VALLEY TEEN RANCH
September 18, 2009
I've known of Valley Teen Ranch for about twenty years now, and for many of those years I have been involved in providing insurance protection to the organization. In that capacity, I have been privileged to get the "inside story" about this organization. The terrific news is, I can personally vouch for the fact that they WALK THEIR TALK!
They do a documented outstanding job with the kids in their care. The influence of the CEO, Connie Clendenan, who has invested her life in the lives of "her kids," is a lasting influence that has changed the lives of everyone she's touched.
VTR is now celebrating their twenty second year of operation! So far there have been 1316 children and youth in the Group and Foster Care Homes, and over 70 kids have been adopted into permanent families! The Transitional Living Home has provided a home for 25 homeless, young men ages 18-24. Many former residents stay in touch with their VTR "family" as they're the only stable people in their lives.
Valley Teen Ranch has been operating their annual $2.7 Million budget in the black with "clean" audited financials every year. There are 60 full time and 10 part time employees in all of their programs, caring for over 75 children and youth every day. VTR has an outstanding record with the California Community Care Licensing Agency that oversees their operation from the State Department of Social Services. VTR folks are grateful for community support from Churches, Service Clubs, Businesses, Foundations and local donors. The EVIDENCE shows that they are truly committed to our mission of "Building Young Lives."
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Hearing about the results of the kids who've successfully completed the program. It's so good to see lives changed, literally.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
provide it more money
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
They EXPECT the kids to rise up and make something of their lives. I was in foster care for the first 16 years of my life, and I can personally attest to the fact that coddling is ineffective. Empowering, enabling, and expecting good works!
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
Everyone is so positive! Starting with the CEO, Connie Clendenan. They never give up on kids.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...
provide more practical, hands-on training to empower kids to make it on their own once they've aged out of the system.
Ways to make it better...
I could magically provide these folks the finances they need to do more for more kids.
In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...
the Governor's recent cut-back in funding. Funds were already extremely tight, and charitable giving is down. So the 10% cut could endanger kids.
One thing I'd also say is that...
If you're organization is going to recognize any group home or foster family agency, THIS IS THE ONE!
How frequently have you been involved with the organization?
About once a year
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Professional with expertise in this field & Risk Management.