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The People

* Persons highlighted in blue are board members.
** Not all Mentors are pictured below.

 

Mentor BrentAmanda

Brent and Amanda Reichman

Brent and Amanda are the founders of Breakaway Youth Ranch. See “Our History” for details of how God brought this place into action. They have two wonderful kids named Kylee and Kanon, who enjoy being part of the ranch ministry. Brent holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. Amanda is the President of the board, and has been one of the main mentors at the ranch in General Sessions since its inception. Brent is the Vice President, and has mentored at BYR since the beginning, and is one of the leaders of the young men’s Mustang group. The Reichmans enjoy being outdoors, and they love playing and watching sports together. Brent and Amanda own and operate Milligan Canyon Meats as well as care for the ranch. They strive to serve the Lord in whatever they do!

 

Barbara Leitch

Barbara has been a General Session mentor at BYR since 2014. She heard about BYR through a prayer group that she attended with Jenny, and thought it might be a good way to put together her love for horses and her heart to counsel others in need. She has really enjoyed working with the kids and horses and has loved the opportunities she’s had to share truth with the kids! She learned to ride when she was in high school, and bought her first horse when she was 21. She rode English in the beginning, but has spent most of her time in a Western saddle. She doesn’t care too much which style she rides, what she really enjoys is the relationships that can develop between horse and rider. She also enjoys how much she learns about herself and God as she works with horses. While she is happy to work with any child who is here, she especially likes to work with the teenagers that come out. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. She is also in the final stages of becoming a nationally certified counselor through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. She enjoys horses, hiking, crocheting, knitting, logic games, learning Hebrew, and music. In addition to working as a mentor at BYR she volunteers in her church’s library and is the leader for the Awana T&T program at her church.

 

Billy & Julie Fambro

This wonderful couple has been involved with BYR since the summer of 2015 – just shortly before they moved to Montana from Texas. Julie met Brent and Amanda at church while visiting from Texas and talked them into taking her on her first Montana pack trip. On the trip, she heard about BYR and knew she wanted to get involved. She and Billy have both been mentoring since 2016 and they enjoy working with the horses to help facilitate growth and change in the lives of the hurting kids and youth that visit the ranch. They have two grown children and two younger adopted children, who they brought into their home after they moved to Montana. They felt that God was asking them to open their home to children through the foster system, and were blessed to foster and then adopt another son and daughter. Recently they have also become grandparents!
Julie has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University and a Masters and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She has accrued 15 years of experience counseling children and youth in various settings. She and Billy are both trained in Equine Assisted Therapy through EAGALA and have also both received training in Biblical Counseling. They both believe deeply that God and His word are powerful and transforming. Currently Billy ranches full time, and Julie is a full time mom and rancher’s wife.
Billy and Julie have both ridden horses from their childhood. Billy competed in Rodeo during College, particularly in team roping. Julie competed in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association in equitation. They currently have 7 horses that they enjoy using for working cattle, roping, and trail riding in the mountains.They both love the outdoors in general, and when they aren’t on the ranch, they like to go camping, fishing, and skiing and hang out with friends and family.

 

Bob & Ileen

Bob & Ileen Brannon

Bob and Ileen have both been General Session mentors since the summer of 2016. They drive all the way from Sheridan, MT a couple times a month so that more kids can come be helped by the ranch. Bob holds a Master of Science degree in Wildlife Management, and is currently working on a Master of Arts degree in Ministry Studies. Ileen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education. Ileen has worked for over 20 years as a teacher. 15 of those years have been in Special Education classrooms. Bob worked for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks for several years. During that time he and Ileen both gained extensive horse knowledge as they enjoyed taking advantage of the opportunity to ride horses on day trips and pack trips in surrounding mountain ranges and wilderness areas. A few years after retiring from Wildlife Management work, Bob became the Associate Pastor at Grace Bible Church in Dillon, MT. They both decided to volunteer at BYR after hearing stories of its effectiveness from an Altacare counselor in their congregation, and after hearing a presentation that Amanda and Jenny gave at their church. They both enjoy working with any age, and are simply glad that they can be involved in making a difference in the lives of kids – whoever, and however old. Bob and Ileen have raised two wonderful sons who are now raising their own families. Bob and Ileen enjoy the two grandkids they currently have, and enjoy spending as much time with them as possible. When Bob and Ileen aren’t working, serving their community, or visiting grandkids they both enjoy hiking, hunting, skiing, snowshoeing, gardening and traveling. Ileen also enjoys cross-stitching.

 

Mentors Dave and Becky

David & Becky Mowry

Becky has been mentoring in our JR MINT program since the middle of summer, 2016. She has a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Elementary Education which she received from Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania and has experience teaching and counseling in a school setting. She also has a solid understanding of God and His word and her ability to communicate is engaging and thought-provoking – just what our JR MINT kids need. She is currently in charge of our JR MINT program and is at the ranch three days out of the week. One year after Becky joined our crew, her husband David, who has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and who works full time as a credit analyst at American Bank, volunteered to mentor at the ranch as well. He was encouraged by the stories he heard, by changes he saw in his own kids as they tagged along to the ranch with Becky, and he wanted to be a part of it all. We welcomed his help with our Thursday night Mustangs group – and put him to work with the ones who weren’t too interested in working with horses. He is a tremendous help in that capacity, but he also spends as much time as he can learning horsemanship so he can expand his area of usefulness. David really enjoys teaching character qualities to the young men in the Mustang group as well as working beside them in various projects. When David isn’t volunteering at the ranch, or working as a credit analyst at American Bank, he enjoys being with his family, hunting, fishing, hiking, and playing softball. Becky enjoys being a stay-at-home mom, volunteering at Three Forks Elementary School, hunting, playing softball and field hockey, hiking and biking.

 

Mentor Jenny

Jenny Wielenga

Jenny was hired as the Program Director at BYR in 2014 but was involved from the very beginning as a volunteer in various capacities. During the summers she was one of the first volunteer mentors. In the off seasons she spent a lot of time developing the current programs, the BYR manual, and the policies and procedures for various aspects of the ranch. For more details on how Jenny got involved with BYR, see “Our History.” She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Counseling from Montana Bible College in Bozeman, MT, a Level 3 Teaching certificate from Meredith Manor International Equestrian Center in Waverly, WV and has some counseling experience with conflict resolution, self-harm behavior, and suicidal thoughts. She is currently back in school working on a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education through Western Governor’s University Online. Jenny has been riding since she was 14 years old, and even though she loves to work with beginner riders of any age, she has a special place in her heart for teens. She has had a desire to work in this type of ministry since she herself was a teenager and experienced being part of a similar one in Michigan. When Jenny isn’t working at the ranch, she enjoys car camping, contra-dancing, reading, renting forest service cabins (and staying in them), playing the accordion and piano, biking, playing board games and hosting others in her home.

 

Mentor Julia

Julia Peterson

Julia joined our team as an intern from Montana Bible College in the summer of 2019. As an intern she mentored in the JR MINT program, mentored in our General Sessions, and oversaw the sending out of a monthly prayer letter for the ranch. Currently she is working with her favorite age group – teenagers – as co-leader of the 14-15 year old MINTs. She will be graduating from Montana Bible College with a degree in General Ministry in May, 2020. Very shortly after her graduation Julia Peterson will marry Austin and become Julia Ruhl! She and Austin will be living in Bozeman, MT and she is excited about continuing to volunteer at the ranch. Julia grew up loving horses, but was only able to be around them occasionally. She has loved learning more about horses at the ranch, and is constantly amazed at how the Lord uses His creation to proclaim His character and His glory. Julia’s heart to work with teenagers and kids was developed through her time as a Cabin Leader at Old Faithful Christian Ranch, as well as through her time in MBC’s discipleship program. She really loves to encourage other believers, or those who are interested in God, to know and love Him more. When Julia isn’t at the ranch, or working on school, or working at her job as a baker in a coffee shop, she enjoys gardening, reading, playing board games, and spending time with friends.

 

Nick and Courtney

Nick & Courtney Peterson

Nick and Courtney live in Three Forks, MT. Nick has been mentoring at Breakaway Youth Ranch since he joined our team as an intern from Montana Bible College in the summer of 2018. He graduated from MBC with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Counseling in 2019 – and married Courtney a month later. Courtney joined our team in 2018 as a MINT Mentor, and also as a Youth Group leader. She holds a Certificate of Biblical Studies from Arrowhead Bible College in Fishtail, MT. Courtney is currently one of our leaders for the 14-15 year old MINTs, and is enjoying teaching Bible Study skills, horsemanship, and service skills to the young women. Nick and Courtney both continue to help lead the BYR youth group that meets in Three Forks. In 2018 Nick was hired as our seasonal, part-time employee to do grounds maintenance, oversee work projects, and develop the Mustang program, on top of his work as a General Session mentor and youth group leader. Courtney’s horse experience comes from her time serving here at the ranch. She has put in many “behind the scenes” hours to learn more about working with and around horses. Nick’s horse experience comes from his childhood when his grandfather would take him on rides near Glacier National Park. Nick and Courtney both enjoy hiking and playing games with friends. Nick enjoys playing sports – anything from basketball to Frisbee golf – and hunting. Courtney also enjoys skiing, sewing, and eating the results of Nick’s hunting trips. When Nick and Courtney aren’t at the ranch, or serving people in other capacities, or having fun with friends, they put in long hours of work at their “day” jobs. Nick works for Clear Creek Construction in Three Forks. Courtney works independently as a seamstress.

 

Board Nolan

Nolan Murphy

Nolan has been on the board since 2010, and is currently our treasurer. He got involved because Brent and Amanda asked him and because he “thought it might be a good idea,” a way for him to serve the Lord in his own neighborhood. He has a Fish and Wildlife Management degree from MSU and did work for the Park Service from the fall of ’69 to the summer of ’75 when he and his wife Sandy moved their family to Cardwell, MT to start a cow business. He was born on a ranch and has ridden horses since he was 5 years old. He and Sandy ranched their own place (next to where he grew up) from 1980 to 2007 when his wife Sandy passed away. Nolan still owns the place, but has decided to retire from having his own cows. Instead he rents the pasture to other ranchers. He also decided to donate 10 acres of land to Breakaway Youth Ranch! He is BYR’s closest next-door neighbor. Nolan likes to drop in to say “hi” to the kids when he’s driving by on his four-wheeler to check his fence or his renter’s cows or out spraying weeds in the pasture. He enjoys going for horseback rides in the hills with friends. He also enjoys playing his steel guitar and will occasionally come play tunes with some folks at the ranch.

 

Board Member Wards

Ryan and Andrea Ward

Ryan and Andrea have been on the board from the very beginning in 2010. Ryan has a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies with a Pastoral Emphasis from Montana Bible College and a Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. Ryan and Andrea served in pastoral ministry for 8 years before Ryan was hired full time at  Montana Bible College – where he is now president. In addition to Ryan teaching several Bible Exposition classes, Homiletics, and Peacemaking, among other things, Ryan and Andrea co-teach the Family Development class. They both have several years of experience counseling teenagers, couples (both pre-marital, and marital), and they have worked with victims of sexual and physical abuse. Ryan also has experience mediating conflicts. Because they know very little about horses, they are content to be on the board and available for intensive counseling outside of BYR. They joined the board of Breakaway Youth Ranch because they love to watch God grow small ministries. Their family (they have two kids, Gracie and Caleb) enjoys Hunting, hiking, cooking, sewing, poetry, piano and basketball. Have fun guessing who likes what!

 

Scott & Stephenie Ogeka

Scott & Stephenie heard about BYR through Becky Mowry and through their church in Three Forks. They began sending their daughter Anna to the MINT program in 2017. Their son Scotty is a part of the Mustang Program, and their daughter Lydia is looking forward to the day when she can join the MINTs. Stephenie joined our MINT Mentor team in 2018. Scott joined our crew one year later working with the teenage Mustang guys on Thursday nights. Prior to moving to Montana Scott and Stephenie worked for 10 years on and off with a youth group in Pennsylvania, and we really appreciate the experience they bring to our team at BYR. Scott grew up around horses, and enjoys being able to occasionally work with their daughter’s horse at home. Stephenie has very little experience with horses, but lots of experience teaching – in a variety of settings. She is assisting Jenny with the SR MINT program, and is learning horsemanship alongside the girls.
Stephenie holds a Bachelor degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Marywood University in Scranton, PA. She has experience being Therapeutic Staff Support in a school setting with kids who have special needs. Scott holds a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. When Stephenie isn’t homeschooling her kids, volunteering various places, or learning new things, she loves being outside – especially if she is hiking, biking or gardening. When Scott isn’t at BYR volunteering, or working at his job as Manager of Manufacturing Operations at West Paw, he enjoys hunting, hiking, and wood working.

 

Scott Wolf

Scott loves to be outside enjoying God’s creation — whether he is hunting, biking, rafting, running, spending time with friends, working, or serving others. He has spent some time around horses — helping friends train and work them. Consequently, when he heard about BYR from one of our Mentors, he thought it sounded like an interesting place to serve. Scott has previously worked with teens through Younglife, and now works with our Thursday night Mustangs program as Mentor, Bible teacher and friend. He is also a Thrive CAP mentor in the Bozeman School District. Scott holds a Bachelor degree in Construction Engineering Technology from Montana State University, Bozeman. He is currently employed by Archer Construction as a Project Manager / Superintendent. Scott is also involved with his church and has enjoyed occasional opportunities to lead small group Bible studies.