Mercedes: From Struggle to Strength

A journey of growth, resilience and profound support is what 16-year-old Mercedes said she has found at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. She said that she came to Boys Ranch during strained relationships at home.

After recognizing the problem, she and her family bravely took the step to seek a new environment.

“My attitude has gotten 10 times better. I definitely get along with people better,” Mercedes said.

In addition to maturing emotionally, Mercedes has found a place to belong in BRISD sports programs, most notably as cheer captain and a member of varsity cross country and track.

“It’s just a nice culture,” Mercedes said. “I like knowing that I can trust my squad enough to do stunts, and it’s just a fun overall experience.”

While sports have played a pivotal role in her life, they are also helping her to achieve her goals of higher education. Mercedes is considering trying out for cheer at the University of Central Arkansas. Mercedes’ future college plans involve a minor in eco-science, an interest sparked by her work in the irrigation agriculture Experiential Learning Program (ELP). After college, she plans to join the healthcare field to fulfill her desire to help others.

Mercedes has been at Boys Ranch for five years and is grateful for the opportunity to go home for Christmas and cherishes the time spent with her family. She acknowledged the generosity of donors and recognized their contributions in making celebration and support possible for those who can’t be with their families during the holidays.

“I just think the ranch is so pretty with the snow on the ground and on the trees,” Mercedes said. “I hope the kids who don’t get to go home for Christmas feel like they now have a bigger family than when they first came here.”

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