“The Ranch saved me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”
Alyssa Jobb has not had an easy life. Her family members are residential school survivors. She had to deal with addiction as well as abuse and neglect.
Born in Lac La Ronge in 1998, Alyssa grew up in a family with seven siblings – one sister and six brothers.
Alyssa was first referred to the Ranch at 11 years of age, after her father was charged with sexually assaulting her. Alyssa was returned to her family, after her father’s acquittal, but things did not go well.
Back at home, she was often left alone to tend to her siblings. She soon ran afoul of the law. It was recognized that she needed treatment. She was given the option of returning to the Ranch, and she jumped at the chance.
“I was taught responsibility, respect, independence, how to deal with hardship, perseverance, and coping mechanisms,” she said of her time at the Ranch.
“I met friends who have since become like family. I didn’t trust a lot of people. I realized that I built walls around myself to see who would stick around long enough to break them down,” Alyssa added.
She learned a lot and went through extensive counselling to feel happy again. She said that she healed so much in that time and felt like a weight had been lifted from her shoulders.
“I wasn’t alone anymore and had people in my corner. It was so new to me, and I loved it.”
After three and a half years at the Ranch, she was transferred to a girls’ independent home in Prince Albert.
Although there were a few significant setbacks, she has worked really hard to be where she is now. Alyssa is a mother to two children and works as a youth care worker for Peter Ballantyne Child and Family Services. She’s engaged to her partner and enjoying her life with her own family.
Alyssa has very fond memories of her experiences at Ranch Ehrlo. Her favourite times were therapeutic camping trips.
“I would get up extra early so I could drink coffee with Kevin Schultz (youth care worker) and watch the sunrise. We would just sit and talk while everyone else was still asleep.” She added, “The memories of these trips will always be with me. I want to do the same things with my children. I want them to have the positive memories that I have.”
“I’m still in touch with some of the youth care workers at the Ranch. I see things from their point of view now that I’m a youth care worker myself. They provided me with a basis of comparison for how to live a healthy life, and they’re also my inspiration. They’re still helping me today by giving me advice when I ask for it,” Alyssa said.
Alyssa shared her life story, her advice, and tips for success in a speech to the youth at Ranch Ehrlo's northern Awards Night in June.
She concluded, “I’ve been run over, beat up, pushed to the breaking point more than a person my age should be and I’m still standing. Because I choose to keep moving, to keep fighting, to love extraordinarily, and to see the light in this dark world.”