Radio Brandy, Begins:
It seemed like it took forever to pull everything together, but by early 1996, the plan was in place, and Radio Brandy was formed! Radio Brandy, as you might of guessed! is named after the girl who inspired and taught us so much. Before Brandy! Most of us, who lived in our sheltered middle class communities, were completely clueless about just how bad some children have it growing up.
Radio Brandy's mission was to create an experience for our first guest/student, that was much better experience than Brandy had back in 1992. With the main difference: We would be much better prepared this time.
Priorities First :
Radio Brandy, wanted to be ready for our first guest/student on short order. We started by acquiring 40 acres, in a somewhat isolated location in Arizona; Where land was cheap, but still less than a half hour from town.
Four single-wide trailers were acquired, which made for a quick set up. Drilling a well, and setting up generators for power was completed, before the trailers arrived, and set in place. For communications, Cell phone service in 1996 was not available in the area; so Radio Brandy, pressed CB radios into service. The CB radios, were cheap and provided a good signal all the way into town.
The Last Step:
The broadcast facility had to be built. To get us started, we acquired a single wide office trailer, turning it into a pretty nice starter studio; complete with a BE console, 6 ITC Delta cart machines, and three rim drive turntables. Shows were recorded on JVC Hi-Fi VCR's, besides high quality sound, a character generator could be used to record program info and a countdown clock on the screen.
Before we were able accept our first guest at the ranch! We had to make a trip to town and stock up on basic supplies. With that done and the completion of our temporary housing and broadcast facility; we were ready to begin welcoming our first guest/students.
Advice From Experience:
Our consultant, taught us several important lessons (that our law enforcement friends confirmed). Abusers, will go to the ends of the earth, to track down their victims; sparing no expense. Eliminating a potential witness, for them is priority one! Then there are the abusers who try to con their victim to return for more abuse.
Following our consultant's advice, we had to set some basic ground rules to make the radio campus effective and safe.
1. The Ranch had to be absolutely secure from all intruders.
2. The fewer the people who knew our location the better!
3. No unplanned guest, or visitors.
4. The students had to feel safe and secure for it to work.
5. For legal reasons; the student must be 18.
6. NO DRUGS on the Radio Campus period!
Our consultant advised us that a girl's preferred method of transportation was with a truck driver. With that in mind; a visit was made to our local truck stop just off a busy interstate. Flyers with information about Radio Brandy, and its mission were handed out to truck drivers along the interstate. After reading the flyer; drivers were eager to get involved! Drivers gave safe rides to girls on the run all the time anyway! Truckers were given a channel on the CB radio to contact us on.
The First! Guest/Student:
It was less than a week when we got a call on the CB, informing us we had a potential guest. Arrangements were made to meet at the truck stop where the transfer was made. Sara became our first guest/student in the spring of 1996. Sara, was not alone for very long as the guest list grew rather quickly. We soon realized Brandy was not alone! Abusive & troubled homes are spread all over the country, and from all economic backgrounds.
Coming Empty Handed:
We knew most of our guest, would arrive with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. The early supporters of Radio Brandy, planned early on to provide room and board at little or no cost to the students. In exchange for room and board, the students are expected to help take care of the grounds.
The average stay for a student is from three to four years, depending on the skills they are wishing to learn. Most students leave, wishing to start their own business ventures, ranging from starting their own radio stations including: Internet, podcast and part 15 am. Other students end up in IT departments, doing voice work, audio and video production.
Radio Brandy, helps get these new ventures off the ground, by providing web hosting, domain registrations, basic office equipment and broadcast equipment, for those starting their own ventures.
Covering All The Bases:
To keep the students focused on broadcasting instead of sowing their wild oats and turning the campus into a mini Woodstock. The student housing is segregated with males being at the opposite end of the females on the ranch. So far it has worked out pretty good. With well over 700 students passing through the ranch over the years, like any other campus, romance was bound to happen. We know of twenty relationships, that developed here on the ranch, ending up in marriage, with over thirty children owing their very existence to the radio campus. The divorce rate of the students stands at zero, not bad for one radio campus.
Radio Brandy's Radio Campus Expands:
The Radio Campus began in 1996, with the basic necessities: Simple housing, and a broadcast studio. Since our first students arrived at our radio campus twelve years ago, the radio campus has evolved into it's present setting, with dramatically expanded and improved housing facilities. Buildings for studios, engineering, and workshops, solar power, and a wind generator. Walkways, gardens, and trees have been planted to make if feel more like home, and a more enjoyable working broadcast facility. We have also improved communications over the years, and other creature comforts. In recent years, Radio Brandy has added a little store, above ground pool, and a playground for kids, and a daycare center, just in case it's needed.
Since 1996! Radio Brandy, has continued to serve those in need, without ever taking a single dime from the government. The non profit Radio Brandy broadcast workshop; relies solely on generous donations from citizens like you, who want to make a difference, realizing our program is a positive way to solve a serious and ever growing problem in our society.