I walked into Recovery Ranch about 29 months ago straight from a psych ward in West Covina. I had been expelled from high school about five months prior, had no job, was not attending college or any type of trade school, and didn't have any personal ambitions except to keep intoxicated. My options pretty much came down to the military or the CCC. Thankfully I had not been imprisoned yet (though I did do plenty of things that should've ended me up there). I eventually started to isolate myself and drink and use drugs alone at night and sleep during the day. My personal standard was pathetic; I was a lost little kid who didn't know where he was going or what he was going to do with his life. At first I was not excited to be at the Ranch, it was a lot of physical labor and detail oriented tasks. We were taught to perform every task to the best of our ability starting from the beginning of the day to the end of the day. However, as time went on, I started to feel like I was working towards something. This feeling had been gone for a long time, but it was now starting to emerge. My experience continued to get better and better as I improved my work ethic and life skills. Today, I am a Wooden graduate of the Program, I am going to school at Santa Barbara Community College (where I am now able to obtain quality grades), and am also a paid manager. I only gained this because of all the hard work at the Ranch. It just goes to show that the measure of effort given is the measure of what is rewarded. To tie it all up, one of the biggest things I'm grateful for is having options in my life. I know i'm headed in a positive direction. It is only because of the Ranch that I've gained this.