High School Graduation

Today I graduated from high school, and I will never seen any of these people again. In the grand scheme of things, I’m sure it’s not as big of a deal as everyone else makes it. At least, under normal circumstances. And in my case, and in each of the other 40 kids that make up the Boys Ranch High School class of 2003 cases, our circumstances are not normal. We have been living at a place called Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch.

From late 1997 I have been living on a ranch, rooming with 3 other boys in a house of 18 kids, nestled on a hill overlooking a dozen or so other houses just like the one I have called home for seven years. Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch and the Boys Ranch Independent School District are mutually exclusive organizations. Cal Farley’s sees to the care and upbringing of “under-privileged youth.” The school district carries the same principles over to education. Additionally, here myself and others are given privilege, structure, homes, jobs, and schooling. It’s an honest mix between a prison, a boarding school, and a nine-to-five job.

As soon as I walked across the stage, shook a few hands, hugged a few soon-to-be strangers, I drove to Southern California. …Now don’t get me wrong, I wish I could see some of these people again; but the truth is that each one of us came from somewhere else we called home before we were carted off to “The Ranch.” And each one of us will eventually long for a reunion that will likely never happen. So I’ve resolved to not look back with the understanding that, if I do, I know it will only be to draw from lessons learned or to mourn the passing of my formative years – which have really just been years of mourning previous years of a confusing childhood. …but like i said, we’re “underprivileged.”

Congrats Class of 2003.

Article by Christian Weatherspoon

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