We PLEDGE to serve every student with Christ-like compassion, respect, and guidance.
We COMMIT to address the needs of students and to assist them in the development of godly character.
We DEDICATE ourselves to mentor and nurture meaningful relationships, inspiring hope for the future.
Ralph Fraser – M.A. Executive Director
Ralph grew up in Maine and is a big fan of the Red Sox and the Patriots. He loves to play golf, to be near the ocean, and to be anywhere close to the mountains. He is a licensed Dad-joke teller and a rich man where it matters most with the blessings of his wife Sherry and his three children, Alyssa, Ryan, and Logan. Ralph served in local church ministry for 25 years as a Youth and Lead Pastor. He has a BA in Youth Ministry from Eastern Nazarene College and a Masters of Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University with a focus in Crisis and Trauma. He loves Jesus, knows what it means to be lost and broken, and has experienced first-hand the rescuing hand of God in his life. He is humbled and honored to be part of the team at TCBA in the mission of helping broken young men and their families find hope and remedy in Christ.
Samantha Rodriguez – A.A. Admissions Coordinator
Samantha is a Florida native, growing up in Vero Beach until Her parents stepped into full time missions. She has traveled to 3 continents, and has been involved in ministry for her whole life. Samantha and her husband Victor met while working at a Christian summer camp and love to serve together. They know that it was God who brought them together and have dedicated their lives to serving the next generation. Samantha has a huge passion to see people become the best version of themselves through Christ, and she believes that in Christ there is hope and restoration for all people. Samantha is excited to be a part of the TCBA family and looks forward to seeing more lives transformed through the Teen Challenge Program.
Michael Lindsey Smith, M.T. – Lead Counselor
Lindsey was born in Columbus, Georgia. In 1983 he went to Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee where he earned a B.S. in Biblical Theology. Following his graduation, he and his wife founded a church where he was senior pastor for thirty years. While there, he earned a Master’s in Theology from Beacon University. In 2015 he and his wife moved to Vero Beach, Florida continuing in ministry through mission work in Haiti. In 2018, he joined the team at the Ranch as a counselor. Employing 38 years of ministry experience, 34 years of marriage, raising 3 children to adulthood, and being a devoted Christian for 42 years, Lindsey offers a seasoned and empathetic biblical and pastoral approach to the young men and their families taking advantage of this compassionate opportunity at TCBA Vero Beach.
Joel Miller, B.S. – Teacher
Joel is one of our teachers at TCBA and assists the students by tutoring math. Joel earned his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology at Berea College in 1997 and has been teaching for over 22 years. Prior to coming to TCBA, Joel taught Math, Graphic Design, and Video Production for 8 years at Oneida Baptist Institute, and also taught these same subjects for 14 years at ITT Technical Institute prior to that.
Joel and his wife Stacy have 4 children – Nathaniel, Tyler, Luna, and Jose. Their family moved to Florida from Kentucky on the fourth of July of 2020 and have been enjoying Florida life. Joel has been a Christian for 27 years and says he has been amazed at how God has worked in his life and in the lives of his family. When he is not working Joel spends his time studying God’s Word, spending time with his family, playing golf, painting, woodworking, and exercise.
Tim Erikson D.D.S – Math Tutor
Tim grew up in northern Minnesota, along the north shore of Lake Superior. He accepted Jesus as his savior at a young age and has been endeavoring to serve God as a part of the same church body for over 60 years. He went to college in British Columbia, Canada where he met his wife, Karen. After earning an A.S. degree at Trinity Junior College, he went on to earn a B.A. and D.D.S at the University of Minnesota. After two years in the Navy Dental Corps, Subic Bay, Philippines, Tim and Karen moved back to Tim’s hometown, where he practiced dentistry for 38 years while Karen was the business manager. He tutored many of his younger patients in math and science. He supported the work of a local Teen Challenge and saw many of the Teen Challenge residents as patients. So, when Tim and Karen retired and moved to Florida, it was a blessing to Tim to find Treasure Coast Boys Academy. At the academy, he tutors math, physics, chemistry and teaches Dave Ramsey’s teen course in Financial Management. Time and Karen have two sons and eight grandchildren. Through the ups and downs of life, God provides, and Tim gives him all the glory; God is good, all the time!
Stacy Miller B.A. – Reading / English Tutor
Stacy is one of our English and History tutors at TBCA. Before moving to Florida in 2020, Stacy and her husband served as High School teachers at a Christian boarding school in Eastern Kentucky for 8 years. Stacy first heard the gospel at the age of 12 and committed her life to love and serve Christ. She enjoys working with children but her true passion is ministering to teens and encouraging youth to grow in their relationship with the Lord. Her time in the classroom has forged a love for young people and she feels blessed to work at TCBA. It has been a privilege to see the academic growth in her students at Teen Challenge.
Justin Larson, CCA – Program Manager
One morning Justin woke to a conversation with his parents telling him that they were separating. It was one of the hardest conversations he has ever been a part of. Justin did not know who to blame so he just got mad at everyone. His anger started to cause him to act out at home and at school. His parents saw Justen heading down a bad path. They decided to reach out to Teen Challenge for help.
Justin resented his parents in the beginning for their choice. Through the course of the program, Justin’s life was changed. His relationship with his family was restored. As Justin got closer to graduation he decided he wanted to come back and help other kids just like him. He graduated from the program, did a year internship, and came back as staff. He works as Direct Care, helping oversee evening schedule and activities.
Keith Ratamess – M.A. Direct Care
Keith grew up in the industrial town of Berwick Pennsylvania. Growing up he always felt his calling was way beyond the walls of Berwick. Having no relationship with Jesus, growing up there was always that vacuum in his heart which he tried to fill with sports, and other things. In June of 1997 Jesus met him right where he was in Knoxville Tennessee where he gave his heart to Jesus. Eventually he became a chef and fell back into the world and it’s pursuits. In September 2001 after 9-11 he rededicated his life to Christ and has been called into various facets of Preaching and Youth Ministry along with earning a bachelors in double ministry of Youth Ministry/Preaching from Johnson University in Knoxville Tennessee and a Masters of Arts in Bible Teaching from Columbia International University in Columbia South Carolina. He has spent the last 9 plus years working with neglected and troubled teenagers in Tennessee, and North Carolina. As Father God has molded him into the man he is today his heart is fully and unapologetically fixed on Jesus. Jeremiah 29:11-13 is his life verse.
Rev. Nicholas Wagner – Kitchen Manager
Nicholas is from upstate New York and relocated to the Treasure Coast. He has lived a life pursuing many passions from varsity sports in high school to attending college in pursuit of his childhood dream of being a meteorologist. Like many young people in college, he drifted from the path of pursuing his goals to a life that lacked direction and guidance. It was during this time that he came to know and love the Lord. This is when his true desire was born to see and help students like himself who have lost direction and given themselves over to life-controlling issues. He is passionate about helping to provide direction and guidance to young men so that they can achieve their goals and dreams. He’s worked at Treasure Coast Academy for the last two years, is a credentialed minister, and is currently finishing his degree at Indian River State College.
Victor Rodriguez – Program Assistant
Victor was born and raised in Central Florida. He grew up in Kissimmee amidst the hustle and bustle of Florida tourism. Trouble was never too far or hard to find. Sports kept him busy in high school and out of the worst of it all. After graduating, life took an interesting turn. Amidst family turmoil and divorces, Victor broke his ankle, derailing his plans for the future. He struggled with depression and anxiety until having an encounter with Jesus that changed him forever. After that, Victor gave his life to working with troubled youth like himself and has been doing so for the last six years. Victor worked with youth at Life for Youth Camp and interned at a local church before coming to work with Treasure Coast Academy. Victor is passionate for change in this generation and believes that it starts with our youth today. He loves to read in his free time and his friends would describe him as passionate and determined.
Elias Hindi – 6th Generation Cowboy
Elias Hindi is a seasoned horse trainer who hails from Gunnison Colorado. He has grown up with horses as a 6th generation horse trainer on his father’s side and a 2nd generation horse trainer on his mother’s side. Elias has worked alongside his father breaking and starting young horses since his youngest ages and officially kicked off his career by starting some colts for a family friend at the age of 12. His mother, Deborah Hindi, is a licensed USDF trainer who specializes in performance dressage horses and has helped to refine Elias’s riding skills and broaden his training methods.
Elias’ training did not stop with his parents. He continued his training under Johnny Leverrett who specializes in starting young horses and rehabilitating troubled horses. Elias then came to Florida with his mother and her competition horses to get away from the cold of Colorado and continue his training. While here in Florida, He assisted Leah Winston, a dressage trainer at Martin Downs Equestrian Center, start her talented Oldenburg colt and continued working with her starting other young horses. He also rode under Christian Schacht who is a world-renowned dressage trainer and clinician from Germany.
Elias believes that each horse learns in its own unique way and should be treated as an individual. His goal is to create a working partnership between horse and rider. For this reason he uses a combination of methods from his cutting, reining, working cow horse and dressage backgrounds. He currently specializes in all those areas in addition to offering spook training. He believes that by using multiple methods his horses will be well-rounded, have better work ethic and will excel in their respective jobs. While being able to train horses, he believes that the youth of today have an opportunity to experience the unique relationships that people can have with horses. He also believes horses have the ability to build a therapeutic rapport with today’s youth and help overcome boys behavioral challenges.