TYROs are taught how to own their stories, their experiences, their decisions, and their consequences. This ownership allows them to tell their life story as it happened from their personal account, rather than allowing others to take control of the experience. By doing this, TYROs are able to move past obstacles and become stronger individuals and to better serve their relationships. Here are some testimonials we’d like to share.
"I can honestly say that since completing the TYRO program with The RIDGE Project and re-entering my community, I have done a complete 180 degree turn from being an unreliable, criminal-minded, non-existent member of society.
I've now proudly become not only a contributing factor in my family, but my family's provider, protector, and anchor. My once-estranged four-year old son now sees me as a hero, as do as my two step-children. I'm proud to say that I've just achieved two full years of continuous sobriety and, considering that alcohol and other substances were once the only thing that my mind could think of, that's one amazing accomplishment.
Now my life is filled with beauty, honor, and integrity. My wife and I have been married now for over a year, and we welcomed a beautiful baby girl named Ashlynn into the world June 14th of last year. I haven't missed one day of her life, and all of that is a direct result of the things that I learned in The Ridge Project's programs. So, to The Ridge Project, Mr. Willie Knighten, and all my other TYRO brothers, I'd like to say ‘thank you, God bless you, and here's to another year of being leaders in a society wonderful enough to give people like me a 2nd chance at the American Dream."
"I never would have thought that the father of my children would end up in prison serving a four year term. It just wasn’t my life. Yet one day, it was. I wasn’t sure what to expect of him or how our relationship would weather this storm. I wasn’t sure how my family was going to look throughout the sentence and especially how it would look when he was released. What people fail to realize is that it’s not just the prisoner who serves time. The whole family itself receives that same sentence and suffers in ways that the prisoner does not.
While in prison, Damien linked up with The RIDGE Project and I couldn’t imagine the blessing that it would bring. Damien was never a bad father or a bad man to me, however, I always knew that he wasn’t doing his best. He had more to give he was just too caught up in other things to apply himself. TYRO Dads taught him how necessary it was to step up and be the man that his family needed. Couple Communication 1 & 2 taught us how to deal with conflict and solve problems in a healthy way. However, those programs alone weren’t what taught him or any of those other men all of the necessary lessons; it was the relationships formed by the facilitators with them that impacted them the most. They were real life examples of men who were doing exactly what they were teaching. They were who they said they were and they held Damien and all those other men to the same standards.
I couldn’t have imagined that after a forty-one month prison time that my family would emerge stronger, healthier and more functional than it had beforehand. Damien is no longer the father of my children, he’s my husband and my best friend. Our whole relationship I always felt like I was trying to teach him how to parent and I find myself now learning lessons from him. The RIDGE Project helped to give me a better version of my husband and gave my children a better version of their father and I am forever grateful for what they do.”
Mr. Roddy showed me how to love myself, which in turn has showed me how to love others. He taught me the true meaning of what a man is. Today I’m a father, friend, neighbor - a man of honor and integrity a man worth following. Without this program there’s no doubt I would of been a statistic. Instead, I work full time. I’m a father of 3 and a grandfather as well. I’m a loving husband and provider, not only financially, but emotionally too.
I heard out of my son’s mouth something I never thought I would hear – ‘Dad, I wanna be just like you!’ Today my answer is ‘Son, I WANT you to be like me too.’ I made myself transparent and no one can tell my story. That alone has set me free. I now look in the mirror and like the new me. I am a TYRO.”
Ron and Catherine Tijerina are true catalysts for change. They are authors of the inspirational book, High Five - Love Never Fails, nationally‐renowned speakers and Founders of The RIDGE Project and TYRO Support Services.
Copyright 2017, The Ridge Project
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