A path to discovery.
By 1941, about 25 boys called Cal Farley’s first campus home. A few years later, Mr. Farley helped them stage the first Boys Ranch Rodeo, which drew more than 3,000 attendees in just its third year. Word of the organization’s work began to spread, with stories appearing in the Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest and a 1947 Hollywood film. Mr. Farley begins to make plans to ensure the organization’s long-term survival with an initial $2,500 bank deposit in September 1947.
Mr. Farley sells his successful tire and auto business to focus full-time on his work with at-risk children. In 1952, he tells a national audience about Boys Ranch in a CBS radio appearance. The result is an explosion of residents from across the United States. The next year, he addresses the Texas legislature to explain the unique educational needs for campus residents. Administrative offices are built in Amarillo, Texas, to handle the day-to-day business needs of the fast-growing organization.
On Feb. 19, 1967, Mr. Farley greets residents as they entered the campus chapel. As Sunday services begin, Mr. Farley, seated at the rear of the sanctuary, suffers a fatal brain hemorrhage. He was 71. He, his wife, Mimi and their dog, Cricket, a gift from campus residents, are buried at the Cal and Mimi Farley Memorial Gardens in front of the former courthouse that was home to early campus residents.
About 10 years after Boys Ranch opened, a social worker named Ameilia Anthony opened Girlstown, USA in rural Texas. Cal Farley’s and Girlstown did good work separately, but in 1987 the organizations’ leaders decide they could more effectively serve the needs of children together and Girlstown becomes part of the Cal Farley’s family of service.
A new century brings a new program to Cal Farley’s as the organization opens five Family Resource Center offices by 2008. These offices work with families to facilitate stronger relationships and serve as a conduit between families and children at Boys Ranch. Two more FRCs will be added by Cal Farley’s 75th year. In 2008, an Alumni Independent Living Center opens, providing transitional apartments for residents establishing their lives after leaving campus.
Cal Farley’s takes a major step in 2010, when it is certified as a flagship site to implement the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, which identifies residents’ unique needs based on a detailed understanding of brain development. In 2012, the former Girlstown, USA campus becomes home to the Genie Farley Harriman Center for Women & Children, which helps single adult mothers and their young children develop a path to independence.