Igor has been at Happy Hill Farm for only one and a half months, and already, in his own words, he “really likes it.” Coming from Eastern Europe, Igor has left his family for an opportunity to finish high school and go on to college in America.
“Igor is already making an impact on campus,” shares Dean of Faculty, Amanda Schwausch. “He is a really good kid. During our Fall youth ministry, he was out in the hallway inviting and encouraging the other students to attend. Anytime you bring a child from overseas, especially from a new country, you never know how it will turn out, but Igor is doing very well.”
Some students come to the Farm at a young age and stay here for several years. Others, like Igor, come to the Farm during their high school years — and the time we have to work with them is limited.
We don’t have time to waste. We must move quickly to pour into them the education and upbringing that will help overcome the obstacles of their past and transform their lives.
Many of the children who come to Happy Hill Farm are escaping desperate situations. They may be coming to America from a country where poverty runs rampant or where education and economic opportunities are limited.
Some of our children have been hurt in their past and require patience, love, and time to heal.
“We’ve been working with children for more than 45 years. We’ve seen it all. Happy Hill Farm has a proven track record for changing the lives of children,” shares Lucas Shipman.
“At Happy Hill Farm, we like to say we are Building Tomorrow’s Champions. These kids will go on to be leaders for their families, for their communities, and for the world. ”
Leah is 13. She is from Oklahoma and is in the eighth grade. As an adopted child, she has struggled with attachment issues. While she has two wonderful parents, they realized she needed more help than they were able to provide.
Her mother had been looking for a place where Leah could receive support and encouragement in an environment that would help her succeed. One of our resident parents introduced her to Happy Hill Farm.
Leah loves horsemanship, and her favorite academic classes are History and English. On Wednesday nights, she attends EPIC, our middle school Bible Study program.
Katie is also 13. She is in seventh grade and comes to us from Maryland.
Katie loves that she gets to live with other kids from similar backgrounds. Her favorite subjects are History and Science. She also attends EPIC on Wednesday nights.
Katie attended classes virtually during the pandemic, but this Fall is her first time to experience a fully-open campus.
Her parents are from Guatemala. Because of his immigration status, Katie’s father had to return. Her mother struggled to feed and take care of her and her brother.
While in Maryland, friends of their family, who happened to be former resident parents from Happy Hill Farm, saw this family in need and introduced them to the Farm.
“Katie is very outgoing. She and her brother suffered from malnutrition, but they are recovering well and doing great in school,” shared Amanda.
Coming from a very rural upbringing in Rwanda, Piaget has had the most to overcome in terms of his transition to America and Happy Hill Farm.
His family lives outside of the capital city in an extremely poor area. He has had a big adjustment to learn English.
“Piaget has wanted to come to Happy Hill Farm for two years, but he could not get a visa until this summer, ” Amanda shared. “Piaget misses his family in Africa, but he’s fortunate to have an aunt and uncle living in the States.”
Igor, Piaget, Leah, and Katie are part of a group of 55 new faces at Happy Hill Farm.
With campus fully re-opened, the process of Building Tomorrow’s Champions is underway.