home, then Alina helps with the kitchen cleanup.

“I sweep, mop and wipe the table down,” she said, then often she joins the other girls in the living room, where they play board games together.

Alina has even learned to bake and share her goodies, her houseparents said.

Sometimes, birthday celebrations at the home include trail rides, where the children ride until they get to The Edge of the World, a scenic overlook where they can pray together.

Alina shares a laugh with friends at the rodeo grounds.

Connecting Through Laughter

Alina has a brother at Boys Ranch, and they enjoy sibling time together. Jayden lives in Fischer Home, so Alina feels almost like she has more brothers in all the other boys at Fischer.

Prayer times, holiday celebrations and sibling time are all part of the Boys Ranch mission to make children feel like they are living everyday lives.

Alina’s life was more chaotic before she came to Boys Ranch. Alina’s mother found herself unable to take care of Jayden and Alina. For now, generous donors are helping care for the children while a struggling mother gets back on her feet.

Art is Alina’s favorite class at school; she loves painting, sculpting and drawing. She likes to leave little doodles wherever she goes.

She’s also a jokester, working on her best knock knock jokes.

“That’s how Alina connects with people,” Sprock said. “She has a really good sense of humor.”

Thank you to the donors who have made it possible for this funny, brave 12-year-old to live a typical life in a safe, comfortable place.

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