Local Nonprofit Announces New Executive Director; Francesca Rolando Joins Candlelight Ranch

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Candlelight Ranch, a nonprofit organization committed to helping special needs and at-risk youth, is pleased to announce that Francesca Rolando has been named as its new Executive Director. In this role, she will oversee the organization and its program facility that serves nearly 2,000 special needs and at-risk youth each year.

Candlelight Ranch, a nonprofit organization committed to helping special needs and at-risk youth, is pleased to announce that Francesca Rolando has been named as its new Executive Director. In this role, she will oversee the organization and its program facility that serves nearly 2,000 special needs and at-risk youth each year.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of Candlelight Ranch, I am delighted to welcome Francesca to our organization,” said Board President Tara Gray. “Her experience, energy and demonstrated leadership will help the Ranch continue to evolve and ensure we can deliver our programs for generations to come.”

Rolando brings more than ten years of nonprofit experience to Candlelight Ranch. Most recently, she was Director of the American Field Service (AFS) Central Texas Region where she oversaw all program activities across San Antonio and Austin. She has also served as Director of Volunteers at Ride on Center for Kids (ROCK).

Candlelight Ranch provides a platform and programs to more than 30 other Central Texas agencies and groups each year, including Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, The Autism Society of Central Texas, a Glimmer of Hope Austin, and Austin Children’s Shelter, to name a few.

“It’s an honor to join Candlelight Ranch—I love the mission of this organization and look forward to helping deliver its nature-based programs to agencies across Texas,” Rolando said. “Candlelight truly is a catalyst to strengthen the connection of youth to nature, and I am excited about the important work that lies ahead.”
Francesca holds a BA in International Studies from Methodist College in Fayetteville, North Carolina and a Masters in Human Relations from The University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. In addition, she is certified in equine therapy.

About Candlelight Ranch:
Founded in 1999, Candlelight Ranch provides unique outdoor experiences for special needs and at-risk youth to learn, play and embrace the wonders of nature. The organization’s 40-acre ranch provides a platform and programs to support other Central Texas nonprofit groups and agencies. Its programs include equine therapy, ropes courses, nature exploration, zip lines, a food forest and an outdoor kitchen. The ranch is also home to one of the largest wheelchair accessible treehouses in the country.

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Gina Budd
Candlelight Ranch
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