Testimonials

Paradise in the Sky was an absolute amazing experience.  Everyone we interacted with was so kind and went out of their way to make our corporate retreat special!  It is one of the most beautiful places staffed with the most beautiful people inside and out.  Can’t wait to go back!  I loved being able to breathe.  It’s been a super stressful year and loved that I was able to relax and giggle.  I had such a great time.  I loved the trail ride!  It was such an empowering moment to realize I was guiding something so much bigger than me!  The trail scenery was so beautiful!

Reba Stinger

Hopes Closet, Hamilton Ohio

Our time at Paradise in the Sky was such a blessing! The trail ride and equine yoga was so much fun and it totally renewed my spirit after a very busy season. So thankful for the experience!

Sara Gabbard

Hopes Closet, Hamilton Ohio

I am a recovering addict/alcoholic. I found recovery in September of 2014 until April of 2018, that was until November of 2018 and by the grace of God he led me to Riverside Recovery in Mt Vernon. Going to the Paradise in the Sky is very therapeutic and it gets one out of self and allows me to feel again. The horses there are very kind to everyone who touches them. They are well behaved and it means a lot to me getting to go and be around them. Taz (their American Paint horse) was the best! He’s an awesome horse and very well mannered and taken care of.

Lehza

I am a recovering addict/alcoholic. I found recovery in September of 2014 until April of 2018, that was until November of 2018 and by the grace of God he led me to Riverside Recovery in Mt Vernon. Going to the Paradise in the Sky is very therapeutic and it gets one out of self and allows me to feel again. The horses there are very kind to everyone who touches them. They are well behaved and it means a lot to me getting to go and be around them. Taz (their American Paint horse) was the best! He’s an awesome horse and very well mannered and taken care of.

Lehza

My daughters started attending Paradise in the sky about a year and a half ago.  From the minute we set foot there we all fell in love.  Paradise in the Sky truly is paradise.  It is an absolutely beautiful and peaceful setting away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  When my daughters started attending Paradise they struggled with social anxiety and a lack of confidence.  Working with the horses and others has changed them in ways I didn’t believe possible.  They have grown so much not only in a social aspect but have gained so much confidence.  I even find myself more relaxed and confident when I spend time and do things like ride a horse for the first time with my children.  At Paradise there’s a lot more to it than just working with the horses.  They learn to work with others and enjoy the outdoors.  All of this so wonderfully documented with pictures by Miss Paula.  She does an amazing job getting them to think about how they are feeling in the moment as they try new things or are out in the woods.  My daughters enjoy their visits so much and are always looking forward to the next.  Paradise in the Sky now feels like a family to us and I am so grateful that we found them when we did.   I would absolutely recommend Paradise to anyone who is a caregiver for someone of any age with struggles or even those that need to get out and enjoy nature.

Danyel Karssen

This year was a hectic year in my class.  It was so nice to end the year with a fabulous field trip to Paradise In The Sky.  Our special-needs classroom planned the field trip for the end of April.  Although the weather was chilly and rainy, the students had a great time.  From the horses to the dogs to the 4-wheel ride in the mud, my students had the happiest smiles I had seen from them all year.  Paula and her team were so kind and helpful with our students.  We even had a cookout!  What a fantastic end to the school year.

Arlene Grant-Gertel

Mount Vernon Sr. High School Special Education Class - 2016, MVHS MH Class

To Whom It May Concern, I am currently the Program Manager for The Knox County Children’s Resource Center located in Mount Vernon, Ohio. The CRC is a 20 bed co-ed residential treatment center for children ages 10-17 who have been severely abused and/or neglected. The CRC adheres to a trauma informed care initiative that engages children in treatment that respects each child’s developmental stage as well as the nature and timing of their trauma. During this past year, Paradise in the Sky has worked in collaboration with the CRC to promote trauma recovery through sensory based activities and animal assisted interventions within a safe and rustic environment. The children have had opportunities to interact pro-socially with each other outside of the residential setting and learn how to realize their own potential using one another for support. I have found that each child has been enriched by their experiences and often use Paula as their personal inspiration for their own journey through trauma recovery. Paradise in the Sky has been a rewarding and powerful sanctuary for our children to begin believing in themselves again, as well as trusting the adults in their lives. The Paradise in the Sky program has been an asset and enhancement to the CRC program given that the children interact and connect on a deeper emotional level that is observed through more positive behaviors and empathy towards their peers and caregivers. I wholeheartedly believe that this program is capable of helping countless other youth who are deemed “at risk” or who have already been placed in residential treatment programs or the juvenile justice system.

Jerry D. Hartman LISW-S

Program Manager, Knox County Children’s Resource Center

I have taken clients to Paradise in the Sky and participated in events there with other youth. From these experiences I have learned that this organization promotes the development of positive social skills through horses as well as the other outdoor activities provided. Programs for at risk youth are limited in Knox County it is a valuable resource to have Paradise in the Sky in the county to provide a positive outlet for the children.  The clients I took on a day trip to Paradise are troubled and defiant teens which have behavioral and/or emotional problems. The teens had an experience different than what they are usually provided by their parent’s efforts, schools, and treatment programs and I believe left with a better idea of their self-worth and the value of helping others.  The activities my group participated in seem to increase the youth motivation and self-confidence throughout the day. For teens who are defiant or emotionally disturbed I could see this experience as giving them a new perspective that may allow them to work through their individual struggles and learn to build positive social relationships. I make this statement after a client and his mother spent the day at Paradise and came into my office socially engaged which was very unusual for them.  I am support of this organization not only for the support it may offer to the Juvenile Justice system in the county but as because of the equally support it could offer to the community as a whole.

Melinda Marmet

Knox County Deputy Director of Juvenile Probation, Knox County Youth Probation Department

To Whom it may concern, Paula Kyle’s Paradise in the Sky Youth Motivational Ranch – what a treat! Even though the ranch is located just a couple of miles outside of Mount Vernon, my staff, several clients and I felt like we had escaped to a beautiful ranch in sky country. The autumn colors were at peak and the views were phenomenal! The gorgeous tree-covered rolling hills were truly a feast for our eyes! Paula and Rich welcomed us so enthusiastically, we felt like we were a part of their family.  Each of us enjoyed taking a turn in the ring one-on-one with Casey, the horse. This huge, beautiful beast obeyed our commands and then came up and nuzzled our faces! All of the horses have unique personalities and seemed to enjoy interacting with people. It was great to see all the smiles on our clients’ faces as they and staff relaxed and opened up! Paula captured each moment on film and gave each of us a keepsake DVD of the day. My clients were very touched by the gift of seeing themselves in a different setting!  As Paula told stories of how the horses were rescued and had overcome terrible adversities I could watch my clients relating. Paula and Rich have a real sensitivity and heart for hurting people! Also a wonderful knack for encouragement!  We had exciting jeep rides through the trails in their “beautiful forest”, interspersed with more photo opportunities using vines and other natural settings as frames.  We enjoyed playing with her friendly, Standard Poodle puppies and kittens too. What a wonderful and memorable experience! This shared experience helped us get to know each other in a whole new way!  Thank you Paula and Rich! I wish you great success!

Lois Carter

Executive Director, CareNet Pregnancy Services

http://youtu.be/Hpepkq_IlEE  (Breannah in Paradise)

I am the parent to a very medically involved, multi complex child.  I received a random email about Paradise in the Sky several months ago.  At that time my daughter was enrolled in another equine facility that was a good distance away, wasn’t stimulating, extremely difficult to schedule class times, imposed financial hardship upon us, and most regrettably often was cancelled due to low census, staffing, and inclement weather due to no indoor arena/shelter areas.  We had to travel outside of town a good distance to get to the facility only to be turned away due to the above reasons.  Travel can be very stressful and inconvenient when one must already travel multiple times out of town each and every week for doctor and other appointments.

My heart sang when I opened that email and saw the beautiful pictures of the smiling adults and kids faces, green pastures, peaceful animals and rolling hills; that now I recognize as Paradise in the Sky.
Upon our very first visit to Paradise I witnessed my normally very shy, non conversational child openly speaking and making voluntary eye contact with both Rich and Paula.  She asked to see the cats, willingly wanted to go into the corral with the horses, listened carefully to instructions as they were given, made choices, and wasn’t hesitant with the dogs like we expected.  My daughter laughed and most important while we were there- FORGOT!!!!  She didn’t remember that she was sick.  She forgot about doctor appointments, therapies, the 27 medications that she must take multiple times every day, never once thought about her daily pain.  She never mentioned what she could not do, or how in most instances she feels significantly different than her peers.  She felt and acted like a normal kid again for those two hours.  She felt the magic of Paradise.  “Her Paradise.”

It is my hope that this program will continue to grow with my child.  I would love to see the facility expand and include an indoor arena for year round access.  Hopefully; with increased funding, progressive marketing, word of mouth and the continued love that is bountiful and unconditional from Rich and Paula towards these kids that will all prevail in our local home – here in Knox County.  There are no limits in Paradise.

Lorie Metcalfe-Frace

Breannah’s Mom, Breannah’s Paradise 8 years - Medically Fragile

Hi Paula, Thanks so much for the great time we had over the holidays at  your cozy cabin and on the farm with the horses. It was a much needed time for  my family and my sister’s families to relax and spend time together after a very  stressful year that included losing our mother in May.  One of the big attractions for 2 of us when booking the cabin  was the Paradise in the Sky farm that we felt would be a great experience for my  9 year old foster daughter Kayla and my sister’s 13 year old adopted son  Charles. Both children have had to face big challenges in their lives from either abuse or from mental disabilities and we just wanted to give them a chance to relax and enjoy themselves away from the daily struggle to feel “normal”.   The cabin was such an adventure for both children especially since they both have been reading “The Little House on the Prairie” books by  Laura Ingalls. They got to pretend that they were living in “The Little House in  the Big Woods” and all the snow was just icing on the cake.  The trips to Paradise in the Sky were an adventure that the  children will be talking about for a long timeJ! It is easy to see looking back at the  pictures what an impression the farm had on both children. While they were both  a little fearful at the beginning and not sure what to expect, by the  2nd trip they couldn’t wait to get in the ring with Casey and go  riding on the cart with Rich. My 5 year old nephew Ashton who was able to come  on the 2nd day with us and was also very timid at the beginning until  he realized how cool it was to touch and command the horse and then we almost  couldn’t get him away from them….
It was such a great pleasure  and honor to spend time with you and Rich and see the love and care you both  have for these children and how you are both as excited as the children as we  watched them open and blossom under your encouragement and  training.   We wish you all the best in your future on the farm and pray  that all the goals you have to impact the children around you will come  true.

Mirium Schrock

Foster/Adoptive Family 11 day visit to Paradise, Harrisburg, PA

Paula,
It has been over a year since we have visited you and Rich. We were so pleased to see how our children reacted. They were thrilled and although Britney was so very terrified she faced her fear and concord it. I believe that weekend we had with you and Rich was life changing and memorable for our children, especially Taylor!  We love what you are doing there at Paradise! I encourage any family that has not been out to see your good works to do so!  We are looking forward to coming to visit again this coming summer!

Amy Senne

Foster/Adoptive Family

Dearest Paula and Rich.
I finally rounded the kids up on this snow day from school to let you know how much we enjoyed our visit to Paradise last fall. There was a lot happening on that special day. I saw joy, fear and protection from kids who are RADD kids. Seeing the concern for their Dad and me was a good feeling.( I agree with Stephen…BIG HORSES) They were worried about Dad and Mom! Progress!!!

So much damage has been done through the fostercare system to them. My anger has to be channeled into energy to get them all the help that I can find. We watch our kids not be able to fit in with the other kids.  We watch how they are excluded ,not just by there piers but adults also. They are the square pegs in this round world. Did I mention I love square?!  The day we came to Paradise I really did not know what was going to happen. Would they withdraw, hide or shut down to the unknown? You and Rich are so in tune with the spirit of these kids I think they feel it. If you said they could pick that big horse hoof up, they did it! If you saw a deep fear in their sweet eyes that says “I can’t” you assured them that that was OK too. They want to come back and so do there Mom and Dad. They didn’t feel different at Paradise. They were just kids having a blast. NO PRESSURE, this is when they can begin to heal. God calls us one by one to be of service. Some answer and some turn a deaf  ear . Thank you for reaching out to our precious children. We hope to see you soon. Thanks again for a family day we will never forget.

(See my three children’s recollections of Paradise below)

Dear Paula,  My name is Kristian Hall and I went to Paradise in the sky. It was fun riding the horses and the ranger. You and Rich taught me things I have never known before. It was a great experience. I’m glad I got to go last.

Dear Paula, My name is Stephen Hall and I am 8 years old. What I like most when I came to your house was riding the Ranger through the woods. It was fun. Up and down the hills made me scared, but fun. My whole family laughed on the ride. I helped with the horses but I didn’t want to sit on them. They are really big. You said it was OK and I didn’t have to. I was glad. I liked training Casey in the ring. I could not believe he would listen  to me.  I liked my cowboy hat too. I want to come again.

Dear Paula,  My name is Makayla Hall  I am 12 years old and I visited Paradise in the sky last year. When I went there some of the things I loved was riding the horses,the puppies and  training Casey. Also the horse hand shake with Casey. I think he likes me, and I like him too. I felt relaxed and everyone accepted me for who I am. I didn’t feel afraid to try new things. I wasn’t afraid to be myself. I don’t always feel that way. Thank you for letting me come there. I hope I can visit there again.

Becky & Pete Hall & Kids

Foster/Adoptive Family

Hi Paula, I heard you give your testimony at the Bair Foundation’s Conference.  It was a privilege to listen to your journey and hear from someone who understands what it is like to be in foster care.  I learned more from you than I could have ever imagined!  Never stop sharing your testimony and how God brought you through such a difficult childhood.  I will always remember your forgiveness lesson and advice on foster parenting!  You are a blessing, I will not see children in foster care the same again.  🙂

Sarah

Bair Foundation – Canton Ohio Conference Oct 6th, 2012 Review “Changing Kids Lives – One Child at a time”

My husband and I are CASA with Richland County, and were just at the State CASA in Columbus OH, my husband took your session and absolutely loved it, needless to say he shed a few tears when he was telling me your story. I have just purchased your book on my Nook, I am looking forward to reading it. I also understand that you came to Mansfield OH and spoke to our CASA’s in May of this year I was unable to attend that session due to health reasons but I was told by the other CASAs you gave an excellent presentation. Good luck with your endeavors, I am also looking forward to the movie, I love your favorite quote, it is also one of my favorites. May God bless your work.

Jo Ann Howard

Galion, OH, Annual CASA Conference on September 27, 2012

When my husband walked out on me and our 5 adopted children, I thought I could easily manage the changes we were being faced with.  After a few months, I realized we were in a crisis and needed professional assistance. Our counselor suggested a weekend therapeutic retreat at Paradise in the Sky and I knew it would be beneficial.   On site accommodations were provide for our counselor while the children and I stayed  in a charming log cabin a short distance away.  Our counselor was able to provide multiple intense family and individual sessions in a unique setting.  Sessions that would have taken 8 weeks to complete were done in 2 days.  From the equine activities to our family sessions roasting marsh mellows around the campfire, we were able to open up about our pain, grief and feelings of loss. We left feeling refreshed, stronger and having more confidence to face the days ahead.  Paula, Rich and their staff at Paradise in the Sky were very supportive, knowledgeable and nurturing.  They provided an environment where we could forget our hectic life at home and focus on our healing process while being guided by our counselor.

Kim, Matt, Zak, Andy, Alicia and Eli

A Family Retreat Testimonial with Therapist on Site at Paradise for a 2 day’s of intense counseling (accomplishing 8 weeks of therapy for a family in crisis)

Contact Us

Address: 9580 Westenbarger Drive Mount Vernon, OH 43050
Phone: 740-501-1193
Email: paradiseinthesky9580@yahoo.com

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