In this summer edition of The Vine, we’ve asked a few Happy Hill Farm alumni to “take over” and speak directly to friends and supporters like you. We hope you’re encouraged and blessed as you see how God has used your gifts and prayers to change lives—forever!
From Nathan Jones, Class of ’98: “Without your generous donations my success story wouldn’t be possible”
“Growing up at Happy Hill Farm changed my life forever. I came to the Farm when I was six years old and I excelled at many things. But sports was where I truly found my passion.
“After receiving all-state honors in every sport my senior year, I quickly took my passion for competition to the kitchen where I became a chef. I graduated with honors at Le Cordon Bleu and worked with several famous chefs in Austin and Dallas before opening my own catering business. My wife of 22 years and two kids now reside in Lubbock where we own and operate our company.
“The role that Happy Hill Farm played in my life is monumental. With my father passing away when I was three and my mother in prison, the Farm saved my life. Without your generous donations, my success story wouldn’t be possible. So many kids deserve this opportunity!
From Charity Parkey Franclemont, Class of ’04: “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Happy Hill Farm”
“After graduating from Happy Hill Farm in 2004, I attended Texas A&M and received a Bachelor of Science. I now live in Nacogdoches with my hard-working husband and three beautiful children. We are actively involved in our church where I sing in the choir. I also recently celebrated my 10-year work anniversary with our local probation office.
“Attending Happy Hill Farm gave me the opportunity to come out of my shell and participate in a variety of activities. I was able to sing the national anthem at the Dallas Cowboys kickoff luncheon, be a legislator at the state capitol at a student government conference, and run two miles in the pouring rain at the state track meet!
“But my most cherished memories are of the “mundane” moments spent in the house bonding with my housemates and house parents who invested so much time in me. I especially looked forward to our game nights.
“I will be forever grateful to all of the donors who allow Happy Hill to run without the constraints of state or federal funding. I’m honored to now give back so that other students can have the same amazing opportunities that I enjoyed. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Happy Hill Farm. Thank you!”
From Melanie Berg, Alumni: ‘Happy Hill Farm gave me a family and a purpose’
“I attended Happy Hill Farm for five years. During that time, my home life was not ideal. While on paper it would seem perfect, it was anything but that. Happy Hill Farm gave me a family and a purpose. They protected me, loved me, and gave me a chance to find and become the best version of myself.
“I am a wife and mother to two beautiful little girls with Oculocutaneous Albinism. I hope to show them the unconditional love Happy Hill Farm showed me. While I started my educational career later in life (I’m now a student at the Colorado School of Mines), I have exceeded limits and continue to do so.
“The relationships that I made at Happy Hill Farm have been lifelong friendships. I would not be where I am today without the support and structure the Farm provided and taught. Generous donors like you offer a safe, structured, and loving environment for kids like me who were at risk.”