Our Volunteers


As an all volunteer organization, we cannot exist without our wonderful, talented, dedicated volunteers! Take a minute to check them out below. If you are interested in joining our ranks download our volunteer application HERE and email it to our Volunteer Coordinator, Aurora at aurorajchaffee@gmail.com.

Once you have submitted your application, we will schedule you an orientation and tour of the Ranch. Our goal is to get you plugged in to the areas you are interested in serving to mutually benefit you and our organization. We look forward to meeting you!


Our Leadership

TracyOct2016Tracy Cookman, Founder || CEO

Tracy works tirelessly on all aspects of the ranch. She is our fearless leader, Queen of hay moving, horse expert, and wise advice giver. We love Tracy and we benefit from her vision and leadership. Tracy is the Founder of Charis Youth Ranch and has been the driving force since 2009 when it was started. Tracy can be reached at newlifehorses@gmail.com.

Favorite horse: Memo Queen


Lindsay2016Lindsay Daley, Youth Program Director

Lindsay joined the ranch team in 2011. With horses being a part of her life from early childhood Lindsay has experience in many equine disciplines including endurance/competitive trail, western pleasure, halter showmanship, and hunter jumper. Her true passion is connecting kids with horses and she has served the ranch as Youth Program Coordinator and Youth Program Director. Lindsay has an Associates Degree in Medical Specialties and 5 years of hospital work experience which provided her with a foundation for great customer service, teamwork and leadership. She currently holds a position as a CNA Parent Caregiver for her youngest son. Also very active in her local church Lindsay has been a Worship Leader, Youth Group Leader and Children’s Ministry Leader. She and her husband are passionate advocates for children and families and are active in the foster/adoptive community. Lindsay and Justin have 3 wonderful children, 2 dogs and 2 horses.   


 LuciaCroppedLucia, Barn Manager

We are so grateful for the talent and wisdom that Lucia brings to the team from years of experience managing 60 horses in Germany. As Barn Manager, Lucia is in charge of the overall well-being and training of all of our horses. In addition to being a professional trainer, Lucia is a licensed Dressage Instructor to the fourth level. Her knowledge and understanding of horses is irreplaceable to us. She is also dedicated to serving in our youth programs and training up volunteers in all things horse-related.

Favorite Horse: Sterling


Aurora Chaffee, Volunteer Coordinator

An all around horsewoman, we are excited to have Aurora’s enthusiasm and talents to work with our horses. She is wonderful with kids and embodies grace and good humor on the ranch. Additionally, Aurora is passionate about beginning our Freedom Veteran Program at the ranch. She can be reached at aurorajchaffee@gmail.com with questions about volunteering with us.

Favorite Horse: Mosticolli Mort



Our Volunteers 


Hannah Rininger

Hannah has a quiet strength which serves her well when working with rescued horses. We are thankful for her flexibility and desire to serve. She is in charge of barn upkeep and organization. Hannah has a calm demeanor that is both refreshing and reliable.

                         Favorite Horse: Rosie



Alyssa Rocha

Al is one talented lady. Al is always looking for ways to serve others, and we are so thankful for her many talents with horses, dogs, and kids. She has an amazing passion and drive for what she sets her mind to and will go the extra mile for anyone and anything.

Favorite Horse: Angel



 Westly Oberman, Trainer 

All things horse related is Westly’s forte. As an equine science major at CSU, we value Westly’s hard work and knowledge on training up our herd. His aid goes beyond training though, he works hard mucking and cleaning as well as giving riding lessons to our junior volunteers and kiddos. Westly also founded the CSU club, Students Of Charis Ranch (SOCR) which seeks to complete service projects for Charis Youth Ranch twice a month.

                         Favorite Horse: Cleo


Mary Kuester

Mary joined our team in Fall 2015; we are so grateful for the humor and good-nature she brings us! She has an easy-going personality that bonds well with everyone she meets. Mary helps out with feeding our horses and is passionate about helping veterans.

Favorite Horse: Randy




schneider, CindyCindy Schneider

Cindy is a super compassionate, wonderful person. She has such a tender heart and is much loved by every kid who meets her. She is also a wonderful photographer who captures some priceless moments for us. You can find some of our horses featured on her art page Angel Mountain Media.

                          Favorite Horse: Romeo



Sadie Courts

Sadie is a one-of-a-kind horse woman. She has been a part of our feeding team for several years now. She has embodied reliability in feeding year round, under scorching sun and sub-freezing blizzards. She balances volunteering with full-time school and a job. We are so grateful for her time and energy.

Favorite Horse: Romeo



Denver Wechtron

Denver has been on our volunteer team for many seasons. He has a much appreciated attitude to help where needed no matter what the task. He has amazing affinity for all things nature and we love seeing him share that with the kids that come visit. 

Favorite Horse: Mosticolli Mort



April Sorenson

April is such a wonderful horsewoman! She has such a tender heart for the horses at the ranch and is a reliable member of our feeding team. We cannot say enough how much we appreciate her dedication to serving despite the craziness that is being a student.

Favorite Horse: Memo Mon




Rachel Rademacher

Rachel has been a wonderful addition to our team, She helps our feeding team and with the kids programs. She has a lovely calm and friendly presence that the kids and volunteers alike easily get along with. She’s a western girl to the core and loves a good lope through the pastures.

Favorite Horse: Chevy


cecilliaCecelia Granby

Cecelia is a fabulously hard worker; her determination and durability are awesome when it comes to throwing hay bales and scrubbing water troughs. We are so thankful for her presence on our team, her service and passion for our horses does not go unnoticed.

Favorite Horse: Cleo



Andrea HaAndreamilton

Andrea is a long time friend of the ranch and is a talented member of our fundraising team. She fed horses for years before switching over to managing our online fundraising shop.  Andrea has been very dedicated to our vision and fostered one of our rescues, Missy, for several years before finally adopting her! 

Favorite Horse: TR



Jessica Ward

Although Jessica wouldn’t call herself a horse expert, she cannot get enough of the quiet peacefulness that blankets the ranch. Her willingness to learn and reliability are all we could ever ask for from a volunteer.

Favorite Horse: Mariposa



Caroline Buck

Caroline  can never get enough of the ranch. Where there is a need, she will be there to fill it. Caroline is a wonderful asset to our summer kids programs as well as being dedicated to the horses. She has an awesome drive to serve, and no matter the task she is their to help. We are so fortunate that to have her as a volunteer to pour into our operation and horses.

Favorite Horse: TR




Imogen Hartle

Nothing can keep this girl down. She’s so wonderfully positive and upbeat about the routine that is feeding. Imogen is a confident, capable woman that adds a strength and enthusiasm to our team. We love her willing attitude to learn new things and work with different horses.

Favorite Horse: Cleo




IMG952679Kaitlyn Parks

 Kaitlyn joined our team in the Spring of 2016, we love this hardworking gal! She has a special heart and love for our Roper Dawg, an older gelding who is blind in one eye. Kaitlyn is an all-around amazing volunteer, fantastic with the kids, and she is always willing to serve no matter the task.

 Favorite Horse: Roper Dawg



mms95img-1868166116Melinda Errand

 This lovely lady is such a cowgirl. She is a newer rider, but has an excellent seat and desire to learn! Although she did not come to us with much horse experience she dives into every opportunity to learn and work with our horses. She has an amazing attitude and patience when it comes to our kids programs. We love Melinda for her ever-constant, cheerful demeanor.

Favorite Horse: Romeo




Board of Directors

TracyOct2016Tracy Cookman, Founder || CEO

Tracy has been self employed, operating her own business since she began her real estate career as a single mom in 2001 in Washington state. Specializing in building relationships with her clients in order to reach their real estate goals, she has been awarded for  sales achievement in both Washington and Colorado. Tracy wears many hats as mother to her 5 children first,  Founder of this nonprofit and Real Estate Broker. In addition to writing the Manifesto for Charis Youth Ranch, she co-wrote the Youth Program Curriculum which is taught every summer to the kids who come to the ranch. Prior to her career in real estate she worked in Human Resources as an Employment Counselor helping people find and keep jobs.  Her strengths are communication, perseverence and faith.


Joanne JoAnn Johnston, Board Chair 
 JoAnn brings 33 years of real estate brokerage and construction experience to her position as Board Chair. A former owner and Operating Principal of a successful, worldwide real estate franchise, she operated 3 offices and managed over 200 real estate brokers and employees for 13 years. JoAnn is proficient in coaching, project management, and business. 
JoAnn is passionate about helping people reach their full potential both spiritually and physically. Now a professional network marketer, JoAnn and her husband John are teaching others about health and wellness and the ability for our bodies to heal themselves with proper nutrients and minerals.Her strengths are coaching, boldness and business management.

ScottRogers Scott Rogers, Director

Scott began his service to the community in 1992 when he joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. After coordinating DARE programs for local schools and working with at-risk youth, he rose in rank within the Sheriff’s department and started supervising and training academy recruits and local college security staff. One of his assignments involved training security personnel at Azusa Pacific University (APU), a private Christian University dedicated to serving     God First, the university’s motto. After retiring from the department in 2007, Scott and his wife, Monica moved to Fort Collins, Colorado when Monica accepted a teaching position within Poudre School District. Again, Scott found himself working with at-risk youth at the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office. Now as Chief Investigator with the DA’s office, Scott oversees the juvenile diversion programs and is active in the community raising awareness about the realities of human trafficking in Northern Colorado. His strengths are compassion, communication and expertise with at-risk youth.



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