Blog

Dakota Family Services Adds Nurse Practitioner in Fargo

Dakota Family Services Adds Nurse Practitioner in Fargo

Vanessa Lien, DNP, APRN, NP-C, recently joined Dakota Family Services, an outpatient behavioral health clinic. Vanessa will diagnose psychiatric and behavioral health conditions, as well as provide medication management to clients of all ages.…

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So Much More Than His Labels

So Much More Than His Labels

It is in these simple moments that I feel the presence of God. Here is a child abandoned by his family and so many others, reaching towards the future with hopeful optimism. Not every day...Daniel continues to have bad days, and he will his entire life. But on this day, he was very proud of the tomatoes and peppers he planted, tended, and harvested.…

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"I Can Do It!"

"I Can Do It!"

Our on-campus school district, Dakota Memorial School (DMS), is a remarkable place. Teachers at DMS use trauma-sensitive approaches to learning in balanced learning environment classrooms. What does that mean? It means we understand that for most Ranch kids, school has been a place of failure. To survive amidst chaos and traumatic experiences most of us can't even imagine, they developed "undesirable" behaviors that make it hard to learn.…

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A Modern Pioneer Spirit

A Modern Pioneer Spirit

Some people have the incredible ability to turn grief into generosity. That is certainly the case with long-time Ranch donor, Marlys Lindgren, from Hutchinson, MN.…

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Classrooms Come Alive

Classrooms Come Alive

Cher Baggett's classroom was a barnyard...literally. Hay, pine chips, heat lamps, and chickens. On the other side of Dakota Memorial School (DMS), the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, high school students were learning the math and science behind boat design and flotation, and ultimately, building a wooden boat!…

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Thank You for Doing Stuff

Thank You for Doing Stuff

He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" -Luke 10:27 I appreciate how Bob Goff, the author of Love Does, paraphrases this verse. He says, "Love God, Love People, and Do Stuff."…

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What is Your Personal Bandwidth?

What is Your Personal Bandwidth?

I was listening to a speaker the other day talk about how it is almost a status symbol in today’s workplace to be overwhelmed by projects, input, decisions, information, and policies. The speaker suggested that a more successful approach was to measure and respect our own “personal bandwidth.”…

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Woke Up to a Tornado Warning at 3 a.m.

Woke Up to a Tornado Warning at 3 a.m.

Over the past month, I have been reminded that life is filled with the unexpected and that every moment we are present for it, is a gracious gift from God. I awoke with a start at 3 a.m. while on vacation in Florida last week. The Emergency notice on my phone started beeping and announced, "Seek shelter immediately, a tornado has been spotted in your area!"…

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Get Your Financial Ducks in a Row

Get Your Financial Ducks in a Row

As Christians, we know that God loves us, forgives our sins, and brings us into eternal life, but as humans, facing our own mortality can be uncomfortable. This may be why so many people in the United States pass on without a will. Another reason could be that talking about money with others can also feel uncomfortable.…

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Showing Up to Help Ranch Children Be Successful

Showing Up to Help Ranch Children Be Successful

At Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, we work very hard, in Christ's name, to help the kids who come to the Ranch to find their best selves. I believe the dedicated staff who work with our kids bring their own best selves and their unique talents to this place. By sharing their talents and passions, they set examples for the children. They show us how we can each be our true selves and make an impact in the world.…

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Eight Ways to Make a Tax-deductible Gift to Your Favorite Charity

Eight Ways to Make a Tax-deductible Gift to Your Favorite Charity

By making a gift to the Ranch or your favorite charity, you can pay less in taxes, avoid capital gains tax, and direct your treasures to where you want them to go.…

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Three Ways to Pass On Assets Outside of Your Will

Three Ways to Pass On Assets Outside of Your Will

While everyone should talk to an attorney about a formal plan, you can pass on some of your assets outside of a will. To make sure your loved ones are cared for after you are gone, you can...…

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Looking for an Easy Way to Help Ranch Kids This Year

Looking for an Easy Way to Help Ranch Kids This Year

An IRA Rollover is a simple and easy way to provide hope and healing for the troubled, complicated, and amazing kids at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch.…

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Passing Down Your Family Values

Passing Down Your Family Values

In his book, “30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans,” Karl Pillemer interviewed more than 1,200 people, most ages 70 and up, and said most saw transmitting their values and core principles as their most important legacy. Our heirs prefer shared values over material items too.…

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Bringing Light to Dark Places

Bringing Light to Dark Places

"We are present in order to create moments of illumination. Not enlightenment moments necessarily, though those may occur. Not constant "aha" moments since that is difficult to sustain. But illumination. Light. Clarity. We bring light to dark places and situations through our presence. We also bring Christ's presence which brings the ultimate Light.…

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The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

It's hard to think about dying. I do know I will eventually die—we all will. But knowing that doesn't make it easier to think about. If we are hesitant to even think about our death, it makes sense that we also put off the planning that goes along with it. I recently stumbled on a little book titled, "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning," by Margareta Magnuson. Margareta's words turned my thoughts towards the responsibilities I have to get my affairs in order so my death is easier on my loved on—at least regarding the distribution of my belongings and assets. Her words even helped me find a measure of delight in the process. Really.…

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A Moment of Prayer

A Moment of Prayer

On September 25, the students on the Ranch's Dakota Memorial School campuses gathered around the flagpole for the annual See You At The Pole event. This is a gathering and encouragement of our nation's schools and leadership through prayer. The idea is that before school, all across our country, students and faculty meet around their flagpoles for a few moments of prayer.…

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Taking Mentoring for a Ride

Taking Mentoring for a Ride

You might think putting at-risk youth and speedy mini-bikes together, then sending them riding on Ranch trails, is a dangerous combination. Yet that is exactly what we do at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch through NYPUM. NYPUM (National Youth Program Using Minibikes), a nationwide network of nearly 50 programs sponsored by the National Honda Motor Company, is an innovative way to engage at-risk youth. NYPUM positively affects kids' social, emotional, and psychological development.…

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Saved From Cancer to Do God's Work

Saved From Cancer to Do God's Work

I hope our kids hear that small, quiet voice of the Lord directing them—just as I did nearly 30 years ago. God has a plan for each of them, and they are a valuable part of His grand design.…

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Do Not Grow Weary of Well-Doing

Do Not Grow Weary of Well-Doing

That is what we are here to do..."To help at-risk kids and their families succeed in the name of Christ." And, when we see that mission fulfilled in even one child, we are energized for the next and the next. We continue the "well-doing," and we never grow weary of seeing the beauty of a child becoming their best self.…

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Elmer & Kaya Berg Foundation Grants $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Elmer & Kaya Berg Foundation Grants $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Elmer & Kaya Berg Foundation awarded $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to continue providing therapeutic residential and educational services to youth and families at its Fargo campus.…

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Verendrye Electric Cooperative Grants $2,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Verendrye Electric Cooperative Grants $2,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Verendrye Electric Cooperative awarded $2,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, Minot, to purchase recliners for one of the children’s cottages.…

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Making the World a Better Place

Making the World a Better Place

When I visit with people who work at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch with me, I am always heartened to find that Ranchers know, regardless of their role, that they too can make a difference in the lives of the kids we serve. One person can make a tremendous impact on a child's life...but we never know which person and which moment might make the connection that changes everything. We are all in this together!…

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New Therapist Joins Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

New Therapist Joins Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch recently hired Connie Rod, Licensed Addiction Counselor, as a therapist for children in residential treatment on its Minot campus.…

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Lucas Mitzel, LMSW, joins Dakota Family Services

Lucas Mitzel, LMSW, joins Dakota Family Services

Dakota Family Services recently hired Lucas Mitzel to provide outpatient therapy in Fargo. Mitzel, a Licensed Master Social Worker, will provide behavioral health therapy for children, adolescents, and adults ages 5-30.…

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