Testimonies from Graduates
Below are the real-life testimonies given by three of Lives Under
Construction Boys Ranch Graduates. NOTE: The names and places
of these boys are changed to protect their identity but the stories are
from real life situations.
Marty was 15 years old and was very involved with gang activity to the
point of being asked to kill someone. He was using drugs, alcohol, staying
out all night, skipping school, and had no respect for his family.
Eventually, he was sent to a psychiatric treatment hospital in a "large
city," where as a part of his after care, it was recommended that he
complete the LUC program. After spending some time in jail, he received an
armed escort to the airport just to make sure he reached the Ranch. He was
very defiant at first and wanted to be in control.
After several months of breaking the Ranch rules, and then doing his
consequences, Marty changed the priorities in his life. He began daily
Bible studies, developed consistent strong work habits, and asked God to
help him change his attitude and behavior.
In school, he had mostly A's, played on the basketball team, and helped
his business class win first place in a state competition. When he went
home, he invited former gang members to his home for Bible studies and to
He has now graduated from high school with honors, completed two years
of college while working for UPS, and is now in the Marines.
Jasper was adopted into a large family in which he had caused a lot of
conflict by the time he was 15. After being placed in three different
child-care facilities, Jasper's self-image was so poor that he was either
abusive to others or destructive to himself.
Each previous facility had declared that Jasper could never function
normally in a public school and would probably never be able to control
his behavior enough to function in a family. At first, Jasper's boundless
energy got him into situations in which he made poor choices for which he
received the consequences of his actions. His reaction to our correction
was either tears or anger.
We soon recognized that Jasper had some mechanical abilities that
needed to be channeled in a constructive way. As a result, Jasper spent
most of his free time fixing our tractors, lawn mowers, and vehicles. This
provided the opportunity for him to experience the good feeling of being a
productive member of our Ranch family, and Jasper's self-respect grew.
Soon, Jasper was earning above average grades in a public high school
and was in demand by our employers to work for them. Perhaps Jasper's most
notable attributes were his willingness to help others and to be forgiving
even in the face of adversity. When Jasper went home, we missed his big
hugs and cheerful attitude.
Jasper worked at a machine parts factory and became active in his
church. His excellent work habits, quiet disposition, and excellent
mechanic abilities serve him well in helping others.
When Ted was about 5 years old, his father left him. Ted was a very
active boy and from that day forward, most of his energy was channeled
into destroying things near and dear to him. Ted became even angrier when
his mother remarried because he knew that meant his mother had given up
on his father returning.
As Ted's grades fell, he hung around with friends who got him involved
with satanic worship. Soon his life was a mess. At age 15, Ted came to the
Ranch because, even on medication, he was out of control at school and at
home and was using drugs.
While at the Ranch, Ted learned study and work habits, came to know
Christ, participated in drama at the school, played the fiddle with the
Mel Tillis Band, and was able to overcome his anger and bitterness with
his family. After graduating from high school, Ted supported himself by
having various jobs ranging from dish-boy to manager of a quick food
Now Ted is going to college to become an attorney, and he says he is
getting straight "A's." He also states that he is having a hard time
convincing his teachers that he is not a genius!