Hello! My name is Richie and I want to share my story.

I grew up with my mom and dad, who struggled with drug addiction so I never had good role models. My home life was not very stable and we moved around a lot. Eventually I was placed in foster care. I started making negative, impulsive choices, like skipping school, vandalizing property and doing drugs. At 15 years old, I was sent to Rawhide and everything changed for me.

I struggled being at Rawhide until I realized the staff were trying to help me and I learned to adapt. Back home, I didn’t have any support in school, especially with online classes during quarantine. The teachers at Starr Academy help me catch up on my online classes, giving me confidence to succeed. I also attend equine therapy and work with the horse, Gabe, who can pick out my emotion of the day through the colored medicine balls in the arena. Those moments make me feel loved and understood.

After all these experiences, I now have hope I will be successful. My future goals are to graduate college, work as an engineer or businessman, start a family, and live in a farmhouse in the country.

Thank you for donating to Rawhide so I could have the opportunity to be successful. Without your help, I wouldn’t be who I am today!