Most of the children who come to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch have not been treated with respect.
Most are trauma survivors. The very definition of a trauma survivor is someone who has suffered because of an absence of power. Perhaps it was an abuser, or poverty, or drug addiction, or death, but something in their lives exercised extreme power over them. That disparity led to them being abused, neglected, injured, and suffering. They are deeply hurt.
Yet, one of the elective courses at Dakota Memorial School, Minot is Leadership.
Often, when we hear about leadership development for young people, we think about the valedictorians and star athletes. We don’t usually consider the children who are receiving residential treatment.
But every day, these kids amaze me. In one class project, the kids needed to communicate with me. When I challenged them on a decision they had reached (which I fully supported, but wanted to hear their rationale), they responded with this thought, ”In our class discussion, we spoke on how leaders can’t just press their personal beliefs on others. Leaders have to be respectful to all ‘walks of life’ – in words and actions.”
These kids, who have rarely been shown respect, know better than most how important it is. These young leaders will teach us much in the years ahead.
Please keep our children and staff in your prayers.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
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