Back to School in Specialized Care: Meet Ty!
Do you remember those last few weeks of summer before the start of a new school year?
What do you think about? The brand new school supplies? The classes you’ll be taking? Or perhaps it’s those feelings of nervous excitement about the year to come. At Good Samaritan, we are in back-to-school mode which means helping students navigate all of those mixed feelings that come with the new school year. In our Specialized Care program, school looks a little different and the youth attend school right on the Ranch!
Ty, the Principal at the Ranch School, plays an important role in ensuring that students feel supported throughout the school year. For many of the youth in our Specialized Care program, school can be challenging. However, helping at-risk youth succeed is one of Ty’s greatest passions. He says, “At-risk education is something that’s heavy on my heart. Honestly, it’s what drives me.”
For him, relationships are the cornerstone of what he does.
He wants to be a friend, a mentor, and a leader to the youth. Ultimately, he wants to become someone they trust and knows trust only happens through relationship building.
“My favorite moments are the ones with the boys. That’s why I feel like I’m here and that’s why I’m drawn here. My goal is to be a mentor and role model. One of my favorite things last year–as part of the therapy that they do, we went on a full day horse ride. So, I got to get up in the morning and put my cowboy hat on and I came in and the boys helped me get my horse ready. And we rode all morning, stopped and had pizzas for lunch, and got back on the horses and rode all afternoon. It was fun just hearing the boys outside of school talk about, you know, boy stuff, and being around them. I know that I was gaining social currency with them by doing that. So those are the things I tend to think about. I love it.”
I asked Ty what he would do if a student came to him and said that he was struggling in school. He returned to the importance of relationships. If he doesn’t have a personal relationship with that student, then he will never come to him for help in the first place. That foundation of trust is crucial.
He says, “there’s no standard answer for when a boy comes in and they’re discouraged about school. I would say what is similar is that they feel that they know that I’m talking to them from a place of love and concern.” Each youth is different, and their struggles will be different. So, for Ty, he wants to ensure that he knows them individually and can truly understand their situation.
Ty is also passionate about leveling the playing field educationally.
To him, education means increased opportunity. He realizes that the boys at the Ranch have not had the same opportunities as other students in their same age-group. It is his priority to help narrow the gap between students who have had more advantages in their lives and the students at the Ranch who have typically faced high levels of adversity. He says, “the more educated you are, the more opportunities you have. That doesn’t have to be college. It can be trade school. It can be anything. But you’ve got to be able to read and you’ve got to be able to write and you’ve got to be able to do math as well as the next person. And that’s the leveling of the playing field.”
Ultimately, Ty’s ability to prioritize and build relationships is a huge reason why he is such an amazing principal! While the youth at the Ranch School may face obstacles during the school year, they have a team of dedicated professionals behind them who truly want to help them grow and succeed.
Summarizing his first year as Principal of the Ranch School, Ty says, “it has only been a year and I could go on and on about the value that the youth have shown me and opportunity that they’ve given me to be a part of their lives.”
Learn more about our Specialized Care program here!