The prestigious Oregon High Desert Classics (OHDC) is the only event of its kind in Central Oregon. Approved by the US Hunter Jumper Association, and recipient of the highest AA rating from the US Equestrian Foundation, this show attracts world class riders from all over the US and Canada. One of only 25 to receive Heritage Horse Show designation, it is also the only show of its caliber which is primarily a fundraiser for a non-profit. Each year, 600 horses and 3000 participants gather at J Bar J Boys Ranch to compete for $150,000 in prizes on one of the last remaining grass footing rings in the country. Thousands of family, staff, vendors, and spectators join them, celebrating the athleticism of horses and riders, and enjoying a variety of food and shopping at the vendor booths.
“The Oregon High Desert Classics raises money to support at-risk youth. We have found the horse show community to be very generous in their compassion for the challenges our youth have to overcome. We couldn’t do what we do without you. Thank you!”
~ Stephanie Alvstad, CEO and President, J Bar J Youth Services
So Who IS J Bar J?
Remember the story of the blind men and the elephant? Sometimes J Bar J Youth Services seems like the elephant. While nobody is claiming their version is the only truth like in the parable, most believe that the small bit they experience is the whole. Each year at the Oregon High Desert Classics, the same question surfaces in various ways: “How do you choose what non-profits to support?” or “What is your relationship to them?”
Simply put: We ARE them.
J Bar J Boys Ranch was founded in 1968. From that start of helping boys who had made some poor choices sprung other programs for kids in jeopardy around central Oregon.
J Bar J Boys Ranch & J5. The property the Oregon High Desert Classics takes place on. We are a residential treatment program and high school for boys who come to us through the juvenile justice system. They have made bad choices that caused them to be here, but they are working to change their thinking, succeed academically, and grow in responsibility. J5 offers short-term stabilization, assisting boys on parole or probation to move to lesser level of support by teaching intervention and de-escalation skills. Both programs are served through the J Bar J Learning Center, an on-site, private alternative school program contracted with the Bend-La Pine School District, which offers a diploma track and GED preparation and testing. They work to increase grade level and re-engage students in the learning process.
Academy at Sisters. We are an academic and therapeutic boarding school for struggling girls. Our program integrates equine assisted psychotherapy with traditional therapies in individual, group, and family settings to help girls understand themselves and build healthy relationships.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon. We brought the local affiliation of this national program to the region to help kids sooner. We saw that many of the kids in trouble we worked with didn’t have a positive adult role model. By providing one, we ignite their potential before they began making choices that will alter their paths and futures. To do this, we match kids (Littles) with caring adult mentors (Bigs.)
Cascade Youth and Family Center (CYFC.) Kids become homeless for many reasons, often through no fault of their own. Living in a car or on the street, their futures are sacrificed for immediate needs. School becomes impossible when trying to find food and safety. Our CYFC programs build upon each other, helping kids to the next step in self-sufficiency. Outreach and drop-in hours allow homeless youth to have a meal, take a shower, and connect to other services. Emergency shelter gives kids a safe respite while making a plan. Living Options for Teens (The LOFT) is a longer-term shelter that helps them finish high school, get a job, and save up for rental deposits. As they launch into independence, we are still there with them, helping them with apartment applications and other hurdles.
at: project. In our newest program, we work with victims of human trafficking, helping them become survivors. We provide comprehensive case management and crisis intervention, assist in creating safety plans, as well as offering much needed emotional support to survivors of sex and labor trafficking. Our case managers also work with survivors to access community resources such as psychological counseling, medical care, emergency housing, transportation, and academic needs.
We are also the member providing team coordination for the Deschutes County Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) Response Team, the group responsible for responding to cases of human trafficking in Central Oregon. This team is a collaboration of agencies working together to coordinate and leverage resources to provide a comprehensive approach to child sex trafficking and services to victims and survivors.
Kindred Connections. We rally mentor volunteers and churches around families in crisis. Many parents lack a safety net. They have no family living locally or community to help them when illness hits, a job is lost, or they face homelessness. At a time when they are in jeopardy of being separated from their children into foster care. Providing support in those times of need can help keep the family together.
Grandma’s House. We offer emergency and longer-term transitional shelter to young pregnant or parenting mothers who may be homeless or abused. We provide 24/7 hope, support, and education to help young parents make good life decisions and become self-sufficient. Beyond their time at the shelter, our Angel’s Wing program creates a community of support while transitioning into living independently, and for many girls and their babies, for a lifetime.
Scholarships. As the youth in our program leave to build their lives, we can keep helping. Through an endowment fund, we have college scholarships available to the kids who were in J Bar J programs.
Oregon High Desert Classics (OHDC.) Funding for our programs is as diverse as the programs themselves. Private and government grants. Contracts with the Oregon Youth Authority. Sponsorship and donations. The Classics serve as our largest fundraiser of the year, and the only one which isn’t specific to a particular program. OHDC provides support and funding to all of J Bar J Youth Services.
We are here to facilitate positive change for youth in Central Oregon. We are J Bar J.