Sebastian is a 16-year-old who never knew what was going to happen next. Throughout his life, he has tried to dodge difficult obstacles, and moving around a lot made life stressful. Sebastian also struggled in school; he barely attended classes and never reached his full potential. Sebastian had been in some trouble and the lack of motivation to improve led to his arrival at Rawhide in June 2023.

When asked what his favorite part about Rawhide is, Sebastian answered that it was the staff and the opportunity to change. “Ms. Barbara is one of my favorite staff because I connect with her so much, and Mr. Ryan was the first person I met and has made me feel so much better,” Sebastian said. “My therapist, Ms. Hannah, makes me feel comfortable enough to share stuff that I don’t like talking about with anybody.”

After experiencing equine therapy, Sebastian applied to work on campus in our equine stables. He loves animals and enjoys the new experience of taking care of the horses and donkeys, especially Ruger and Winston. With these new experiences, Sebastian recognized the importance of setting goals for himself and decided to focus on his academics. “When I think I want to do something, it’s going to happen. I can leave here and put the effort into graduating. I’m giving myself goals.”

Sebastian wants to be remembered at Rawhide for how much work he put in to be where he is now. He said, “I’ve stayed on track by being persistent and consistent and not getting distracted; I’ve had a lot of growth.”

Sebastian’s message to donors: “Thank you for doing something that you don’t have to do. It’s so generous and loving that you want to do it—it has impacted my life.”