What is Success?
February 1, 2017
Brodie Croyle, Executive Director
Many people ask us about our success rate at Big Oak Ranch…My response may not be quite what you’d think. I recently got one of the best phone calls I’ve ever received. It was about one of our former residents who came to us at the age of 16. Although he had missed four years of school, we helped him earn his GED and welding certificate. He has such ability and God-given talent. All he needed was a chance.
The phone call I refer to was from an HR manager who interviewed this young man for a job. She explained that he put me down as a reference and she wanted to confirm that they would be making a good choice in hiring him. I then got to share with them his story. I got to explain what kind of man they just met – the kind of man that from the age of 12 fought his mother’s abuser. I could hear the woman crying on the other end of the line as I shared his powerful story. She said, “We knew there was something special about this young man, thank you for solidifying what we could see in him.” He is now making $40,000 a year as a travelling welder with the opportunity for advancement within the company.
We also have a young woman who couldn’t read or write 10 years ago, but just graduated from the University of Alabama. We have young men and women defending our freedom – one who is completing his 11th tour as a fighter pilot in Afghanistan. We have a young girl in cosmetology school who now has an outlet to direct her unique creativity and pursue a dream she’s had since childhood. We have men and women who have built strong and loving families.
Our children have overcome insurmountable odds. But at the end of the day, each of them had to make a choice. A choice that their past would not define who they are or their purpose in life, but rather they would wrap their identity in Christ and His love for them. When they do…that is success.
And, as for me and the staff at Big Oak, we consider it an honor to stand in the gap and help them find their way.