Bluebonnet Youth Ranch’s former residents share their experiences

Over 600 children have gone through the youth ranch since 1972

YOAKUM, Texas – Since its inception in 1972, over 600 children have gone through the Bluebonnet Youth Ranch. We spoke with two former residents of the Bluebonnet Youth Ranch. They say their time at the ranch has left a lasting impact on their lives.

Alicia Burley lived at the youth ranch from 1999 to 2001

Alicia Burley stayed at the youth ranch from 1999 until she graduated Yoakum High School in 2001. According to Burley, during those three years, the ranch became home.

“I had several sets of house parents there, and I kept in contact with a couple,” said Burley. “In fact, one was even at my wedding, so the ranch became home. I was there a couple of years.”

Burley says the ranch also is what motivated her to go to college and think bigger and broader. Now, she is a social worker in Dallas, Texas.

“It always had you thinking what’s next, and what’s after the ranch,” said Burley. “I have them now, and I have that safety, that security, a home, now, but what’s after that.A lot of that and my history is what pushed me to college right away, cause it’s like well what’s next?”

John Fivecoat lived at the youth ranch from 1975 to 1979

John Fivecoat lived at the youth ranch from 1975 to 1979. He was the first person to graduate high school while living at the ranch. According to Fivecoat, the youth ranch instilled solid values in his life.

“Responsibility and maturity, getting your homework done, do your chores, and take care of your brothers and sisters,” said Fivecoat.

Fivecoat is not only referring to his own blood brother but to everyone at the ranch, whom he considers family.

“I had one brother, yes, but everyone at the ranch was brothers and sisters. We kind of just lived together as a big family.”

Fivecoat went on to become a successful electrician for nearly 35 years. Now, he is a fishing and waterfowl tour guide out of Port O’ Connor.

Join Don Brubaker on Friday, Oct. 8, at 6:30 p.m. on the Crossroads Today Facebook Page, as we help the Bluebonnet Youth Ranch raise money. We hope to see you there.
You can donate and bid through Monday, Oct. 11 at 9 p.m. at