Everyone has a story.
That is the mantra that we repeat at the Ranch. Every child, parent, staff person comes with their own history. What came before does not define their future, but it certainly does inform their future. The trauma-informed care at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is summarized as, "We don't ask what is wrong with a child, we ask what happened to the child."
By understanding each person's story, we can provide the customized treatment and support "to help at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ."
Consider this story.
E's mom died when she was eight and her father died when she was ten. She was an orphan. She was sent to live with her maternal grandmother. She was kept out of school and taught at home. At age 15 she was sent, alone, to a boarding school, far away from family and loved ones. She eventually married a man who was physically fragile. She had six children, one who died as an infant. She was taunted by the media, quite publicly, for being "homely" and "gawkish." She suffered from aplastic anemia and disseminated tuberculosis, which together with heart failure led to her death.
That's a life with a great deal of trauma.
Yet, while still vital at 76 years old, E wrote a book in which she says, "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself – 'I have lived through that horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You much do the thing you think you cannot do."
Because, like the precious children at the Ranch, she had worked her whole life to face the challenges of her trauma. And, how well did E accomplish "success"? She attended college, became an outspoken advocate for the human rights of the disenfranchised, a political force in her own right, a public speaker, editorial commentator, world traveler, author, and one of the most respected first ladies in our history... Eleanor Roosevelt.
When she was a child, no one envisioned that future for Eleanor. She chose to write her own ending for her story. Every child deserves that chance.
Thank you for helping the children at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch gain "strength, courage, and confidence" in their own journeys to "success in the name of Christ."
Please keep our kids and staff in your prayers.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
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