I grew up on a farm in Iowa. My parents started Miracles Can Happen Boys Ranch in 1992 when I was 5 years old. I really enjoyed growing up on the ranch because it was like I had multiple brothers. Since this was a 24/7 ministry for my parents, the only family time that we had was while the boys were at school. So, my parents decided to home school my older brother and sister; Cory and Cassie and myself. I was home schooled until 8th grade and then began attending Wilton High School. For me it was not a big transition because I had been participating in sports with the Wilton community school district for a number of years. I excelled in wrestling through 7th grade and then hurt my back and couldn’t wrestle any more. In high school I played golf, football, and baseball.
Outside of school I participated in Young Life; a group that got together once a week to hang out, sing, play games, and have a short lesson from the Bible. I was also part of a small group that met weekly for Bible Study and I attended church with my family where I participated in youth group. My faith was a very strong part of who I was.
After high school I got recruited by multiple colleges to play football. I decided to attend St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. I had no idea what I wanted to study, but I really wanted to play football, so I thought that it would be a great opportunity and that I would eventually figure it out. I was very fortunate to be one of four freshman who got playing time on varsity and was pretty much guaranteed a starting spot the next season, however I couldn’t justify paying the money just to play football when I was getting nothing out of school, so I decided to move back home and start working full-time.
On February 6th of 2008, Curtis' 21st birthday, he did what most people do on their 21st birthday, he went out to celebrate and over drank. Two days after a night of bar hopping he found himself in the Iowa City Police Station being charged with second degree murder. He life was was turned upside down because of a choice he had made on his 21st birthday.