When my girls were little, they used to sing a song by the Gaither Vocal Band's Homecoming Kids, called "I am a Promise." You may be familiar with it. The refrain goes like this:
I am a promise,
I am a possibility
I am a promise with a capital "P"
I am a great big bundle of po-ten-ti-ality
And I am learning to hear God's voice, and I am tryin'
To make the right choices
I'm a promise to be...anything God wants me to be.
This song has been replaying in my thoughts as I think about our Ranch kids, the situations they have lived through in their childhoods, and how they come to us with little hope for their futures.
In February, I had the opportunity to attend the Ranch's Arizona Donor Appreciation Luncheons, where we had the privilege of hearing from one of our past residents. Emily shared her story of a difficult childhood with challenging relationships—all leading to drug addiction. She lived through the death of her best friend, due to a drug overdose, and the unexpected loss of her father.
Emily came to us with no real hope for her future. Looking back, she credits her time spent at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch as significant in turning her life around. While here, she received help and treatment, through which she gained hope in the possibilities life held for her.
When Emily made the decision to attend college, the Ranch continued to assist her by providing an education scholarship for tuition. She held herself accountable and worked hard, buoyed by the fact that people were supporting her and believed in her.
Emily went on to achieve a 4.0 GPA, graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering. From that point, this remarkable young woman went still further, earning a master's degree with a focus on Water Treatment & Purification.
Like so many of our Ranch kids, there was a time when Emily certainly didn't believe in herself. She did not realize her potential or the plan God had for her life. Yet today, Emily stands strong and resilient; capable and confident, a beautiful, genuine young woman...who surely has promise!
Thank you for helping make stories like Emily's possible. You cheer our kids on with your prayers and support, believing in their POTENTIAL, helping precious children realize that they indeed have PROMISE, that their lives certainly have POSSIBILITIES, and that the God who loves them, surely has a PLAN for their lives.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is a Christian residential treatment and educational center for children and their families. We help the most troubled, complicated, and amazing kids by providing best-in-class psychiatric therapy and trauma-informed care, where we look kids in the eye, walk with them, and help them become their best selves.