The Hero Within
CBR YouthConnect has a deep history in Colorado. For nearly 50 years, we served youth at the Heritage Center (aka ‘The Colorado Boys Ranch’), a national residential psychiatric and educational facility in La Junta, Colorado.
In 2007, the book A Hero Within: Healing Troubled Boys at the Colorado Boys Ranch, was published, which examined the programs and treatment methods of the ranch told through the words of the youth and their mentors.
“We wrote ‘The Hero Within’ to advocate for troubled youth across the nation,” said Cynthia Quicksall Landsberg, who co-authored the book with Judith Pettibone. A chapter in the book is devoted to Landsberg’s late husband, David Quicksall, who was a CBR resident from 1964 to 1968.
The Hero Within: Healing Troubled Boys at the Colorado Boys Ranch examines the programs and treatment methods of the ranch told through the words of the boys and their mentors.
The stories capture the deep-rooted pain and anguish that these former residents experienced. But, their stories also shine a national spotlight on the fact that, with the help of caring professionals, these perseverant and resilient boys can find their own hero within and achieve hope and healing.
A chapter in the book is devoted to Landsberg’s late husband, David Quicksall, who was a CBR resident from 1964 to 1968. The power of this book is its focus on a positive and proven rehabilitative program for at-risk boys that helps them to become productive citizens, rather than inmates of our prison and jail systems.
The need for change within the U.S. justice system is addressed in this collection of stories. The book’s preface, written by Bob Pence, former national chairman of Coalition for Juvenile Justice, outlines the evolution and challenging state of America’s current juvenile justice system, citing that more than half of all juveniles committed to correctional facilities have diagnosable mental disorders. Understanding this pathwayfrom childhood trauma to mental illness and juvenile delinquency is further discussed in the book.
About the Authors
Cynthia Quicksall Landsberg attended Regis College in Denver and earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Colorado. As a registered nurse, Landsberg worked with premature infants at Denver Children’s Hospital and also worked as a public health nurse in Colorado Springs. She married attorney David Quicksall, a former Colorado Boys Rancher, and worked as a freelance writer while raising their two daughters. In 1985, her husband was diagnosed with leukemia and died in 1991. Landsberg later earned a degree in English from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and in 1993 married attorney Bill Landsberg, who adopted Cynthia’s daughters. They also have a son. Landsberg currently serves on the board of directors for the Colorado Boys Ranch Foundation as well as the Board of Directors of Colorado Association of Family and Children’s Agencies. She and her family reside in Monument, Colorado.
Judith Pettibone has been writing for newspapers and magazines as a freelance writer an personal essayist for more than 25 years in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in occupational therapy from Boston University. As a Lamaze instructor, she wrote and coproduced a pregnancy exercise video, Pregnant and Fit, and wrote informational columns on the prenatal period. She is now the director of a social service agency and community resource center. Pettibone and her husband of 32 years, Tom Graham, have two grown daughters and reside in Monument, Colorado.