When I first started at the Ranch, one of the girls living here really touched my heart. On the outside she was outspoken and funny. On the inside she was battling depression and anger issues that led to suicidal thoughts and feeling like she was very alone. At one point, I heard her say, “What do you expect of me? I was born into this, my Mom was an addict, her boyfriends were jerks…that’s my life.”
When she had a chance to work with a visiting songwriter, Dr. Monte Selby, she wrote a song she titled,”Family” Her lyrics give you a glimpse of the pain in her past, and her longing for connections with her family. The melody continues with hope for a future where she can make a difference in the world - a testament to the lessons she learned at the Ranch. Listen to her song here (performed by Dr. Selby and the young woman who wrote it): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXmVQJrAjao
Ranch staff helped her see that she wasn’t defined by her past—SHE could decide what she wanted her future to look like. As she healed and grew, her smile began to light the room and her laughter filled the halls. She still “lost her cool” sometimes, but she learned tools for coping and reacting in a more positive way.
Last week, I received a voicemail from her. She invited me and other Ranch staff members to her college sendoff party. In the message, she said it would be great if anyone wanted to come and, “you know, kind of show their support.” The Ranch had become a part of the family she always longed for. I teared up the moment I heard her voice. I could tell she was nervous about this big change in her life and was reaching out to people who believed in her—Ranch staff who helped her see her potential and take charge of her future.
The Ranch is so much more than a treatment facility. Every child at the Ranch knows they are surrounded by people who respect, love and care for them. When they succeed we celebrate, and when they cry we comfort them.
You are a part of our family too. We could not do this critical ministry for these special kids without you.
Senior Development Officer
Learn more about Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch at DakotaRanch.org.
You can also follow the Ranch on Facebook and Twitter.
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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.