John and Barbara Hencken have been supporters of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch since 2010. Though they’ve never found the opportunity to visit Boys Ranch in person, the Henckens share common ideologies with Boys Ranch, from our practice of leading by example and modeling appropriate behaviors in a child’s everyday life all the way to our use of equine therapy.
For most of their lives, John and Barbara have been ranchers.
“Being in the horse business, I totally understand there is a great connection between humans and horses,” John said.
John also said he believes Boys Ranch is “right on the money” with our Experiential Learning Program, which offers young people at Boys Ranch the chance to ‘try on’ potential careers. Boys Ranch residents have more than 20 different fields from which to choose; some even offer the chance to earn industry certifications that make them more attractive to potential employers in their post-ranch lives.
“Anything to keep a kid off those doggone video games,” John said with a chuckle in his voice. Keeping them busy is good.”
More than anything, though, the Henckens love Boys Ranch’s mission to support healthy childhood development.
“I’m a very strong believer in kids. I believe if we don’t take care of the next generation, we can kiss this country goodbye,” John explained. “Between the wife and me, our hearts are in kids — it’s as plain and simple as that.”
John and his wife, who have five daughters themselves and have been a steady presence in the lives of three grandchildren to boot, know a thing or two about leading children in the way they should go.
“We just realize the importance of raising children and bringing them up right,” he said. “Making them productive citizens that have something to offer rather than take … It all comes back around.”
Through nearly a decade of giving to Boys Ranch, John and Barbara Hencken are ensuring future generations raised at Boys Ranch enter society with a great deal to offer, indeed.