Mountain Vista Ranch provides an independent living environment for young women needing assistance in learning life skills, finding employment, completing educational programs and/or learning parenting skills.
By Alisia – Previous MVR Child Resident
My name is Alisia. My mom, Dionne, is the Administrator at Mountain Vista Ranch (MVR). Hearing that my mom administers the program, you might not think we were once in the program. Before we had ever heard about New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranch, and their services, we weren’t in the best place. My mom had been laid off from her previous job due to medical reasons.
Ever since that happened, we had been in transitional housing such as Family Promise and Catholic Charities. Between the charities we lived in our car, or if we could afford it, hotels. This is how I spent my days before I got into the MVR program, which The New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranch offers. I remember the first day my mom told me we would be getting a furnished apartment. I was ecstatic to not be sleeping in a different place every week, or in my car. I remember barely having enough gas to reach Mountain Vista Ranch when I arrived for the very first time, the air was crisp, the leaves were turning yellow and orange on the trees, and the smell of a fireplace burning fresh wood filled my nostrils. It was the day before Halloween when I finally found a home.
Walking up to the gate I had more excitement each second that passed. We were greeted by one of the nicest people, she walked us into the apartment, our apartment. After the administrator explained how the program works, and how to be successful in it, I asked her, “Do we really have the apartment? Are we really able to stay here?” because I was scared to go back to all the other programs without structure, and not knowing where I would be the next week. Us being accepted into the program was affirmed with every question that I could muster up.
When we started moving the very little items we had into the apartment, I felt relieved, but still slightly anxious. I knew we were safe and secure,and were able to go back to the normal routine we had months ago at our old apartment before everything happened, but I didn’t want to go back to sleeping in cars and going into weekly programs. I didn’t know how secure MVR was, and how long it would last. Being there for a couple weeks changed that mindset. I knew these amazing people were here to help us, and that our residence was for as long as we needed it, and as long as we were being productive.
With the support The Ranches offered, my mom had gotten a volunteer opportunity at Senior Affairs. Senior Affairs is a business that brings hot meals to seniors who are unable to get their own, and also driving them to the store and important appointments, which after three months turned into a paying job. A year after Dionne’s job at Senior Affairs, The Ranches offered her a job as the Resident Advisor. After a year being the Resident Advisor, Dionne became the new Administrator of MVR, once again, the first resident to get the title.
Throughout the years of being in the outstanding community of MVR, with the support my mom offered, I have grown into a caring, loving, young adult. I now know positive male role models, that I knew nothing about previously. The main one being Heath Kull. Before coming to MVR, I never had a positive male role model in my life. Meeting Heath has had a large impact on my life. Hearing his wisdom on many topics as well as advice to almost anything you can think of, helped me in my journey of becoming a young adult. I have learned to respect myself, the people around me, the environment, and how to be truly grateful to what God has planned for me, and what is next to come in my adventure of growing up. The Ranches is one of the reasons why I am the person I am today. Everyone who works there has made my life, and this world a much better place.