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12 tips on how to get better gas mileage

It’s cold out, you’re running late, and you forgot your mug of coffee on the kitchen counter. You turn the car on…and a soul-crushing beep alerts you that the fuel tank is nearly empty. You swear you just filled up the other day. After a few of those mornings, you might be wondering how to get better gas mileage. Optimizing your car’s fuel economy can lead to drastic savings, both in time spent and money wasted at the gas station. We’ve got you covered with tips on how to get better gas mileage, from minor alterations and repairs to adjusting driving habits.

1. Clean your car

Do you really need that golf bag you haven’t used in two years? What about the box of clothes you’ve been meaning to take to Goodwill? Unnecessary stuff in your vehicle not only makes it look messy, it also drains your gas tank. 100 pounds extra in your car can reduce gas mileage by up to 2%.

2. Remove external cargo carriers

Automotive manufacturers spent a lot of time and money making your vehicle as aerodynamic as possible; with a large clam-shell carrier on top of your car, sayonara fuel. Likewise, roof racks might look cool, but may not be worth thinning your wallet. A large, blunt, roof-top cargo box can reduce fuel economy by 6% to 17% at 55 mph and 10% to 25% at interstate speeds (65-75 mph) and roof racks can diminish fuel economy by 10-25% when at highway speeds.

3. Check tire pressure and invest in low rolling resistance tires

We know we’ve covered the importance of having properly inflated tires before. But it really is that important. For every tire under-inflated by 2 pounds per square inch (psi), fuel consumption increases by 1%. Try to check your tire pressure every couple of weeks to ensure you have the optimal rolling resistance. Another option is to invest in low rolling resistance tires. They can add 1-2 miles per gallon. Look for highly rated tires that provide reliable traction.

 

 

If you notice your car pulling in a certain direction or a bumpier-than-normal ride, get your alignment checked. Properly aligned cars will coast better and require less energy to propel forward.

4. Use the correct fuel octane level

Most passenger vehicles require unleaded fuel with an 87 octane level. But always check your owner’s manual or gas cap for your vehicle’s requirements. A higher octane fuel will not benefit a car that is built to run with a lower level octane level  and could add up to more than $100 per year in additional costs.

 

how to get better gas mileage featured image

 

5. Accelerate and decelerate smoothly

This is far and away the #1 fuel economy killer. Sometimes you just want to step on it, but try to drive gently to maximize your car’s efficiency. Jack-rabbit starts and constant slowing down, speeding up, slowing down, wastes the energy your car builds upAggressive driving can decrease fuel economy by up to 37%. Accelerate moderately to the speed limit then keep your speed steady, utilizing coasting as much as possible. Studies also show coasting up hills and accelerating down them results in lower fuel consumption amounts.

6. Stick to the speed limit

With the majority of cars, the optimal speed to conserve the most fuel  is about 50 mph. Anything over and most drivers can expect an exponentially expanding loss in their fuel economy. For every 5 mph over 50, drivers will pay about 15 cents more per gallon of gas. Driving 62 mph instead of 75 mph will save about 15% of your fuel.

7. Turn engine off when stopped

Avoid idling at all costs. Idling always gets 0 miles per gallon and uses up to a ½ gallon of gas per hour. Of course, on hot and cold days, your comfort and safety are also important.

8. Use a/c sparingly

Summers are hot, and cold air feels good. So we don’t advise you forgo air conditioning altogether; however, there are some simple ways to limit the fuel sucking tendencies of your car’s cold air compressor. If at all possible, try to park in the shade and invest in a windshield reflector to shield your car from the sun. When you are ready to leave, drive with the windows down for a couple minutes to get that hot, stuffy air out first. You will also notice the cold air reaches you faster this way.

9. Keep your car running smoothly

The dreaded Check Engine Light. It pops up out of nowhere leaving drivers shaking with dread. Often the problem is as easy as tightening your gas cap, but even that is important to limit fuel wasting. A loose gas cap can result in losing 20% fuel economy. In fact, over 100 million gallons of gas evaporate in gas tanks across the U.S. every year. The Check Engine Light may also come on to warn you of an oxygen sensor failure.

Oxygen sensors tell your car’s engine how much fuel and air it needs. When this sensor is damaged or worn-out, it often tells your engine it needs more fuel than it really does. With a bad sensor you could lose up to 40% fuel economy. Common symptoms include a rough idle and/or inconsistent acceleration response.

 

 

Use the right oil. Manufacturers tell you to use a certain type of oil for a reason. Using the wrong oil can cause a 12% decrease in miles per gallon. You can find manufacturer recommendations on your oil cap or in your car’s manual.

10. Buyer beware

Step into any auto parts store and you’ll run into a huge shelf filled with fuel additives and magic potions to improve your fuel economy. According to the U.S. EPA and Federal Trade Commission, there are no known products scientifically proven to improve fuel economy.

11. Limit driving time

There isn’t always a quick fix in your search on how to get better gas mileage; your car will only adhere to the law of physics. Sometimes the only option is to cut back on car usage. Carpools can be inconvenient and awkward, but you will save fuel and wear on your vehicle. You can even avoid a little traffic with those handy carpool lanes. If on a short trip, consider taking public transit or riding a bike. Even a few less trips with your vehicle can add up with fuel and maintenance costs. In the winter you might be tempted to warm up your car for a few minutes, but unless it is extremely cold, most modern cars do not require warming before driving. A warm engine gives the best fuel economy, so try to plan ahead and group as many trips/errands together as possible.

How to Get Better Gas Mileage Bonus Tip: Gas Buddy has a handy searchable map to find the cheapest pumps in your area.

12. Ditch the old gas guzzler for better gas mileage

When your car no longer cuts it, consider donating it to Rawhide. We take any car, in any condition, and you receive a generous tax deduction. Your donations fund Rawhide programs that help at-risk youth learn and grow in a family-centered environment.

Youth lessons learned on the Rawhide Ranch

Sixteen years old, overwhelmed, nervous, surrounded by complete strangers, Larry Eckes arrived at Rawhide Boys Ranch unsure what to expect.  Little did Larry know, he just started one of the best years of his life. In his brief year spent in that house along the Wolf River he grasped vital youth lessons that formed the loving, kind man he is today.

And in many ways he never left.

Opening to new experiences

Larry remembers feeling overwhelmed by the abrupt life changes at Rawhide. He went from living in a difficult environment to living in a large house with strangers from various backgrounds. But the changes were welcomed. He went to school in New London and cherished working on projects with his housefather John Gillespie. Larry loved that everyday brought a new experience and a different project, including:

He even visited Bart Starr’s house in Green Bay and met Bart’s family, calling it  one of his most exciting and adored life experiences.

Halloween and a Cadillac Hearse

But as great as it was meeting Green Bay Packer, and personal hero, Bart Starr, Larry’s life truly changed when John introduced him to ten cars donated to the ranch. Larry said,

“That’s where I got hooked, was with the vehicles…that set me on my way and changed my life forever.”

He got his driver’s license shortly after and proved himself responsible enough to serve as a driver for some errands. While he loved all the vehicles on the ranch, one in particular still makes him smile. “Favorite memory is the ’59 Cadillac Hearse. I got my driver’s license on ranch and was able to drive it,” Larry said with a laugh, adding, “We had a lot of fun with that Cadillac Hearse, especially around Halloween time.”

Driving and tinkering with cars gave Larry an outlet for his energy and frustration. When around cars he felt, and still feels, comfortable and calm.

Jumpstarted into a career

At the time working with the cars was just a fun activity, and necessary chore at the ranch, but when Larry left Rawhide his love for automobiles continued to grow. He said, “The biggest thing that happened is after I left Rawhide I went into the automotive field.”

But it wasn’t just working with cars that kept Larry in the automotive industry for 43 years:

“Vehicles and people I’ve taken care of is my whole life. Being a service consultant for 43 years, I’ve touched a lot of people’s lives.”

Living and working with “guys from all walks of life” at Rawhide and seeing the great care John and Jan had for them molded Larry’s desire to help others. He said, “Just knowing them and their guidance even though it was a short amount of time, it molded my life even up until this day. And it was in a good way.”

Larry’s lifelong connection to Rawhide goes beyond youth lessons in how to live a fulfilling life. While a service consultant at three different dealerships, he worked with Rawhide employees and donors as a vehicle drop-off facilitator for vehicles donated to Rawhide Boys Ranch.

For all they had done, from giving him the tools to live a wonderful life, to setting him on a career path he delighted in, Larry wanted to tell John and Jan, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Help us teach our youth lessons

Since he met John and Jan Gillespie 50 years ago, Larry has seen and done a lot, yet he still looks fondly back on his days spent working and learning on the Rawhide Boys Ranch. He called it “one of the best programs I’ve ever seen,” adding, “From 50 years ago to today it’s remarkable. It has proven it can stand the test of time.”

Please join us in adding to Rawhide’s legacy by donating your old car, truck, or boat. Rawhide’s vehicle donation program funds many of our at-risk youth programs. In fact, over 83% of funds go directly to helping at-risk youth.

School for at risk youth, Rawhide’s Starr Academy

Some guys cannot write a paragraph when they arrive at Rawhide. Many schools struggle to find the resources needed to help students lacking basic reading and writing skills. But at Rawhide’s school for at risk youth, disengaged students thrive.

Each Starr Academy student begins with a full cognitive and behavioral assessment. The student’s case manager, therapist, teachers, and living unit staff then collaborate to form an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that pinpoints specific needs and objectives for each student. Starr Academy’s goal with each IEP is to get students close to graduation; and the results are staggering. In the 2014-15 school year:

  • 68% of students improved by more than 1 grade level in math.
  • 66% of students improved by more than 1 grade level in reading.

 

A big part of that success comes from a well-trained and compassionate education team. Starr Academy’s Julie Considine said, “It’s not just a kid; it’s our kid. The students become family.”

Humble beginnings

Starr Academy formed in 1980 to give the young men placed in Rawhide’s care a safe place to learn within a stable community. In its infancy, Starr Academy had two instructors and focused on work-based educational lessons. The guys worked in the stables and applied educational principles to their animal care duties. They wrote stories about horses and applied biological principles to horse care.

When they weren’t studying or doing chores, the guys chose jobs around the ranch, including:

Auto Maintenance | Animal Husbandry | Baking |

Lawn Care | House Maintenance |

The focus on work came from Rawhide founder John Gillespie’s goal: “Every guy here needs to know how to work.”

More than a school for at risk youth

The staff always comes back to: What is the most important thing I can give this guy? For many students the answer is still, since 1965, work skills. Along with actual work experience on the ranch, Starr Academy works job skills into the curriculum:

Math – Calculate income tax

English – Write cover letters and resume´s

Life Skills – Manage money, time, family, and jobs

Following a facilities upgrade in 2004 and accreditation from the Wisconsin Religious and Independent School Association, Starr Academy provides the following classes:

Integrated English | Writer’s Workshop | READ 180 |

Math-Basic Skills | Pre-Algebra | Algebra | Geometry |

US History | Civics | American History | World History |

Integrated Science | Personal Finance | Physical Education | 

Health | Art | Woodworking | Small Engines |

School for at risk youth class work

 

All teachers are licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and many hold Special Education certifications in learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, or cross-categorical special education. Whether a student is learning how to paint or how to multiply, he will always learn from a highly skilled teacher trained to work in a school for at risk youth.

Keeping it in the community

To supplement the knowledge of its teaching staff, Starr Academy has a relationship with the New London School District  to share resources. New London’s school psychologist helps assess previously undiagnosed learning disabilities. As Rawhide grows, more and more students come in with learning roadblocks. These young men are given the educational help they need, creating confidence and excitement in school. The first step is eliminating negative connotations with school and cutting loose the notion that a student cannot succeed. That means a clean slate. While their overall GPA is used on their official transcripts, for Starr Academy purposes they start at 0.0. If they meet a certain mark every 10 weeks, they are placed on the school honor roll. Students with passing grades may join Starr Academy’s track and basketball.

Classes are built on short two-week long units giving students the opportunity to complete credits towards a diploma at an advanced rate. To accomplish a lot in a small amount of time, class sizes are kept small and communication between staff is fluid.

 

School for at risk youth science class

 

Students gain an immense amount of pride from earning a spot on the honor roll and completing lessons quickly. The outcomes are significant: 92% of students increased their GPA while at Starr Academy, and guys devoid of any reading abilities have left reading at an 11th grade level.

Solving problems goes beyond the classroom

Starr Academy math teacher Scott Wilson promotes that pride and ambition with a weight room approach in his classroom. Each guy steps up to a challenge and Scott lays out a plan to complete the task.

  1. He works on the first few “reps” with them directly then lets them takeover.
  2. They practice until they conquer the math skill.
  3. Tests and worksheets are online to give instant feedback to the students.
  4. In the 2 week cycle students master a skill and move on quickly.

 

Scott said if his students only take one thing away from their time at Starr Academy, he wants it to be their ability to solve problems. Their problems will go beyond math formulas, but Scott hopes his students will deploy logic and conflict resolution they learned “solving for a” to grow as men. Over his 28 years with Starr Academy, Scott has seen his share of challenges at Starr Academy. The biggest challenge he sees currently is meeting the goals of Rawhide’s treatment and education teams while exceeding the youth’s family’s expectations:

  1. Family – Wants to see results in their child’s behavior and academic ability quickly
  2. Treatment – Needs time to work with the students meaning taking students out of class
  3. Education – Works to bring the student up to a high school level skill set

 

All three teams try to reconcile what the student has done and experienced with their goals and aspirations.

Past: What has the student missed?

Present: What can we do for him now?

Future: What does he want to accomplish?

Scott said he focuses on giving his students 100% of his energy all the time because he never knows how long he has to work with them. Its repetition in lessons, work ethic, and showing that you care.

You get what you give

For Scott and Julie, former students success keeps them energized. Scott spoke of a student who told him that Scott’s math lessons were the foundation for his career with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. One of Julie’s favorite stories is a young man who told her that more than anything else, he learned kindness matters.

Scott attributes Starr Academy’s success to a can-do spirit among all Rawhide teachers and staff. He said, “We don’t give up on students, we believe that every kid can succeed.” For the guys to have a chance each teacher must effectively communicate their belief in each of the guys. That’s how trust and personal growth flourishes. Julie reiterated:

Were not here just because we need a job, we’re here to make a difference.

That positivity and ability to move on quickly from setbacks helps him remain fresh and dedicated to teaching in a school for at risk youth. Scott explained, “This job would get you very, very quickly without that positive spirit.” Starr Academy gives students a firm and unwavering foundation. From this ever-present base, Rawhide guys can lead positive and influential lives. Supporters to Rawhide have supplied the resources needed to give our guys this vital education for over 35 years.

We invite you to become part of that foundation. Whether you donate a car, give a small gift, or visit the ranch, your support is needed. Please click below to discover how you can support Starr Academy’s students today!

Teenage rebellion becomes ambition at Rawhide

Years of teenage rebellion left Greg Summer sitting in a courtroom awaiting his sentence. He thought he was headed to juvenile detention when a man in the court room stood up and requested the judge give him another chance. That man was Rawhide founder John Gillespie.

Greg saw himself as an outsider. He explained, “I was having problem with authority, kind of a renegade”. It was his tough, uncompromising attitude that got him into trouble, but that same will and determination led to a desire for something better at Rawhide.

Teenage rebellion paves the road to Rawhide

Greg grew up in a home focused on Christian morals and values, but he drifted from those teachings at a young age. He regularly skipped class, and, the few times he was present, gave little to no effort. Greg’s poor choices led him down a destructive path, and he faced losing his freedom if he continued his combative ways. Enter John and Jan Gillespie.

 

Greg admits he was a handful. But that didn’t prevent John from believing in his potential to become a better man. Greg spent two years learning from, and emulating, John’s unwavering morals and ethics. John taught him two lessons that changed his outlook on life:

  1. The importance of respecting others
  2. How learning from authority figures could enrich his own life

Temptations away from Rawhide led Greg to make some mistakes, but the skills and traits he cultivated helped him overcome obstacles. In his senior year of high school he earned a spot on his school’s honor roll and graduated, something he did not think would ever happen. Greg credits John’s loving nature and persistent encouragement for improvement as the greatest impact on his life.

Rawhide is home

After graduation, Greg served 12 years in the military, always drawing inspiration and knowledge from John’s lessons. Greg often thinks of John and Jan and ponders, “What drove them, guided them, to open up Rawhide to help young boys?” His conclusion: “Deep down in their hearts they love each and every guy that walks through these doors, and I was one of them.”

His advice for Rawhide guys is to avoid the pitfalls of teenage rebellion and entertain new ideas:

“Things always look dark from your side, but the sufferings you endure right now are nothing compared to the blessings this place can prepare for you in the future.”

While participating in Rawhide’s 50th anniversary celebration, his first time back to Rawhide in roughly 40 years, Greg stared at the grounds, astonished at how the ranch had grown and evolved. With tears in his eyes, he said, “I hope that it will help young men in the future.”

Join the Rawhide family

Help us make Greg’s hopes for Rawhide’s continued growth a reality. With continued demand for at-risk youth services, any help you give directly impacts the lives of troubled teens in your backyard and beyond. Please click below to learn about exciting ways you can help!

Volunteer opportunities for teens on the rise

Teen volunteering is growing at a faster rate than the national average. An astonishing 93% of teens say they want to volunteer meaning the only step is finding the right volunteer opportunity. Just guide your teen towards a few volunteer activities and watch your teen fall in love with helping others.

Volunteer Opportunities for Teens Pulling Weeds

But how do you get your teen involved in volunteering? What if volunteering gave your teen the social environment they crave and opportunities to learn new skills? Non-profits and charities throughout the nation are adapting to provide opportunities to attract teen volunteers; and it’s working.

What do volunteer opportunities for teens look like?

Nearly 66% of all teen volunteers dedicate time working with youth, religious, and social services organizations. Teen males are more likely to select volunteer opportunities that allow them to explore future careers and educational opportunities, while teen females choose volunteer activities that incorporate their hobbies/interests.

According to a 2016 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teens volunteer at a higher rate than nearly all other age groups.

  • Despite having 5 million less citizens in the last census, 300,000 more teens volunteer than those in their early 20’s
  • The average teen volunteer chips in 36 hours annually

Teens seldom use the internet to find volunteer opportunities. Instead, they rely on recommendations from peers and local advertising. Over 40% inquired about volunteer opportunities for teens without being asked.

Teen volunteers want simple, social activities

Teens use volunteering as a way to interact with current friends and an opportunity to make new ones: Over 75% of teens volunteer because their friends do.

Painting Bench Volunteer Opportunities for Teens

Teen volunteers want to:

  • Volunteer close to home
  • Mirror their hobbies (coaching basketball, build houses)
  • Work within a group
  • Use volunteer experience on a resume or college applications/scholarships
  • Learn skills to achieve career/educational goals

Try to emphasize these volunteering qualities when suggesting volunteer opportunities for teens.

Volunteering is increasingly replacing summer and after school jobs. Even extra-curricular groups are being replaced as the preferred way to gain experience for college and job applications. Researchers believe that volunteering is a highly beneficial application of skills learned in school. They can solve community problems with knowledge learned in the classroom. Volunteering also helps teens:

From an introduction to the medical profession to tutoring others, volunteering can kick-start a fulfilling career for many teens.

Seeing the fruits of their labor

Teens enjoy activities that have a direct impact on their community. There is a reason animal shelters are the most popular volunteer destination. Teens can see and feel what their time creates.

It is important that first-time volunteers get a sense of the importance of volunteering. While many teens volunteer, retention remains a concern. The good news is that most teens do find worth in donating their time. Skills and lessons learned by teen volunteers include:

Rawhide’s teen volunteers

Rawhide’s About Face Program is a chance for at-risk youth to learn the importance of community service. Through different projects, our guys learn a lot about themselves while doing some good for others. Past community service projects include:

Our guys work at Rawhide’s famous Friday fish fry. The guys love the responsibility and fast paced work where they can interact with each other and hungry diners.

When friends of Rawhide donate, they fund community-building services. By giving to Rawhide, you are helping to build a generation of community focused young men.

Rough troubled teen transforms into chivalrous cowboy

To 12-year-old Dennis, driving to Rawhide was like entering a different time. In 1966, the roads to the ranch were unpaved and winding, and the ranch consisted of one house, a workshop, and a barn with a small corral. When prompted about his first thought of Rawhide, this troubled teen stated, “Bonanza,” adding, “The mansion looked like the Ponderosa.”

Troubled Teen boys home

Dennis never lived with his biological family. He bounced around a series of group homes until he fell into trouble. He said, “I wound up in the big city…it was easier to run into the wrong crowd just trying to prove yourself.”

At Rawhide, Dennis found the family he never had. He spent parts of six years under the care of John and Jan Gillespie, where he was “educated and learned.” He was quick to point out the distinction, “Learnedness is what does it taste like, feel like, look like.” With little guidance as a child this was important to him. He was the youngest guy by 2-3 years; he described himself as “the runt of the litter,” but he grew to love his new family.

Troubled teen finds freedom on the Ranch

With consistent behavior, Dennis earned the trust and respect of John and Jan enough to have his own horse, Frisco. At first he was supervised, but after a while was able to go riding alone anytime he wanted. Back then the ranch was mostly wild terrain and open country, and the guys could ride a long way once they saddled up.

Living in the structured environment at Rawhide, riding was freedom. It was a reward for the obedience and discipline ingrained in Dennis. He said, “Sure there were some ups and downs, but take my horse away and that was like wow, the end of the world.”

We asked him to advise new guys at Rawhide and he spoke direct:

“You want me to be frank?…Keep your mouth closed, and your eyes and ears open…If your lips are flapping, then you’re not learning.”

Dennis wasted time fighting discipline and refusing to respect authority, mainly because he was never taught to value societal and moral etiquette. His behavioral models were understaffed and overworked group homes prior to Rawhide, street gangs, and other troubled teen guys. On his youth, Dennis said:

“I’m just thankful that I was able to see the trail…I came to a Y in the road very young, and I could have stayed and taken one trail and who knows what, and coming to Rawhide I took the trail to the other side and it worked out pretty good.”

He specifically mentioned learning, “If you abide by the laws, you’re rewarded.” For Dennis this was an entirely new idea. He fought for everything he had, having to prove himself to every revolving member of his life. There were no rewards, and no consistency. With the care he received from the Gillespie’s that burden fell away. They accepted him as their own, and raised him with love, respect, and understanding. For this Dennis expressed immeasurable gratitude:

“John and Jan… I appreciate what you’ve done, I think you did a good job. Thank you, immensely.”

Growing emotional over their influence on his life, Dennis said the tears come “from the love for John and Jan, they’re like my parents.”

Unwavering bond of the heart

After Rawhide, Dennis enlisted in the Marine Corps where he was promoted four times in two years. Dennis said, “I just had my act together and I attribute that to Rawhide and the folks here.” Tough he is not currently in contact with the Gillespie’s, for Dennis the connection is unwavering. The bond he formed anchors him to humility and morality, and will forever.

From the big city to the ranch, bereft of affection to brimming with love, Dennis saw and learned from what he called, “The good, the bad, and the ugly.” He took what he learned on the streets, where he had to live by his senses, and directed it through a new lens, a lens of respect and the opportunity for a future.

Ways to help a troubled teen

You can help another troubled teen like Dennis become a successful alumnus. Rawhide continues to provide outstanding guidance and care to at-risk youth with a growing number of services. To help us grow and meet the needs of our students, please consider donating to Rawhide. We offer many ways to support our mission, so please contact us to find the best approach for you.

Biking benefits at risk youth at Starr Academy

Cooperation. Patience. Respect. Self-Control. These are the characteristics Starr Academy’s physical education instructor Jeff Schillinger teaches when he hits the pavement with Rawhide guys. Biking benefits at-risk youth and helps them cooperate with a group to navigate obstacles and reach their destination. Biking also introduces Rawhide guys to a fun, healthy activity many have never experienced before.

Rawhide Physical Education Program grows

Biking Benefits and physical education equipment

In 2005, Rawhide’s Starr Academy applied for and received a Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant. The grant helped Rawhide expand their physical education program by adding:

  • Indoor and outdoor climbing walls
  • Cross country skis
  • Cardio equipment
  • Trek 7500 FX bicycles

Principal Dan Birr said the bikes filled a need to create a group activity as part of an outdoor education emphasis within the physical education course.

New experiences for at-risk youth

Biking benefits for Rawhide youth

Some Rawhide guys have either never touched a bike or have very little experience biking. The Summer Outdoor Elective offers them a new and exciting opportunity to use the Trek bicycles.

As part of the Summer Outdoor Elective, the guys go on two long bike rides. The first is 22 miles and the second 25 miles, with the incentive of ice cream sundaes at some point during the ride.

The bike rides are important times for bonding between the guys and their teachers or youth care workers. On this past spring’s ride, Jeff was encouraged by guys helping each other with broken chains and motivating those who fell behind.

Jeff said the guys really enjoy getting out and riding. On these longer rides the guys learn to communicate effectively by shouting out instructions to turn, stop, or fall in single file.

Biking benefits brains and bodies

Biking benefits Rawhide bikes

Cycling helps build your brain to achieve peak mental capacity and creativeness. While running and other aerobic activities provide the same, cycling is unique as cyclists are not affected by any jarring motions or high stress on their joints.

But the real strides are made in how the guys interact and rely on each other. In order to reach their destination, they need to work with and encourage each other.

Biking is another example in a long list of new experiences available to Rawhide guys. Other activities, in the outdoor elective course alone, include canoeing, skateboarding, and attending EAA.

DIYer to the rescue

Ben volunteers time to maintaining bikes biking benefits

The bikes experienced some wear and tear over the years. When Ben St. Aubin arrived at Starr Academy in 2014, he noticed the bikes were in need of maintenance and took initiative.

He volunteered after school to fix the bikes so the Rawhide guys could continue using them.  Jeff couldn’t be more grateful for Ben for taking his personal time to fix and maintain the bikes. Thanks to Ben, Rawhide guys can grab and confidently ride and benefit physically and mentally from the experience.

The at-risk youth that come to Rawhide gain access to many things they may have never experienced before. Whether it’s biking, wood working, work experience, or one of the other wonderful electives offered at Starr Academy, Rawhide provides once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to at-risk youth every day.

These opportunities couldn’t be done without support from donors like you. Thanks to our generous donors, we can offer these experiences on a broad scale to a growing number of young men. Even the smallest donation can help a young man out of a bad situation and lift him up to love, opportunity, and a changed life. Please consider making a donation to help the future of at-risk youth.

7 tips for camping with teens

Camping with teens is a good way to get them away from their screens and have some good ole fashioned, quality face-to-face family time. Often teens’ think camping involves uncomfortable sleeping areas, bugs, and burnt food. In reality, camping ranges from a living out of a backpack with few supplies to “glamping” with most of the creature comforts of home. After a night or two your teen will realize that camping isn’t about what you do, but who you do it with.

Who knows, your next camping adventure may be the beginning of a cherished family tradition.

1. Location matters when camping with teens

Read some reviews before picking your location. If you like to fish, pick a campground on a lake or river. If you like swimming, pick one with a beach. Select a campground/site that fits you and your teen’s interests.

You can find a list of campsites near you using the search tools on Reserveamerica.com and Gocampingamerica.com. Use the search options to select certain amenities you and your teen enjoy (bike trails, fishing, swimming, etc.).

 

2. Create a fun, comfortable campsite

Bring along a screen tent or canopy to be the designated community tent. This space will come in handy for activities, rain and sun protection, or a safe haven from those flying bloodsuckers.

Set up areas throughout your campsite for activities and relaxation:

  • String up a hammock for midday naps or to sleep under the stars.
  • Hang lights from trees or your awning to set a fun mood for the whole family. For ease, use several rope lights to create one long string of lights.
  • Create reading lamps with a headlamp and a milk jug filled with water.
  • Fill the campsite with music. Bring a Bluetooth speaker or a trusty old radio. You can even make a speaker for your smartphone with a regular paper cup.

3. Gather around the campfire

There is something magical about a campfire, especially when camping with teens. The warmth and bright flame entice conversations, but also allow comforting silence. Take time to just sit and talk with your teen under the starry sky. And use that fire to make delicious food!

Camping with teens and family

4. Eat fun food

C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E: lots of it when camping with teens. Bring food that you do not normally eat at home: candy, chips, or cupcakes, anything your teen loves to eat. While riding high with salty and sweet treats, mix in fruits and vegetables to keep your teen energized and healthy.

Bring meals that are fun to cook. Even better are meals that your teen can personalize. Make pudgy pies with an assortment of fillings for a hands-on dinner.

In between meals, or while you sit around the campfire, try the following easy, cook-your-own treats. They are fun and delicious!

 

5. Play games and enjoy outdoor activities

Add a little friendly competition to your trip. Try the following activities and games with your teen:

  • Activities: Swimming, hiking, fishing, canoeing
  • Game: Washers
  • Game: Corn Hole
  • Game: S-P-U-D

 

 

During a long rainstorm, settle in for a board game.

 

If possible, leave the games set up in your community tent while you take advantage of breaks from rain, especially that 6-hour stalemate happening in Risk.

6. Unplug

Set this guideline up front. This trip is family time where screen time is limited to occasionally sharing camping photos. Both of you might enjoy posting on Instagram or Snapchat. However, do not let the online world invade this trip.

7. Enjoy quiet time

While camping involves a lot of outdoor activity, it’s also an opportunity to rest and recharge personal batteries. Bring some books or other reading material for lakeside reading.

Rawhide’s Adventure Camp

Rawhide knows the value of camping with teens. Each summer, we offer weeklong camping adventures along the Wolf River in Wisconsin, designed to help troubled teenage boys. They set up tents, canoe, fish, and swim. Our staff loves watching the guys gain self-confidence, develop new friendships, and learn respect for each other. It is an important program made possible through generous donors. Consider giving to help at-risk youth experience a family camping experience and learn life skills through our Summer Adventure Camp.

9 teen job etiquette tips

Starting your first job is like stepping into uncharted territory. You may be unsure of how to behave or what’s expected of you. Here are tips for teen job etiquette. These tips will help you gain favor as you take this giant step forward.

1. Teen job etiquette tip #1: Be on time!

Teen job etiquette begins with accountability and punctuality. Arrive on time and be ready to work. By accepting this job, you have made a commitment to work at set times for a certain amount of hours. Your responsibility is to keep your end of the bargain.

  • Always arrive on time
  • Never leave early without permission
  • Never skip work

Even one day late may result in dismissal.

teen job etiquette : be on time

2. Dress appropriately

Your working attire is important in how supervisors, coworkers, and customers view you.

  • Keep your uniform or work clothes clean and wrinkle-free
  • Hair should be neat and clean
  • Dress modestly and avoid offensive phrases and logos on clothing

When in doubt, refer to your employee handbook or ask your supervisor.

3. “Unplug” at work

As tempting as it is to check your smartphone while at work, don’t do it. Either mute it or turn it off, then leave it tucked in a drawer or personal bag until you’re on a break or ready to go home. Your employer is paying you to work and may reprimand you for wasting time. Smartphones and MP3 players are distracting and take employees off task.

teen job etiquette no cellphone

  • Give full attention to your job responsibilities
  • Use smartphones only when on an official break (or in an emergency)
  • Keep negative comments about work off the internet

Remember, someone is paying you to do a job, not to socialize with friends.

4. Keep personal problems out of the workplace

Teens are social creatures, so you may feel the urge to talk about your problems with co-workers.  Conflicts happen but the workplace is not the place to rant and rave about personal troubles. If a conflict arises at work, deal with it privately and calmly.

  • Try resolving conflicts privately first without involving your boss
  • Leave positive impressions on supervisors, coworkers, and customers
  • Use constructive and respectful suggestions
  • Avoid being viewed as a troublemaker

You do not have to like everyone with whom you work; rather you need to work efficiently together.

5. Be considerate – important teen job etiquette tip!

You may interact with customers in some capacity on your job. Keep these customer-service tips in mind when you do:

  • Smile
  • Acknowledge customers right away. Don’t chat with a co-worker when a customer appears. Look at the customer and ask how you can help them.
  • Give your full attention to customers
  • Use a polite voice
  • Be patient

6. Practice self-motivation

Any new job provides opportunities to learn new skills. You may feel intimated at first, but don’t let that scare you. Most of us feel nervous when we face an unknown.

View this as a chance to learn employability skills for your future success:

  • Persevere through learning curves
  • Find what needs to be done and do it, don’t always wait for someone to give you direction
  • Remain on task
  • Complete all assigned tasks
  • Volunteer for projects
  • Adapt work style to employer’s preferences

Focus on additional skills you can learn

7. Learn from mistakes and accept constructive criticism

It’s okay to make mistakes. We all do when learning something new. The key is to remain positive and graciously accept input from others. Your pride may be bruised, but if you choose to learn from it, you are actually sharpening your brain power!

  • Take responsibility for errors and apologize
  • Ask for more information if you are unclear about directions
  • Discover what went wrong and figure a way to avoid repeating it

8. When it’s time to move on

You will leave your summer or part-time job at some point. You may pursue higher education or a job with more responsibilities. Avoid burning bridges with these tips:

  • Give at least two weeks’ notice
  • Speak with supervisor away from coworkers and customers
  • Thank employer for the opportunity
  • Stay in their good graces, they can serve as a positive reference in the future

If you get fired, that employer may still serve as a positive reference if you handle it well.

  • Control your emotions and frustrations
  • Inquire why you were let go
  • Ask what you could have done to remain at that job

9. Keep a work / life balance

You may experience stress with your new job responsibilities. Warning signs that you might have too much on your schedule include:

  • Neglecting schoolwork
  • Grades dropping
  • Working over 20 hours per week
  • Social life becoming chaotic or nonexistent
  • Being constantly tired or sluggish

Try alleviating the pressure by implementing a work/life balance. Talk with your parents about your concerns. Refer to your employee handbook for dealing with schedule conflicts.

Rawhide teaches at-risk youth workplace etiquette

Rawhide equips troubled youth with tools for success in their adult lives. Our work experience program is one way we prepare them for the future. Dedicated trainers and staff supervise students in a variety of ranch jobs. Funds from our amazing donors are vital to teaching our guys these lifelong abilities. You, too, can help at-risk youth cultivate job skills and workplace etiquette through a donation to Rawhide!

Teen sleep deprivation, a health threat [INFOGRAPHIC]

How often do you find your teenager staying up past their bedtime doing homework, playing video games, or browsing social media, only to have to pull them out of bed the next morning? Then on Saturday they sleep for what feels like the entire day. This may feel like the norm, but how big of a deal is it really?

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Teen sleep deprivation, a health threat

Teens need about 9 hours of sleep each night to develop and maintain full cognitive and physical abilities. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 91% of all teens fail to get that amount of sleep on a consistent basis. Teens fall behind in school, are more prone to make poor decisions, and see their health decline due to lack of sleep. Unfortunately, 71% of parents are unaware their teens are sleep-deprived.

Teen sleep deprivation is prevalent

In a 2010 study, 50% of teens reported being excessively sleepy, meaning they were likely to fall asleep during everyday activities like reading and watching TV.

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Teens’ lives are busier than ever between school, homework, activities, and friends. Add the prevalence of digital and social media in their lives, and suddenly their day extends well into the night. When activities and smartphone use run into the wee hours of the night, teen sleep deprivation becomes an issue.

William Dement, founder of the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic, said teen sleep deprivation has long-lasting ramifications,

“I think high school is the real danger spot in terms of teen sleep deprivation. It’s a huge problem. What it means is that nobody performs at the level they could perform.”

Why are teens not sleeping enough?

Teens’ environments and biology work against each other, making sleep a challenge.

1.      Stimulation from Electronic Devices

Using smartphones and other electronic devices near bedtime contributes to teen sleep deprivation.

Teens unknowingly disrupt their sleep patterns by staring at their smartphones immediately before they attempt sleeping.

2.      Busy Lifestyle

Teens often work, play sports, volunteer, and have homework all in the same day.  When teens procrastinate or schedule too many activities, sleep is often the first thing to go.

3.      Circadian Rhythm

Humans are biologically programmed to adapt to lightness and darkness of their environment. This is called the circadian rhythm, and it’s why we sleep when it’s dark outside. When children hit their teenage years, their circadian rhythm begins to shift. And when you include a busy lifestyle and electronic use at night, their bodies do not make melatonin until well after the sun goes down, resulting in less sleep time.

Dr. Mary Carskadon explained the immense power of our biological clocks:

“Every day we teach our internal circadian timing system what time it is — is it day or night? — and if that message is substantially different every day, then the clock isn’t able to set things appropriately in motion,” she said. “In the last few years, we have learned there is a master clock in the brain, but there are other clocks in other organs, like liver or kidneys or lungs, so the master clock is the coxswain…So if the coxswain is changing the pace, all the crew become disorganized and don’t function well.”

Drastically different bedtimes and wake times on school nights versus the weekend also disrupt teen sleep patterns.

8 Signs of sleep deprivation in teens

Parents can look for signs of sleep deprivation in their teen. Inquire about their sleep habits if your teen:

  1. Has difficulty concentrating
  2. Displays moodiness and aggression
  3. Uses more “sick days” at school and/or work
  4. Exhibits laziness/apathy
  5. Falls asleep in class or while doing homework
  6. Sleeps two hours later or more on weekends than on school nights
  7. Naps for more than 45 minutes routinely
  8. Relies on a caffeinated drink to wake up or drinks two or more caffeinated drinks a day

Physical health problems from teen sleep deprivation

When teens are deprived of sleep, their body releases higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, telling them they need food. The body also releases lower levels of the hormone leptin, which would normally say they do not need food.

Sleep deprived teens tend to make poor dietary choices. They may eat at odd times and grab whatever is convenient, which is often high in fat, sugar, and carbs.

Mental health problems

Sleep loss is tied to depression and suicidal thoughts among teens. Sleep deprivation creates anxiety and make teens moody, aggressive, and more emotional.

Problems in school

Teens lacking sleep are more likely to be outpaced academically by those who get enough sleep. In a study from Tel Aviv University researchers found that a 6th grader with one less hour of sleep than normal each night, performed the same as a well-rested 4th grader.

At the high school level:

  • Teens with A grades slept an hour longer than those with D and F grades.
  • Teens with B grades or better got 17-33 more minutes of sleep on school nights and slept 10-50 minutes earlier than those with C grades or below.

Teens with lower grades had less consistent bed times as well. They went to bed 2.3 hours later on the weekends than on school nights, while teens with A or B grades went to bed only 1.8 hours later on the weekends.

 

Parents Can Help Fight Teen Sleep Deprivation!

Parents are unaware of teen sleep habits

A teen may go to bed early enough to get 9 hours of sleep, yet wake up periodically to check their phone or experience interrupted sleep.

  • 46% of parents estimate their teen gets 8 hours of sleep each night
  • However, 87% of high school teens sleep less than 8 hours per night

Teens need more sleep than adults. Their sleep needs are not much different than those of a 9-12 year old.

Set Bedtime Guidelines

Parent enforced bedtimes are incredibly effective at influencing teens sleep habits. Set bedtimes around 10 p.m. on school nights and only 2 hours later on the weekends. Setting established times effectively maintain your teen’s circadian rhythm.

According to the Sleep Foundation, children of all ages got more sleep when parents set their bedtimes and enforced sleep rules. On average teens got:

  • 66 more minutes of sleep with even a single enforced sleep rule
  • 48 more minutes with restrictions on nighttime smartphone use
  • 36 more minutes with restrictions on late night TV watching
  • 42 more minutes with restrictions on late night caffeine consumption

Create a Peaceful Environment

  • Eliminate electronics use at night. Put electronics outside of the room. Consider 9-9:30pm as the last opportunity to access electronics.
  • Keep room temperature cool, 60-67 degrees
  • Create soothing white noise. Get a white noise machine or use a fan.
  • Let in natural light in the morning. Sunlight in the morning will cue the body to warm up naturally and reset the circadian rhythm.

Set Limits on Diet and Exercise

  • Limit teen’s caffeine intake to the bare minimum after 5 p.m.
  • Suggest teens exercise earlier in the day. Avoid exercising in the 2 hours before bedtime.

With an array of short- and long-term health threats, teen sleep deprivation is a serious concern. The vast majority of teens fail to reach the recommended 9 hours of sleep, failing to provide their bodies time to re-energize. But all is not lost. If parents raise awareness of the issue and help their teens change unhealthy habits that keep them sleep-deprived.

Teen job search, a parent’s guide

Navigating the job market is a challenge. Teens who are trying to land a summer or after-school-hours job may find the task especially daunting. However, parents can help with the teen job search and ease this transition towards adulthood.

The key is to guide teens in the learning experience instead of finding a job for them. The goal is to get teens involved in the job search process for future success.

GETTING STARTED IN TEEN JOB SEARCH

1.  Help teens narrow their focus

Working is more fun when a job aligns with personal interests. Help your teen focus their job search. Assist them in identifying their likes and dislikes.

  • Are they a movie buff? They might love working at a local movie theater.
  • Do they enjoy camping? They might enjoy selling outdoor gear at a sporting goods store.
  • Do they like ice cream and greeting people? Try an ice cream shop.

teen job search movie theater

2.  Encourage teens to make a list of their skills

Encourage your teen to list skills and experience gained through school, sports, volunteering, and activities, such as:

  • Leadership (led a group project in school)
  • Works Well on Teams (sports)
  • Computer Skills
  • Good Math Skills
  • Dependable
  • Punctual
  • Fast Learner

3.  Help them create a simple resume

Resumes give prospective employers a quick glance at your qualifications.  See sample templates.

  • Keep information short and simple
  • Focus on how you can help the company
  • Place contact information at top: Name, phone, email, address
  • List your skills and qualifications
  • List all relevant experience with transferable skills, even from volunteering
    • Example: Organized a fundraising event for our youth program at church
  • Include extra-curricular activities
  • Add name of high school, GPA, relevant classes, date of graduation

4.  Have teens make a list of references

Recommended references include neighbors, coaches, church leaders, and teachers. Choose people who can attest to your teen’s hard work and creativity.

5.  Show them how to fill out an application

teen job search application

Practice completing applications to get teens comfortable with the process

  • Gather all addresses and contact information (school, former employers, references’ phone numbers, and email addresses, etc.)
  • Have a professional email address
  • Have social security number, work permits, and proof of age ready
  • Use blue- or black-ink pens only
  • Answer all questions completely and honestly
  • Review for any mistakes

GUIDING THE JOB SEARCH

Many teens feel pride finding a job. So gently guide them, while they do the heavy lifting.

1.  Point out teen job search resources

On-line Job Resources
Employers are increasingly using online job portals to advertise open positions.

  • If there is a particular employer in mind, click the “Careers” or “Employment” tab located on the company’s website.
  • Snagajob.com and Monster have pages specifically for teen jobs.
    teen job search websites

Off-line Job Resources
Some traditional jobs for teens are not posted online. Find jobs through:

  • Classified ads in local newspapers
  • Church bulletin boards
  • Word of mouth
  • Youth centers
  • Signs in windows

2.  Give your teen contact info of people you know

Applicants are 10 times more likely to get an interview if they know someone working for the company they applied at. But remember, do not reach out to contacts yourself; rather, give your teen access to their information. It is important that they build their own relationships.

  • Obtain contact information of people who can recommend your teen
  • Teens can ask neighbors if they need any help around their property
  • Your teen may have a friend or peer employed who can give a recommendation

3.  Suggest making a list of local businesses

Encourage your teen to jot down local businesses that interest them. Do not worry if they are hiring or not. Sometimes asking the right business at the right time can lead to a job.

teen job search - list local businesses

  • Shopping Mall Retailers
  • Golf Courses
  • Grocery Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Parks Departments
  • Summer Camps
  • Skate Shop

4.  Help them think outside the box

If traditional jobs do not suit your teen, explore self-employed jobs.

  • Babysitting
  • Mowing lawns
  • Painting
  • Dog walking

5.  Give teens tips for the job hunt

  • Your teen should drop off resumes to businesses on their list with openings (dress appropriately)
  • Tell your teen to check online job portals daily
  • Encourage your teen to visit a business, ask to speak to a manager, and inquire about job opportunities (dress appropriately)
  • If your teen does not hear from an employer about a week after applying, recommend they send a brief follow-up email or phone call
    1. Restate interest in the job
    2. Short overview of qualifications/abilities
    3. Thank the employer for their interest

6.  Encourage self-sufficiency

Do not accompany your teen when they obtain or hand-in applications. It is important employers view them as independent and self-motivated.

COACHING YOUR TEEN’S INTERVIEW PROCESS

1.  Preparing for the interview

Your teen should treat the interview like a test. Use the following tips as a study guide:

  • Research the company, its products, and its customers
  • What are the qualifications and how do I meet them?
  • Go through common interview questions and rehearse responses
    • Why do you want to work here?
    • Tell me about yourself.
    • What do you know about our company?
    • Why should I hire you?
  • Prepare 3-5 questions for the interviewer
    • Describe a typical day in this role.
    • What is the most important qualification for this position?
    • What are the busiest times of the day?
  • Role play for practice

2.  During the interview

  • Maintain proper posture and eye contact
  • Be positive in your body language and words
  • Shake hands when meeting the interviewer
  • Dress appropriately
  • Bring a resume and references
  • Arrive 5-10 minutes early
  • Go alone (no parents or friends)
  • Leave phone in the car
  • Express interest in the company and particular position
  • Stress a willingness to work and learn
  • Express problem solving and critical thinking skills through past experiences
  • Be honest!

3.  Following up

Send a thank you email or letter within 24 hours of the interview.

  • Expressly thank them for taking the time to interview
  • Reemphasize major points made in the interview
  • Restate qualifications and interest in the job
  • Give an invitation to contact should they need more information
  • End with another “thank you” and a grateful tone

If your teen does not here back within 2-3 weeks, they may call the employer to restate their interest and politely ask if they have made a decision.

DEALING WITH REJECTION

Your teen may face rejection or no response at all to their applications. Remind them that rejection happens to every job hunter. The key is to not let it deflate you. Encourage your teen gently. Learning to deal with rejection is a lesson we all go through.

Tell your teen to move forward and plan their next step.

  • Keep applying
  • Start a business (painting, mowing lawn, etc.)
  • Volunteer

CELEBRATING SUCCESS (They Got the Job!)

Congratulations! You have successfully guided your teen through a teen job search. You can rest easy knowing that with application and work experience your teen is on a learning path for future career success.

Celebrate your teen’s success and reemphasize your pride in them. This is an accomplishment signaling their path to adulthood.

ADDITIONAL HELP WITH TEEN JOB SEARCH

  • Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development provides a school and work integrated Youth Apprenticeship Program. This gives students paid work experience and job skills while they complete their education.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a website with student resources, games, and quizzes to aid students exploring information about jobs and careers.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor offers a program called Job Corps. It is free for students under 16 years old from low income households.

RAWHIDE WORK EXPERIENCE PROGRAM

Our Rawhide guys follow a professional and real-world approach to obtaining a job. They create resumes, fill out applications, and interview for open positions in various Rawhide departments such as: vehicle program, food service, facilities, administration, or in the stables. These opportunities are available thanks to our generous donors. Please join our donor community to help at-risk youth better their lives and go through their own teen job search.


Who knew digging stumps could change a life?

Todd sat in a court room in 1996, after what he called “a series of bad decisions.” When the Judge recommended Todd attend a State Correctional Facility; his heart sank. However, his parents fought for him to have the chance to turn his life around at Rawhide Boys Ranch and get out of the Department of Corrections (something Todd very much appreciated). He recalled feeling terrified at the prospect of leaving his home, confronting his issues, and answering for his atrocious behavior as an at-risk teen. He remembers his first day at Rawhide well.

Digging up stumps and turning over new leaves

At a young age, Todd fell in with the wrong crowd. He lacked motivation, moral behavior, and was generally directionless. When he arrived at Rawhide he thought there was no way he would stay in this “hillbilly town” for an entire year.

Though after many nights “digging up stumps” while his housemates played, Todd started developing a new attitude. He holds that this particular disciplinary measure is his fondest memory from his year at Rawhide. Digging stumps was his housefather’s preferred penalty. Todd learned the value of discipline, hard-work, and respect on those long nights toiling in the dirt. He credits his houseparents with molding the man he is today, in part because of the strict discipline they showed him. They consistently went out of their way to create a loving environment and taught him how to live, how to be an adult, and to work hard.

Gratitude for “Hillbilly Town” in rear-view mirror

He left Rawhide a year later with a High School Diploma and a new outlook on life. He now had tools to succeed and a support system to aid him in troubled times. He said, “I think about it all the time…when I left Rawhide I did get into some issues at first, but I managed to get back on track. I thought to myself, ‘man, do I wanna be digging a stump?’”  To this day, when he runs into trouble or a personal hardship he recalls his former penalty to set him straight.

Todd maintains that if he had not attended Rawhide and Starr Academy he would be in prison or even dead. He certainly wouldn’t have “6 wonderful kids and a beautiful wife” with an Associate’s Degree in Police Science from Fox Valley Technical College and a full time job driving semi-trailer trucks. He is thankful that his job allows him to return home every night to his family.  A family that would not exist without the love and parental guidance he received from his Rawhide houseparents. He even recently applied for a position in the same Department of Corrections he despised all those years ago.

Advice for new at-risk teen at Rawhide

We asked Todd what advice he would pass on to a new guy at Rawhide.  He replied, “A lot of people can play the game…[but] be serious about it. Devote your time here to changing and listening to what the people are trying to tell you, and really go forward with it.” He added that it is a great place to learn because “each of their employees individually take the time and devote the time to changing someone’s life.”

Todd went from troubled teen to devoted family man, knowing that his transformation was ignited by Rawhide services. The Adam Trask character (played by James Dean) exclaimed in the movie East of Eden:

“If you want to give me a present, give me a good life. That’s something I can value.”

– James Dean

Todd and the Rawhide staff could not agree more.

Help an at-risk teen like Todd

If you agree with James Dean and us at Rawhide, please consider donating today. Your support nurtures and transforms men like Todd every day.