City Salute: Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch | VideoKristin Clouston | 6/7/2012
The ranch now has campuses in Minot, Bismarck and Fargo; is the largest Lutheran Social Service Agency in the state; one of North Dakota`s top 100 employers and has served children from 36 states. That`s why KFYR-TV and City Magazine are giving it our salute for June.
Things have changed a lot for Dakota Boys and Girls and Ranch.
"A lot of people think back to when the ranch was founded back in 1952 and back then typically the people would say those are your typical juvenile delinquents and those are your bad children, and that`s really not the case," said Al Evon with the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation.
In fact, 80 percent of the children come from situations where they have been physically, mentally and emotionally abused.
"We`re serving more children with more complex issues these days. We used to have kids come to us with a single issue. We don`t have any single issue children at the ranch any more," Evon said.
The ranch provides a home, schooling and therapy. Most kids stay for about nine months.
"We strongly feel a part of the therapy and the most part of being successful is having a sense of spirituality and some sense of morality, knowing what`s right and wrong," said president Gene Kaseman.
Those who work here say one of the best parts of their jobs is seeing children grow into successful adults.
"A comptroller in a larger real estate firm in Chicago, some are contractors and they have led successful lives. They may not be making huge amounts of money but they`re productive in their communities, they`re raising families, they`re doing a good job with their kids," Kaseman said.
The organization`s president says they couldn`t have come this far without community support, volunteers, donations and prayers.
For more information on the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch visit dakotaranch.org.