New Mexico couple hopes to open new ranch for at-risk youth

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ARTESIA, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico couple is on a mission to open a facility that would help troubled kids from around the state. The Fostering Life Youth Ranch would be different from other group homes because its focus would be on the outdoors.

Micha and Brooke Foster are looking to open the ranch in Artesia.

“There’s nothing like what we’re doing out here at all,” Micha Foster said.

The Fostering Life Youth Ranch would work with at-risk youth by taking them out of their everyday lives in order to cope.

“We found with our own kids, that if we go on a hiking trip or camping trip, that stress levels just melt off of them,” he said.

The Fosters have seven kids, five of which were adopted through the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department. Meaning, the Fosters have a lot of experience working with the state and at-risk youth.

The idea to start up the ranch began when a girl they were helping tried to commit suicide.

“She left away from here and moved to college and she didn’t have a support group. She was on her own and kind of secluded from who she thought were her friends and she ultimately tried to commit suicide.”

That’s when they realized something like this was needed in the community.

“I feel our facility is going outside of the box. The kids aren’t going to be going to a four, white-walled room talking to therapist. The therapist will be coming out here meeting the kids where they are now, outside,” he explained.

Hiking, fishing, and gardening would be just a few of the activities at the ranch.

“It’s all going to be holistic, we will be eating what we raise there. The produce, we will be eating,” he said.

With the produce they grow, they also plan to open a commercial greenhouse where people will come and buy fresh produce and the kids can see what it’s like to have a job.

No matter what the activity, they plan to work with each kid to find a therapy tailored to their needs.

“Nature has worked. Taking them out of the stress and chaos of life has worked,” explained Brooke Foster.

Most of the kids will be at-risk youth and come from the juvenile system. The Fosters hope to open The Fostering Life Youth Ranch by the start of 2019.

They are looking for donations and there are several ways to help.

Tate Branch car dealership in Artesia has donated a 2018 Jeep Renegade — raffle tickets can be purchased for $20 at many businesses in Artesia, including Puppy Kuts Pet Boutique on 13th Street.To donate online, click here. 

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