Seventeen year old, Wendy Bodeker, is from Dallas, but when she began having trouble at home and concentrating in school she turned to Cal Farley's Boys Ranch.
Wendy says, "My mom and my grandpa thought it would be best for me to come out here so I can be able to go to college and have a good life."
When asked if the transition was the right choice, Wendy doesn't hesitate to answer.
Wendy says, "Yeah! More than like anything else. I would have been at home I probably wouldn't have been this good."
Cal Farley's Boys Ranch offers support in three main areas -- the home, education and building leaders in the community. The ranch not only gives Qendy a place to call home, but a place to peruse her future.
Wendy says, "I want to be a veterinarian."
Wendy knows that the journey to earning a veterinary degree is a challenging one and requires hard work, so she's taking advantage of the opportunities at the ranch to get her started down the right path.
Wendy says, "I train colts with my work boss. We work on getting them used to people and getting them to train them so they can come over here so you can ride them for trail rides and anything really."
When she's not in the arena, she turns her love for animals and being active to other programs offered at the ranch.
Wendy says, "I play basketball and tennis and FFA. I raised two pigs and a sheep and I do a lot of the speaking competitions."
When it comes time to saddle up this labor day for the annual Boys Ranch Rodeo, Wendy's looking forward to the friendly competition in barrels, poles and goat tying.
Wendy says, "It's my first year for doing all of them. I middle school I did steers so this is completely different than riding an animal that doesn't want you on him. I started riding horses more, so it'd be, it's fun. I wanted to be apart of rodeo and anything you can do, just do it. We have practices and we have open arena every Wednesday so we come and we get used to our horses and we learn how they are so we can get to know them better so we can ride better. You can't just get on an animal you don't know and be like ya let's go and do this."
Of course she's hoping to come out in first place, but even if she doesn't win the Junior All-Around title she knows that she'll walk out of the arena a winner.
Wendy says, "I love animals and whenever I was at home you don't see horses and cows everyday so being out here you get to see that and it's like, you feel more home. Everybody here's so nice -- you're already accepted. You don't have to worry about oh, you don't fit in here. It's like you have a family. That's the best part."
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