The following are speeches given by residents at Home On The Range at our annual banquets. While the residents’ names have been fictionalized, the stories are genuine and will give you a personal perspective on the important work done at Home On The Range.
Resident’s Speech Given at North Dakota State Knights of Columbus Convention and Home On The Range Spring Banquet
I am fifteen years old, from Williston, North Dakota. As of now, until May 24, I reside at Home on the Range. My parents got divorced when I was twelve years old. I have two older sisters that I am very close to and a nephew that means the absolute world to me. I love my family very much. I got sent to Home on the Range September 12, 2011. I was sent there because of my frequent drug use, my unruly behavior, and runaway charges.
While being at Home on the Range I have learned a lot about myself and my life. I’ve learn that the life I was living before wasn’t a life at all. For the longest time I was involved in things that would eventually destroy me, but at that time, I didn’t care at all. I hurt my family so many times and really, I knew that I couldn’t do this for the rest of my life. Eventually I would fall flat on my face, but nobody would be there for me because I would have driven them all away. I learned that I needed to change my life in order to save it. I needed to change. And the more time I spent here, the more I wanted to.
Staying at HOTR I have developed a lot of relationships. I have incredible relationships with the staff and have met a couple girls that I have grown incredibly close to. But the number one thing I owe to HOTR is finding my relationship with God. Finding my faith is the biggest reason why I’m glad I came here. This establishment focuses a lot of its time to show young people, like myself, that there is a higher power out there; that there is more to living than just living for drugs, or sex, or money. To live for God, it’s one of the best highs that you could ever encounter. With that, I’m working my way on a narrow path towards a better life, and I’m doing it for Jesus Christ, my family, and myself of course. I’m working on being the best person I can possibly be.
Of course, being put into a placement isn’t easy. Not at first anyways. It was a very hard adjustment for me to make. I had never been in a placement before Home on the Range, and it was just difficult for me to believe that this was even happening to me. I had everything taken away from me in a day. I fought with my family a lot. At the beginning I held a hateful grudge against them for sending me away. But once they were gone, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I missed them so much. I missed my friends, I missed my job, I missed my school, and I missed the dirty town of Williston! You never really know what you have until it gets taken away from you. Lucky for me, I realized that before it was too late.
I get discharged soon, when the school year is over, and I have brilliant plans for myself in the near future. I plan on graduating high school with good grades. I plan on keeping my faith strong. And I plan on staying sober. As for the distant future, I plan to go to college; hopefully I’ll get accepted into an art academy and from there, sell my art in the state of Colorado. I am no longer willing to waste my life. I’m going to go far, I’m going to tell people of my story, how God and Home on the Range saved my life, and I’m going to live, because I’ve missed out on so much because of my addiction.
I have so many to thank for helping me through this life-changing journey: My family, who never gave up on me. Sometimes I think they should have, because I was no angel. I thank them for being there for me, for having faith that I could change my ways, and for loving me enough to let me go for a while. The staff at Home on the Range, who had to deal with every outburst in the dorm, but still be there for me when I had a bad day. I owe them so much. Because of these people, I would not be standing here today, in front of you all, telling you my story. I would not be striving to fix my life. So I thank them. I thank them with all of my heart and my soul. Because of them, I am finally happy with who I am becoming.
Thank you very much for your time.