We are incredibly proud of Ochlie, and our hearts are still full from celebrating her incredible milestone and brave journey. You were a part of her journey as a CORRAL Champion, supporting her with your words of encouragement, time or treasure. So, we hope you can celebrate in your own time by watching the ceremony above.
"At first, I did not like CORRAL because I didn’t think I need to work on anything personally. But as I stuck to the program, I learned that my voice does have a purpose. I learned how to speak up, to be more confident and a leader. And, I learned the importance of education over work. I had a long way to go Senior year, but I worked super hard and got all A’s first semester. I came to CORRAL extra days just to do work and also because I didn’t want to stay home. All that hard work paid off because I got into all the colleges that I wanted to get into," said Ochlie during her ceremony.
Ochlie's EAP Journey
When Ochlie first came to CORRAL, she was lost and entrenched in multiple high-risk situations. Ochlie paired with Ruth who taught Ochlie her first tangible lesson in relationships. Ruth is sensitive and has high standards. In one instance, Ochlie was working with Ruth while describing a situation that caused her to feel angry. Ruth responded to Ochlie's emotional state by pushing Ochlie back toward the fence with her nose. Ochlie then proceeded to move her and mount her before self-regulating her emotions. Ruth attempted to bite her, telling Ochlie that she ignored Ruth's needs and acted before thinking. Over time, Ruth helped Ochlie learn how to enforce her own personal boundaries, pick up on instincts of what's right and wrong, and practice patience, tolerance and assertion.
At CORRAL, we practice rhythmic riding as a module of trauma-focused equine-assisted psychotherapy. The rhythmic, patterned, repetitive, bilateral movement inherent in riding a horse increases and reorganizes the connections in the brain, thereby increasing the brain's ability for emotion and impulse control. The horse is able to provide the rhythm required to effectively heal the traumatized brain until the human rider is able to independently provide that rhythm. In addition to other healing processes, included timed breathing, rhythmic riding allows our girls to move through trauma before learning to self-regulate emotions.
What About The Other Girls?
Ochlie was not on track to matriculate into a four-year college before she arrived at CORRAL. Yet, she was accepted into five colleges! The majority of our girls are failing one or more classes when they come to CORRAL. We see bolstering their academics as a way to build their self-confidence, increase their opportunities and pave the way for a future they can't see for themselves. We recently started a summer remedial program to help close the educational gap widened by COVID-19 and prepare our girls for the upcoming school year. As we have shared in our blog posts on digital inequity and the educational gap, the girls who did not have access to online resources fell behind this school year and are at risk of failing their grade levels.
Please consider supporting our summer remedial program below to give these girls a leg up when every odd pulled them down this year. When we see girls like Ochlie overcome the odds, we know we our program works. Thank you for championing our mission — we couldn't do this work without you!
We recently asked our alumni what they valued most about or learned at CORRAL, and here's what some of them they had to say:
"I learned everything at CORRAL from how to maintain healthy relationships, dealing with grief, handling challenging situations in a good manner, and how to speak up for myself."
"I valued the CORRAL family and supporting atmosphere most."
"I learned that I have a voice, and my voice is important. I also learned that it is okay to speak up and ask for help when you need it. And lastly, setting boundaries is one of the important factors in having a healthy relationship."
"Never give up."
"I valued the skills that I learned with being able to balance myself. I learned how to not only recognize my needs when they came up, but I learned how to address them either within myself or through advocating for what I need from others to address it."