Kid Stories

"Perfect" by Dr. Monte Selby; A Song About Ranch Kids

"Perfect" by Dr. Monte Selby; A Song About Ranch Kids

One of the most important things children discover in their time at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is their "voice." Most of our trauma-affected kids have been told what they are, what they think, why they are failures, and why they will always be failures. Through hard work, determination, and a commitment to their treatment and education, they begin to discover their strengths. They begin to tell their own true stories, in their own voice.…

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Belief in the Power of HOPE

Belief in the Power of HOPE

When it comes to overcoming challenges, Helen Keller (1880-1968) set the bar quite high. She was a lifelong learner, teacher, inspiration. She danced, laughed, wrote, and loved. She was deaf, blind, and had great difficulty speaking. And, she changed the world and the way we view the potential of those with special needs. Her teacher and best friend, Anne Sullivan, who was herself blind and parentless, instilled a sense of hope in the young Helen. Anne had a persistent hope that guided Helen into her future.…

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The Many Faces of Ranch Kids and Staff

The Many Faces of Ranch Kids and Staff

All of us at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch are humbled and grateful each day. First, by the opportunity to serve the Lord by serving others. Second, that the “others” we serve are precious children on a journey of hope and healing to become their best selves. Third, that so many people, like you, support our work. The attitude of gratitude we carry into each day is more than a clever rhyme, it is a worldview based on the honor we feel. We try to find every way possible to share our thankfulness with everyone.…

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A Work in Progress

A Work in Progress

A few weeks ago I was going through our cafeteria line for lunch on campus when there was a commotion at the other end of the dining center. Something had agitated one of our children, a young boy, and he threw his lunch tray on the floor. It hit with such force that the unbreakable plastic dish shattered and, of course, milk flew everywhere. Staff quickly helped the young man leave the environment and helped him use some of his coping and calming skills. In a few minutes, he was able to re-set his emotions and finish lunch.…

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Live Long and Prosper

Live Long and Prosper

I truly love the Ranch kids. They surprise me every day with their courage, resilience, desire to be their best selves. This morning as I walked through the dining room at breakfast time, several of the girls stopped me to teach them how to do the Star Trek “live long and prosper” sign with my hands. Much giggling and goofing later, we settled for them making the peace sign. For many of the children, their journey also includes their first real consideration of God and His role in their healing. Tara, whose story follows, was a child who opened her heart to the work of treatment and the word of the Lord. These children are remarkable.…

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Summer at the Ranch

Summer at the Ranch

Summer means a change of pace and new challenges for Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch kids. They look forward to summer! And why not? It’s a time for hands-on learning, fun outings, swimming, and lots more. For kids who have endured dark days of failure in school and difficulty at home, summer is a chance to “catch up” on the activities most of us take for granted.…

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Easter is a Celebration of Hope at the Ranch

Easter is a Celebration of Hope at the Ranch

Easter is a great time — maybe the best time — to focus on faith. We use this special season to help get the children thinking about Jesus, His triumph over sin and death, and what that means to them.…

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Music Focused on Faith Helps a Vulnerable Young Girl Find Hope

Music Focused on Faith Helps a Vulnerable Young Girl Find Hope

Christian music group DPB came to the Ranch to put on a concert for our kids recently. But one of our girls, Alicia, didn't want to go to the concert.…

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Donor Partnerships Make Transformation Possible!

Donor Partnerships Make Transformation Possible!

It wasn't until she came to the Ranch that 15-year-old Tara really realized how badly her life got sidetracked. "There was a lot of stress," she says. "I wanted to get out of the house. I did drugs and tried running away. And I had friends who were bad influences. They weren't good friends."…

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From Defeat and Depression to Dreams Come True

From Defeat and Depression to Dreams Come True

On the outside, Haysel looked like she had it all together. Inside, however, Haysel was suffering from severe emotional pain caused by depression and anxiety.…

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A Ranch Wedding

A Ranch Wedding

When Steven*, a former resident at the Ranch, was planning his wedding, he contacted Pastor Rick Jones to see if he could be married in the Chapel on the Minot Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch campus.…

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Young Woman Writes Story of Healing and Accomplishment

Young Woman Writes Story of Healing and Accomplishment

Writing can be a powerful tool to help kids heal.…

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D.J.'s Story

D.J.'s Story

As Vice President of Communications for the Ranch, part of my job is to bring the stories of Ranch children to the donors who support our work. I don’t work directly with the kids at the Ranch, but I see them every day. They look and sound like typical kids. As I see and hear them smile, talk, laugh, and listen to music on their iPods, it’s easy to forget the reality of what these kids have been through. But then, occasionally, I have the incredible honor of having one of these children trust me with their story. Like D.J.…

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Young Man Re-writes the Story of his Life

Dearest Ranch Friends, I was visiting our cottages during our annual Fall Festival. One of our older Ranch boys, who is now a Senior at Dakota Memorial School, was pretty dressed up for a school day. He had on a freshly pressed polo shirt and nice khaki slacks. He is a more reserved child, but he sidled up to me and just stood there expectantly. Amber, the Care Coordinator for the cottage, gently said, “I think he has something to tell you, Joy.”…

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Darkest Before the Dawn—Robbie's Story

Young man finds loving and gracious family, both in heaven and on earth.…

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"I Now Have Hope"—Rhianne's Story

We received this letter from Rhianne, a young woman who lived at the Ranch.…

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