Will’s Story: growing out of foster care doesn’t mean leaving our family

man in tie-dyed shirt

Editors Note: This article was originally published by Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries for their Fall/Winter Outlook Magazine

When Will came to the Arkansas Baptist Ranch in 2017, he didn’t have anywhere else to go. He didn’t realize that the Ranch was exactly where God wanted him to be.

Will moved into Henry and Amy Hickman’s home and has spent the last 3 years learning from them. He says, “I think that the best experience for me has just been having that stable family connection. It never fails to amaze me that I have people that I can bring my problems and faults to, and not be rejected or dismissed.” Will has also made deep friendships with others at the ranch and with families in the community.

 In addition to stability, life at the ranch has enabled Will to finish high school while taking concurrent classes in EMT certification at North Arkansas College. He has learned to drive, found a job at a local restaurant, and has big plans for his future. He wants to take courses to become a paramedic and also get a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. 

Now that Will has graduated from high school and is eighteen, he no longer is in foster care, but he still needs his Ranch family. In order to help him and others who have aged out of foster care, a different type of program has begun. Will and two other boys from the Ranch are the first residents of the new Myers Hall. 

Will looks forward to learning daily life skills and being more prepared to move out on his own when he turns twenty-one. With the continued love and encouragement from his family at the Arkansas Baptist Ranch and the support he’ll receive, he will have all he needs to meet his goals.

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