Last weekend, Ranch staff turned out in numbers at the 96th Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Held at a regional art museum, the staff were there to celebrate two Ranch students whose work was submitted by their teachers at Dakota Memorial School. The Scholastic competition is the country's longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative students in grades 7-12. This year, over 350,000 works of art and writing were submitted across the country. In North Dakota, 417 works were submitted, and 118 received regional honors, which include Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions, or American Visions & Voices.
Our students received Silver Key awards, one in art and the other for her essay. Both Ranch girls introduced themselves and their work to the audience with confidence and poise.
One of these girls recently transitioned back into public schools. When she came to us, she had been traumatized by horrible bullying. As she learned to control her emotions and then her behaviors, a lovely girl blossomed before our eyes. She really is delightful to spend time with and always seems to have an interesting story to share. She sees the world through an artist's eyes.
She and I talked in the cafeteria on one of her final days at the Ranch. It was obvious that she was holding back tears at leaving. I complimented her on the hard work that she has done. I told her how proud I was that she had become a leader in our school and that those skills will continue to shine no matter where she is.
I think of how wonderful it is that she was able to go back to high school with her head held high. Recognized for her talent, well-spoken in front of a large group of people, and confident because she knows who she is. She knows her best self.
Thank you for helping children realize their potential. These kids are our future. I am so grateful to witness them find their wings and fly.
God bless you always!
Senior Development Officer
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
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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.