Colleen Donald, M.A., Ranch Director
Colleen has been working at the Patch youth ranch since 1999 and feels that God has her in the perfect place right now. She grew up in Iowa and spent just enough time in South Dakota to meet her husband, who has added the dimension of motherhood to her life. Both Colleen’s educational and professional backgrounds are in school counseling where she worked for several years in both public and tribal schools. She wanted to be more involved in helping students at risk, students who needed someone to reach out and give them more time, guidance, and love. As the ranch director at Project Patch, her hope is to give fresh hope to teens whose hope has been taken from them.
Two years after completing her bachelor’s degree in social work at Walla Walla University (and one year after achieving her master’s degree in the same), Stephanie began her tenure at Project Patch as a treatment therapist in 2000. Since then she has become a Licensed Master Social Worker through the State of Idaho, and a Licensing Coordinator for Joint Commission and Health & Welfare. In the fall of 2012, Stephanie transitioned into the role of Treatment Coordinator at the ranch. With experience in the juvenile justice system as a probation officer and for Washington State with at-risk and truant youth, Stephanie was a perfect fit for working with the at-risk teens at Project Patch. Her experience with juvenile offenders sparked a desire in her to teach teens skills to make better choices and avoid the justice system altogether. Having grown up in Central Oregon, Stephanie has fond memories of working for her grandparents at their restaurant to earn money during the summers. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys biking, cooking, and running. Her goal is to make it into the Race to Robie Creek in 2013, known as the toughest race in the northwest. Stephanie and her husband, Robert, have two boys and are happy to be raising them in the family atmosphere of Project Patch.
Joy David, Teacher
Joy David remembers coming home from the first day of kindergarten announcing, “I’m going to be a teacher when I grow up.” From that moment on, she cannot remember wanting to do anything else.
Joy’s favorite age to work with is middle/high school age. Joy believes teens need interesting topics to study, discuss, and respond to in ways that make sense to them, for without this component, those years can be even more troublesome. She says, “ I just provide an interesting environment and smooth out a few bumps along the way. They do the learning.” It is important to Joy that her classroom models faith, acceptance, determination, and patience. Joy is passionate about math and science. Her experiences as an educator revolve around hooking disconnected kids back into the learning that can last them a life-time. She remembers her grandfather telling her repeatedly to “get all the education you can, wherever you can, because education is the only thing that can’t be taken away from you.” She has followed his advice, and is forever taking classes to learn more.
She is excited teach at Project Patch. Joy has introduced “Project-Based Learning” to the PATCH curriculum which enables students to integrate math, science, history, and English to solve real world problems in daily life.
Joy grew up in Iowa’s agricultural lifestyle. She, her husband Charlie, and their two therapy dogs (Jake and Scruffy) enjoy all of what Idaho has to explore. Joy especially enjoys hiking, quilting, museums, and continually training Jake and Scruffy. She loves life, enjoys a good laugh, and, above all, being a model for Christ.
Jonah Shallies, M.F.A. Teacher
Jonah believes each of his students have an important story to tell and that they are deeply loved by God. He desires to help students realize their full potential and to guide them along their true path. Jonah leverages writing as a way to help young people navigate their
Jonah holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. As a young person Jonah grew a deep appreciation for song lyrics, and as part of that natural progression developed a love for English. Jonah feels that history informs the future and as his students study thefacets of society they will find correlations to their own lives. He finds that a well-balanced learning experience is found through inter-disciplinary study and that writing is a cornerstone to this approach. Jonah brings to Project Patch a background of mentoring young people who lead difficult lives.
Jonah grew up in a single parent home in rural Idaho. He and his wife Kristina are grateful parents to a daughter and son, adopted through foster care. Jonah feels everyone deserves a place to belong.