About Us

Mission

Our Mission Statement

SSR is a residential youth ranch offering hope and healing through equine therapy, individualized academic programs and independent life skills to build a promising future in a home filled with love and compassion.

Our Vision

SSR exists as a residential youth ranch to break the cycle of abuse, neglect and abandonment by reaching out to youth to help them redeem their past, restore peace within their hearts and renew hope for a brighter future, one step at a time.

Our Faith

According to Jeremiah 29:11, we believe each student has a plan and purpose for their life and we provide support along their journey, one step at a time.

Co-Founders

  • Danielle Combs

    Danielle has had the vision of a working youth ranch for over 15 years. While taking a personality test in the corporate world, and having her suggested vocations keep turning out to be a farmer, clergy or social work, little did she know how her life would turn around after going through a corporate downsizing. After leaving the corporate world and going to work for a large YMCA camp, she saw first hand the impact of pairing youth with horses. Danielle’s life verse is Jeremiah 29:11 and believes each person has a plan and a purpose for their life. She loves helping those youth on that path to finding what their plan and purpose may be. Danielle loves working alongside her husband, Ken who has an incredible love for the outdoors. They have a the most amazing son Matt and a fabulous daughter-in-law Jada and two magnificent granddaughters, Emilee & Tegan. Danielle is a very hands-on person with SSR and loves to spend quiet time in the barn with the horses, mucking stalls, and many times can be seen on the tractor mowing. She is always amazed at how the horses respond to different situations with the kids and how the kids respond back to them. It makes every day an adventure.

  • Dar Hensley

    Dar brings her love of the Lord, animals, outdoors, youth and teaching together in the vision of SSR. She graduated from Wilmington College with her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion and Camp Ministry. She also studied at United Theological Seminary in foundation Christian Educational studies and then received her Master of Arts in Christian Education from Logos University in Jacksonville, Fl. She has over 25 years of experience working with youth and women’s ministries. She is married to Steve Hensley and they have 2 great teenagers, Lucy and Josh. Dar is driven to reach out to troubled youth and their families according to James 1:27. Dar brings outdoor educational experience from working at YMCA Storer Camps and Glen Helen. She enjoys a hands-on, experiential-learning approach to looking at the patterns of nature to teach about the power and attributes of God according to Romans 1:20. Dar is a creative teacher offering understanding and healing to individuals with her experience of Biblical teaching and counseling. She uses word pictures from the behaviors of the horses, donkeys, and patterns of nature in everyday life to help youth and their families discover hope and healing. Dar can testify that stumbling blocks can become stepping stones for success when we trust God with our lives. She looks forward to the development of SSR while depending on God for the provision and for the future legacy of SSR to be handed on to the next generation.

Staff

  • Katie Purkey - LSW

    Katie (Myers) Purkey graduated from Wilmington College in 2013 with a Bachelors Degree in Social Work. Upon graduation, Katie was unsure where to begin her career as a Licensed Social Worker but was offered a summer job as a camp counselor for Stepping Stones Ranch. Before that summer, Katie always had a serious allergy to horses but once she spent time at the ranch she knew this was what she was called to do. After spending a summer with Stepping Stones Ranch and gaining more knowledge and interest in the vision, her horse allergy went away. Katie is now the LSW for SSR’s residential youth ranch for girls.

  • Rebeka Thirey - Academic Advisor

    Beka is a 2014 graduate in Public Relations and local Realtor. Fresh out of college, she started her career as a graphic designer which was a position she'd always dreamed of having. After a few months she felt like she was being called to help make a difference in other's lives. She had no idea what that looked like, but she knew it was more than spending 40 hours a week sitting behind a desk. After moving back to her hometown of Wilmington, OH she pursued various opportunities to work with young girls in a ministry capacity. Coincidently, she came across a job posting with SSR and knew that she was called to be there. She enjoys spending time with her huge family, wedding planning with her fiancé, and shopping with the girls.

Employment

Stepping Stones Ranch is a ministry based program for youth and invite people who want to make a difference to consider being a part of our team. We have the following employment opportunities:

House Parents

SSR is currently seeking a married couple as full-time houseparents. Applicants must be married at least 5 years with no more than 2 children living at home. Houseparents will provide care, nurturing and traditional, Christian family values in a beautiful home on a 45 acre horse ranch for up to 10 girls. The role of houseparents is a full time ministry position caring for children by sharing the healing power of Jesus, and providing physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual support. A level of care, connection and consistency is necessary for each child to grow and heal. Our hope is to guide them into the destiny God has for each of them as they learn to function well in family, school, workplaces and community relationships. As a Houseparent, you will be making a meaningful, eternal, personal contribution into the lives of children as a “missionary” who provides care that reflects God’s grace, mercy and compassion. You will join a community at the ranch that truly cares about one another and is working to share the transforming power of Jesus to those we serve and their families.

Mentor

SSR is currently seeking a female who is at least 21 years old. The mentor will provide weekend coverage and additional support in the household to provide care for a maximum of 10 girls. The mentor will also help with barn chores and assist in other areas as needed. The mentor is a full-time residential position.

Board of Directors

  • Danielle Combs
  • Dar Hensley
  • Heather Plum
  • Donna Potts

Location

We are located at 975 State Route 380 Wilmington, Oh 45177