Home News Local News Artesia family looking to ‘Foster’ troubled youth

Artesia family looking to ‘Foster’ troubled youth

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A preliminary drawing of the dorm rooms at the proposed Fostering Youth Life Center near Artesia. Micah and Brooke Foster are seeking donations to build a ranch for troubled youth. (Submitted Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

ARTESIA — “From the age of three, I was kidnapped from my father.”

That is how Micah Foster of Artesia responded when asked to talk about his early life.

“Mom had no clue where I was for three or four months. That’s how it all started, they got a divorce and by the age of 10, for the first time I started smoking marijuana … using weed,” he said.

Foster said his childhood was then spent using harder drugs and selling them too. He did graduate from high school, however he said he was skin and bones.

Foster was a young adult when he cleaned up his life and for the last 20 or so years, he has spent his life helping kids.

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“We’ve had two of our own, biological kids, and we’ve adopted five kids,” he said.

He said three of those adopted children had what could be considered a hard life before they were taken in by the Fosters.

The family is active in Artesia’s Faith Baptist Church and within the last few years, they feel they have been called to start a ranch to help troubled teenagers.

His wife Brooke had older siblings that were also involved with drugs and alcohol.

“I witnessed my sister use drugs (and) sneak out the window. I had people coming through my window, I was very, very young. My brother was an alcoholic and abused drugs, so I saw that and I didn’t want any part of that,” she said.

“I did witness it, but did not use drugs,” she added.

The Fosters are looking to buy some property near the Navajo Refinery east of Artesia.

“I belive God was preparing us, each step that we took, he was preparing us for Fostering Life Youth Ranch,” he said.

Micah Foster said there will be a number of therapy programs for middle and high school students.

“We’ll have group therapies, family therapy,” he said.

“The whole feel of the ranch will be ranch style,” she said. “The kids will be outdoors, we have animals on the facility. A year after its inception, we will have equine therapy,” she added.

Brooke Foster also said another plan is to get the kids out on excursions.

“They’ve got to find some way and get out and cope with the emotions they’re having or dealing with and we have found personally with all of our kids that if we take our kids out in nature, even our trauma kids, they open up a whole lot more,” she said.

“Those walls come down and they’re apt to tell you more things than they would in a confined four-wall white-wall building,” he said.

Micah Foster is hoping ground will be broken early next year. Right now they are soliciting donations from across Artesia.

“People are hearing the buzz, they want to help, so the momentum is starting to go,” he said.

He said the ranch won’t be limited to troubled youth in Eddy and Chaves counties.

“Our home is Eddy County,” he said. “We want to help kids that are in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and throughout the State of New Mexico and then also in Texas and Arizona. This just doesn’t stop in New Mexico.”

He said people may stop by First American Bank at 303 W. Main in Artesia and make a donation to Fostering Life Youth Ranch. People can also donate at flyr-youthranch.com.

In addition to getting the ranch going, the Fosters also own Puppy Kuts in Artesia and they said the business will also be part of the ranch’s work.

“We have it in our business plan for when the kids graduate our program, they will go in and start helping customers,” he said.

“That way they can get some work experience and also if they have something come up and something triggers them and they start freaking out a therapist or counselor can start helping them through that situation at the time that’s occurring,” he added.

General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at sports2@rdrnews.com.

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