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Idaho Youth Ranch….Who knew it was more than a thrift store? By Kali Branstetter – 7th grade

By: Kali Branstetter – 7th Grade – Photos By: Tick Tock Media & Kelley Branstetter

I didn’t, until I was contacted by my agent to see if I would be available for a commercial shoot for the Idaho Youth Ranch. I remember saying to my mom, “Wait, aren’t they just a thrift store?” That is when I found out there is much more about the Idaho Youth Ranch. Very good things!

The Idaho Youth Ranch was started in the 1950’s by a couple in Rupert, Idaho. It was initially a ranch for trouble boys, but now serves girls as well. The Idaho Youth Ranch offers many different services for at risk youth including: adoption services, family counseling, alternative education, residential care, 24 hour help line for teenage runaways/homeless/in crisis kids and more. About those thrift stores, 29 of them to be exact……they are what fund the youth programs and services!

The Idaho Youth Ranch purchased land (258 acres) outside of Middleton, Idaho. This will be the new home of the ranch and community campus. 

Now about my commercial shoot! The character I portrayed was a girl who had been abused starting at a young age by her mothers boyfriend. As you can imagine, she pulls away from everyone, doesn’t like being touched, she’s doing bad in school and eventually tries to commit suicide. Her mother finally reaches out to the Idaho Youth Ranch for help. One of the methods used in her treatment is equine therapy.

The shoot lasted about 7 hours, with several different locations. We started out at a home meeting the rest of the actors (Younger Eve, the abuser, and my mother), the production crew from Tick Tock Media (I had worked with them on another commercial for Blue Cross of Idaho), and two marketing members from the Idaho Youth Ranch. I was given an updated script, then I started shooting. I don’t want to give much away about the scenes I shot because I want everyone to see it, but I will say this………having to get into character for shooting scenes this powerful really makes one stop and think how many of our youth are experiencing these issues. Please, if you or your children are at risk and need help, reach out to the Idaho Youth Ranch, or some other resource. The Idaho Youth Ranch has helped over 31,500 youth and their families!

I have been asked how I felt about doing a commercial that had very serious/scary subject matter. I say this……If one person going through this sees my commercial and reaches out to get help, then I feel like I’m making a difference!

Our youth is our future!!!

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