Board Of Directors

Deborah S. Rocha

With a Masters in Special Education and 33 + plus years in full time teaching for the Saugus Union School District, Deborah Rocha, founder of SRD Straightening Reins, has created a great team, each with their specialties, to serve both the youth on the ranch and in the community.  Recently retired, Deborah can now spend full time to further develop programs that will enhance the mission of SRD.

The fact that horses and ranch life provided an additional five years for her daughter, Samantha, to spend time with her family and friends, before she took her life, solidified the power of horses. Deborah proceeded to acquire her EAGALA certification and made a commitment to honor Samantha’s legacy by creating a Foundation that would develop a youth’s confidence through hands-on experiences with simple tasks of horse grooming and care, equine-assisted learning workshops for communication skills, private equine-assisted psychotherapy for those dealing with more severe needs, as well as workshops that help to create healthy self-care habits for parents and caregivers.

Following the mission of SRD, Deborah has committed her board to furthering the legacy of the Samantha Rocha-Dyer Straightening Reins Foundation to provide every child a safe place to find the tools for their own mental well-being.

 

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Board of DirectorsMaritza de la Cruz

Maritza de la Cruz has worked in the Santa Clarita Valley for over 30 years before retiring as a speech and language pathologist for the Saugus Union School District. As a passionate educator for children with special needs, Maritza focused much of her efforts on educating and supporting the mental health and well-being of children and their families.   Wanting to become active in her community, she researched other means of volunteering in the area of mental health and was drawn to the vision and mission of SRD Straightening Reins.

Maritza has since become a committed volunteer and is an executive board member.  She mentions that has the privilege of working with Deborah Rocha, who is a boundless force for positivity, as well as, many other passionate and dedicated community members who have supported SRD since their doors first opened. The purpose of SRD is clear and vital; to provide a safe, stable, and nurturing place for children and youth struggling with mental health concerns to find self-worth and acceptance.

 

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Janine Ragen Jones

Janine Jones has been a resident of Santa Clarita Valley since 1972. She received her Bachelors from the University of California, Santa Cruz in Sociology and continued her graduate degree at California State University, Northridge.

After teaching 4th grade for the Sulphur Springs School District, she moved into the business of insurance and became an Attorney Negotiator for State Farm, where she remained until her first child was born in 1993. After 18 years as an active, civic-minded, and community volunteer and “Stay at Home Mom,” she enrolled in the Paul Mitchell Cosmetology School. Janine now works as a licensed makeup artist and hair stylist in Valencia.

Janine has been happily married to her husband, Daniel Jones, for 29 years, and together they have raised three amazing children.  She has been an active volunteer for many not-for-profit organizations over the past 46 years and has been a board member of the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, Betty Ferguson Foundation and she is currently a proud member of the board of SRD Straigthening Reins. Her love of animals keeps her busy with her pets at home and with the herd at the Ranch.

 

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Dana Bradford
A mother of three, Dana earned a BFA at The University of Florida, and an MFA in theatre design from Penn State University. She worked as the Charge Scenic Artist in Miami’s Coconut Grove Playhouse for 3, later working as a scenic artist painting scenery for commercials, movies, Opera, and residential murals in Miami and Georgia. A Jersey girl who was born in the Bronx, NY, Dana, and her young family settled in Los Angeles in 2003 to give her 6-year-old son the opportunity to express his creativity through acting. When he was acting, her boy came alive with creativity, something that was shut down after being teased in school. When she was not painting murals or taking the kids to auditions, Dana worked as a temp at the Art Directors Guild which eventually earned her a full-time staff position where she oversees accounts receivable and the membership database for over 2800 members.

“Our children are all different and special and when given the chance to find their voice, they can learn to make positive choices here at the ranch. I’m watching my 2 younger children grow as people and find themselves. This is what SRD~Straightening Reins is all about.  Children who have lost hope learn that they are unique, special, that they matter and that they can contribute. We make a difference in young lives so that they can be a vital part of our community.” Dana Bradford

In 2016, Dana and her family found SRD and Debbie Rocha, at the suggestion of her family therapist who was looking for an alternative approach for kids with ADHD, kids on the spectrum as well as for the siblings of special needs kids. Her young children were diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety, to name a few, and SRD was a place where they could be themselves and relax with the animals. Through the programs at SRD, Dana learned how depression and anxiety manifest itself in young children. Her younger children expressed suicidal thoughts at the young ages of 5 and 7, which she did not fully understand.  One of her children later actively engaged in suicidal ideation so Dana turned to Debbie Rocha who guided her and her family with what to do and how to get help. After this terrible experience and the critical help that her family received, Dana wanted to get involved so she volunteered for Saturday Ranch Crew. When the foundation was at risk of closing last year, Dana became actively involved in community outreach to get the word out about the critical services that SRD provides, and the need for funding. This eventually led her to a position on the SRD Board of Directors.

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Susan Lopez

A graduate from the University of Southern California, Susan is an enthusiastic and goal oriented individual with 26 years of experience implementing and managing technology solutions, facilitating business process improvements, executing change management, and achieving cost savings initiatives for her customers. As Vice President, Susan directs and oversees the day to day operations of the Business and Technology Integration Department including all aspects of project management activities and process improvement opportunities within Logix Federal Credit Union.

Susan was drawn to SRD Straightening Reins when her son, Eric, began visiting the Ranch. Eric experienced the benefits of the programs at the Ranch and is currently attending college. She noted that he learned teamwork and a strong work ethic which has helped him understand the importance of making positive choices when faced with daily challenges.

Currently on the board, Susan is committed to carrying out the mission and vision of SRD and she enjoys volunteering with everyone, both young and not so young at the Ranch. A “foodie,” Susan enjoys spending her days off trying new restaurants with her husband Carlos.

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Landon Schobert

Landon Schobert currently attends College of the Canyons with plans to transfer to CSUN to pursue a career in deaf studies and early childhood education. This year she will be studying to obtain her EAGALA certification to assist SRD Straightening Reins, Executive Director, Deborah Rocha at the ranch with equine-assisted therapy. Her long-term goals are to continue Ms. Rocha’s legacy at SRD upon her retirement.

Ms. Rocha became influential in Landon’s life when in sixth grade she suggested she visit the ranch because she was showing symptoms of anxiety. Landon had fully isolated herself from all that she loved, her friends, school, and any extracurricular activities. Once she began making regular visits to the ranch she began to manage her anxiety and learned the importance that equine-assisted therapy had on her life.  Landon has since gained confidence, leadership skills and a purpose for her life.

Landon Schobert will be forever grateful to Ms. Rocha and SRD Straightening Reins for the support and tools she learned that have provided her with the confidence and skills to pursue and enjoy her life.

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Andrew Galvan Macias

With a generous heart, Andrew Galvan Macias is the founder of Danny’s Shoes Foundation on behalf of his father, Daniel Macias. Danny’s Shoes makes the lives of orphaned, poor and foster children happier during the Christmas season by providing presents for children who may not otherwise have a Christmas.

A general contractor and owner of AMMA Construction and head of construction and maintenance at the Roque and Mark Corp, Andrew quickly responded to the needs of SRD Straightening Reins by volunteering to make repairs on the ranch on his days off.

His commitment to the mission of SRD was strengthened as he witnessed the benefits the ranch environment offered to the children who needed support and that led him to recruit his two children, Stephanie and Andy, to volunteer as well.

Andrew’s philanthropy also includes the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Men’s Charitable Organization and he quickly became one of the regular mentors on the ranch. He saw the unique way the children responded to the supportive staff and the animals they cared for.

Andrew shares his home with his two children and his two dogs, Lola and Baloo.

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