Independent Living Program
When a child comes to live at one of our Ranches, we prepare them for life and teach them to become well-rounded, productive adults. We accomplish this goal in several ways. When a Rancher turns 16 years old, they enter our Independent Living Program.
In the Independent Living Program, Ranchers learn to take care of themselves to ensure they will thrive when they leave our care. We help them get their driver's license and allow them to seek part-time jobs. In addition, we teach them basic car maintenance, financial literacy and budgeting skills, and self care like laundry, cleaning, and home maintenance. They also take part in buying the groceries and other household items for their family.
Our care for these children does not stop after high school graduation. Once a rancher graduates from high school, they are given the option to further their education by attending a vocational school or local university. We pledge to help fund their college education if they follow our college program.
We developed our college program so that incoming freshmen are able to attend a local junior college for their first two years. Each ranch has a designated college house so that students have easy access to the campus while allowing us to supervise and guide them academically, as well as emotionally. After they complete the two years at the junior college, they may attend the college of their choice as long as they maintain a "C" or better average and abide by all of the rules and regulations of the college program.
When a rancher enters the college program, they are allowed to build upon the independent living skills they have already been taught throughout their time at the Ranch. College students will learn to manage a class and work schedule while enjoying social and scholastic activities. Tutors and other assistance will be provided to help college students maintain their GPA.
In 2008, the Alabama Sheriffs Youth Ranches made history when it built "Carls House", Alabama's first college transitional home on a residential care facility. Carls house is open to any resident that has graduated high school from one of our Boys Ranches throughout the state.