Bookmark and Share

Kasey - First Girl at Oak Ranch

May 20, 2008

Kasey and the other girls take the breakfast dishes from the table to the kitchen sink. The smells of sausage and home-cooked pancakes linger in the air. It was a hardy meal for a group of teenage girls, but a good start on a day that would include a trip to the barn to care for Oak Ranch’s horses, and later rides on their favorite ponies around the corral.

The life Kasey tried to live was a sharp contrast from the life she had actually lived. An abusive stepfather, a distant mother, and the responsibility of caring for her two younger brothers were too much for the little girl.

Kasey sought the help of her grandmother. At first, living with her was good, but as she grew older, she began to act out.

“I think it was because I had never been treated well,” she recalls. “I began to take advantage of my grandmother and her kindness.”

Kasey would ignore her and scream at her. She began to have secrets. Secrets that were dark.

“I was being selfish,” she says. “It hurt both of us.”

Kasey was a popular girl in her high school. She was a cheerleader and active in clubs and other organizations. But she was also flirting with danger. She was making choices that put her at risk. Afraid, she reached out in desperation.

“I was doing things because other people expected me to do them,” she says.

Fifteen-year-old Kasey never thought she would be living at a ranch when she confided to her grandmother that she needed help again. “My grandmother had an idea that I was in trouble.”

Kasey’s grandmother knew about Baptist Children’s Homes and made a call. Kasey first went into emergency care at Broyhill Home in Clyde. After two months, she moved to Oak Ranch. She was the first girl ever admitted to Oak Ranch near Broadway. Today, she is one of seven girls in care.

Kasey’s time at Oak Ranch has been good. She is taking responsibility for her actions and welcomes being treated as a young adult.

“It is easier to be yourself here,” she says. “I handle situations better now. I think before I speak.”

Things have improved with her grandmother, too. She says their relationship is the best that it has ever been.

“My grandmother hopes the best for me,” she says. “She’s happy that I am making healthier choices. She loves me no matter what.”

Kasey likes living at the 755-acre ranch. She loves the horses. “I like getting to know the horses, taking care of them, and learning what they think.”

Kasey is involved in theatre at her school. Recently, she played a fish in “Seussical the Musical,” and she is a member of the school’s photography club. Her favorite subject is English.

“I am a Christian,” she says. “I have given my heart to the Lord.”

Kasey reads her Bible and says she prays a lot.

“I feel like the Lord hears me,” she confides. “I tell him everything.”