Newsletter Spring 2023

Healing Reins

J Bar J Boys Ranch and Healing Reins have partnered to enroll youth in their Substance Use Disorder treatment program. Healing Reins’ equine assisted mental health program is a holistic, experiential and highly specialized form of therapy that involves working in collaboration with a horse, a therapist, and an equine specialist. This groundbreaking model is being used globally as a dynamic, powerful tool in mental health therapy. We have long included Equine Assisted Psychotherapy at The Academy at Sisters and are excited about the possibilities for the boys at the ranch.

Adolescents are at a life stage where many prefer doing instead of talking. Trusting and verbalizing about themselves to another person, including their therapist, can be intimidating. This is especially true if they have experienced trauma or have been let down by an adult they trusted in the past. Talking directly about painful memories can be distressing. Animals have a great capacity to build bonds with humans, their presence can calm and relax us.

Equine Assisted Therapy doesn’t rely on language to facilitate communication. The immediate and honest reaction of the horse can help a teen understand a consequence of their own behavior, something that is often hard to perceive in their human relationships. The student-horse relationship can then provide a metaphor to understanding and interpreting the behaviors of people in the student’s life. Because the horse’s response is a consequence of the interaction, the feedback is clear and easy to accept.

Return to the Lanes

For the first time since 2019, Defenders of Potential dressed up and hit the lanes to support Big Brothers Big Sisters mentorships for kids!

The Cascade Disposal sponsored ‘Bowl For Kids’ Sake’ event raised over $21,500 for youth in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon’s programs! 18 teams participated in the fun and fundraising. We are grateful to the two winning teams who brought in the most money through donations: Cascade Disposal and Bend Business Builders. The night included a raffle with lots of local goods, Tahitian Dancers, and prizes. BBBSCO is grateful to the many sponsors and teams who joined us to help make this such a successful event!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of CO’s largest fundraiser, Comedy For Kids’ Sake, will return to the Tower Theatre this fall on October 7th. Last year’s event was the best ever! This year, Master of Ceremonies / Comedian Tyler Boeh and Auctioneer Molly May will be returning for this high-energy event. Transworld Business Advisors will be stepping up as our presenting sponsor. We are seeking sponsors as well as live and silent auction donations for this fall’s event.

A Change of Trajectory

When Patrick moved to Prineville in middle school, he met neighbors who were anything but boring. It’s not uncommon for exceptionally smart youth to become bored and look for interesting outlets to occupy their minds. Faced with this, many kids find constructive pastimes: sports, science, or maybe volunteering. In this case, Patrick found those offered up by his neighbors: selling drugs, stealing, and making pipe bombs.

His family life had been brutal, his stepfather making home a place to avoid. At seventeen he had seven felony convictions and a judge gave him a choice. He could live with a foster family he didn’t like or go to J Bar J Boys Ranch. He chose J Bar J. He was inspired by the Program Manager and the entire staff helped him envision the future he wanted and motivated him to work toward it.

After graduating from the Boys Ranch, he lived with a foster family for a short time. They moved away and left him on his own. He got a job at Izzy’s Pizza and lived in a motel in Bend. Realizing how much of his paycheck went to cover the nightly hotel rate, he saw that he needed more support before becoming self-sufficient. He moved in with his birth father in Portland. Determined to break into a better paying field, he applied at the Benson Hotel. He rode his bike there daily hoping to be hired. On the 58th day of asking for a job, the no finally became a yes.

Patrick went to work and over the following years built his own businesses including a full circle return to Central Oregon with the purchase of Bend Awards and Engraving. He currently owns seven businesses in Oregon and Northern California!

Community Fundraisers

The Central Oregon community supports us in so many ways! Here are a couple of fundraisers coming up: