Thursday, June 3, 2010
The weather was nice so we did advancements out by the upper pond! This week we had quite a few big advancements, we had 4 students get Graduate, 1 get Director, and 1 get Manager. I'm always impressed with the speeches the students prepare and the things they accomplish as they apply what they learn at Diamond Ranch. I decided to share one of our advancement speeches from today, so you can get a feel for how impressive our students are!
"Today is a great day. I'm finally going up for Graduate! I have learned more at the Director level than any other level about myself. I am a leader, a friend, and most of all a mentor. I have found myself to be doing things that I would have never thought possible without DRA. Before the home visit, I wasn't sure about how I was going to deal with my addiction. It seemed to be all that I could think about, but I was determined to succeed and overcome. When I arrived home something was different. It is hard to describe, but it seemed as it did when I was a kid. I was happy! Everyone was getting along and having so much fun (something I never though possible without drugs). There was a single moment in which I looked over at the smiling faces of my family and right then I had an epiphany: I never wanted to use again. With this weight off my shoulders, I realized something about myself. I can accomplish anything with determination, love, and hard work.
With these essential factors, I have found that I have accomplished a personal affirmation: balancing work and play. When I first came to DRA my whole world was revolving around "having fun." I simply didn't have any work ethic. At Director I have discovered that work is the key to the door of success. Once you have that key, the door is your gateway to a happy accomplished life. Simply put, work comes first. There have been many instances where I would have rather played than stay buckled down to a most difficult task. In the end, I have learned to bite my lip and get the show on the road. Probably my biggest change here at Diamond Ranch was to learn this important life lesson.
Although I feel accomplished, I still have many goals and personal kinks to work out at the Graduate level. The motto of Graduate is to "Serve Others." As this is a motto for the level, it is a motto of my life that I really need to take grasp of. Before going home I have already made a commitment to finish the 10th grade. Although I would much rather go home and play, this has been an important affirmation of mine, and the work needs to come first. i also wish to become one of the best O&A Mentors. All in all I've accomplished a lot of work. I've made changes I've desperately needed to make, and I'm very confident when I say that I AM GRADUATE MATERIAL!"
Here's another quote from one of the other speeches:
"I finally feel secure with who I am. This took a ton of time to achieve. I've learned to stand up for what is right, without worrying about what people think of me. As a white personality this hasn't been easy, but I feel it is my biggest accomplishment."
The Student Advancement Team (Ben and Chris)