Youth Testimonials

Young people are a big part of life at Chenoa Manor, whether they are visiting for independent community service, through a community group like the Girl Scouts, sororities or sports teams, with a college Alternative Breaks program, through our ​internship program​, or other workshops and events. Visiting Chenoa is a memorable experience, and we’ve found that our mission and impact are best described in young visitors’ own words.

“I learned that the most effective way to get rid of stress is just to be outside in the sun. I forgot how well I respond to getting my hands dirty and paying attention to the ground below me.”

– Nick, Xavier University

“Chenoa taught me that it is OK to be genuine with myself – others will accept me for who I am.”

– Emma, West Chester University

“I realized that just by changing my perspective slightly, I can live a more authentic life and really take on anything.”

– Beau, Virginia Commonwealth University

“One of the most powerful forces in the world is hope… it puts everything into motion. Every time I leave Chenoa Manor I leave with a sense of hope and I see it in the other people who are there as well. If everybody has a little bit of hope in the good things will happen and positive change will come.”

– Ben, Ursinus College

“Coming to Chenoa Manor has been one of the most enriching experiences I’ve ever partaken in. From the beautiful beings and the luscious landscapes to the kind-hearted humans running the sanctuary, each day has brought many new lessons and memories. Leaving the farm, tears of joy are being shed for I know that one day I will return. I have been able to express myself for who I truly am. One of my fondest memories was the connection I made with the goats and horses on the farm, the warmth I felt in my heart while being around them was unimaginable. Chenoa Manor has such a tranquil and welcoming feeling, it amazes me that in just one week I have changed as a person both physically and mentally. I have grown stronger, learned to live more in the moment, and became more mentally flexible. Thank you so much, Chenoa Manor, from the bottom of my heart!”

– Gabriela, Florida International University

“A lesson learned on this journey is to take everything at your own pace. Take breaks if you need to and go do the things you wish…like spending time with animals. Everything eventually connects. Basically leave time for the things that fulfill your heart. It’s been one hell of an experience. Who knew playing in the mud could bond people so well? Not only are we working as a team to get things done, but we participate in exciting workshops & gatherings that really open you to more experiences and new conversations putting you out of your comfort zone.”

– Kary, Florida International University

“My experience through the last couple of days in the manor was phenomenal. Everything was unexpected and out of our comfort zone but it was a memorable experience. All the interactions with the animals have been therapeutic. I learned more about myself and how detached I previously was with my surroundings. Even though there is nature and great people all around me, I don’t appreciate it. I get too distracted with my phone and other things, leaving me to take everything for granted.”

– Keith, Florida International University

“What a week it’s been here on the farm, Chenoa Manor. It honestly felt as if I was here for one month instead of one week. The energy on the farm was very serene yet exciting at the same time. The animals were magical creatures roaming in their habitat. I have gained a newfound respect for the farm lifestyle. So much work was put into getting ready for the winter and upcoming spring, from mulching the ground to laying down the straw, and even gardening. The different ceremonies and activities throughout the week were so special. Yoga was fun but I was not able to perform completely due to a tortoise holding my arm down and Kia sitting on my stomach. A lesson I learned here at Chenoa Manor is the importance of opening up and moving forward.”

– Kharisma, Florida International University

“My experience at Chenoa Manor was amazing. I’ve never bonded as much as I did this past week with Dr. Rob, Alex, Dylan, the animals, and the Alternative Breaks community. Meeting Dante
was a very cool experience because animals are amazing creatures that can make you feel welcome and at home. My favorite part of the whole experience was seeing everyone grow and letting down their guard. Seeing us grow as an Alternative Break and Chenoa Manor community was very comforting.”

– Nathalie, Florida International University

“During my time at Chenoa Manor, I found myself becoming more relaxed. I found my mind becoming more clear. There was nothing that I was stressing about or overthinking about something; it was just blank. That was very good for me because I am always stressing about things and don’t really get to enjoy my day. Here at Chenoa Manor, I found tranquility.”

– Sirsi, Florida International University

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