Kevin Powell is the House manager at House 1. He and his wife April began working with O’Connell in August of 2016, hired on as House parents. April and Kevin come from Northwest Ohio, and Southeast Michigan. April was in Foster care from the age 5 until she aged out at 18. Because of this experience, she developed a calling to help children and give back. April and Kevin have also worked in the developmentally disabled field. Kevin attended College in McPherson Ks at Central Christian College. He majored in Residential Construction and service missions.
The Powells have recently begun the process of adopting a boy they had in their home for 2 1/2 years. The Powells reside off campus. Kevin grew up in an adult foster care home setting, At 19 Kevin began working with teens at Living Waters Circle C Ranch in Delevan N.Y. While there, an administrator saw a gift in Kevin, and began asking Kevin to work with Difficult and handicap Children. Kevin never looked back.
Kevin is a work in progress as he believes in fundamental old ways of doing things. He is slowly developing new methods to better suit the boys here at the Ranch. Kevin is also joined by his step son Bryan who is also an employee of the Ranch.
Maxwell Shockley is the House Manager at O’Connell Youth Ranch, House 2, where he leads a gifted and collaborative team. He aspires for all youth in his home to feel heard, enjoyed, and accepted, while serving them with guidance, teaching, and care. Maxwell seeks to create a therapeutic atmosphere at House 2 of stability and joy. Maxwell earned his Bachelor’s in Economics from The University of Missouri-Kansas City. He continued with Master’s level coursework in spirituality and comedy at the Global Center for Advanced Studies, while trying out stand up comedy and exploring puppetry. (Max continues to use his interest in puppets to teach O’Connell youth through puppet role plays.) Max then helped run youth ministries and co-founded a successful overstock furniture store, pioneering and refining its e-commerce and social media marketing for about 9 years. Maxwell then had a sense, after an unexpected season of burnout and anxiety, that he needed to realign with his personal gifts and mission. He prayed that God would give him something to do involving counseling, teaching, or pastoral work. When COVID-19 hit, emergency hires were needed at O’Connell Youth Ranch. Maxwell recognized the opportunity to join with his great brother and fellow staff member, Dr. Addison Shockley, whom he has enjoyed working at the ranch ever since! Outside of work, Maxwell’s habits of reading, drinking tea, taking care of his house, spending time with loved ones, and his interests in alternative therapy, NLP, and positive psychology keep him pretty busy.
Joe Randolph holds a special tie to O’Connell. Joe spent his early life in and out of foster care because of abuse and neglect by his biological parents. He was eventually placed at OYR at age 14 and he was placed here at House 3 where he met his now adoptive parents, Ryan and Hanna Randolph. He remained as a resident here for nearly 3 years before aging out of the system at 18. Once Joe aged out of the system, he consented to an adult adoption by his former house parents. Joe now is the live-in manager for house 3, he credits Jesus, his adoptive family and OYR with providing a foundation of security, stability and meaning.
Joe attended Ottawa University before landing a full-time driving position at UPS. He later felt called to work with children after volunteering at the local job training program Van Go Mobile Arts. He later co-ran a emotional regulation group for youth with the Elizabeth Layton Center in Ottawa Kansas part time. In seeking full time work with children, he left his position at UPS and began working with youth at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center, and later the Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center for a total of 8 years of experience.
He served on the Kansas Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and Authority, the Youth Committee, and the Governors Social Services Policy Council. He also volunteers with the youth at Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church here in Lawrence where his parent’s are prominent leaders. He brings a rare disposition to the ranch in his experiences that serve our clients well.