Graduation and Giving Yourself Grace

Picture of Written by Colby

Written by Colby

Community Development Coordinator

Ever spend three hours working hard only to accomplish what seems like nothing?

And then struggle giving yourself grace? I know I have. For example, this past Wednesday, I spent all morning working on grants. This is how I spent it:

  • 1 hour typing
  • 30 minutes deleting  
  • 30 more minutes retyping  
  • 45 minutes doing “research”  
  • 15 minutes of briskly walking off my frustration.

By 12:45pm, I had only answered one question. Frustrated, I said to myself:

“You are never going to figure this out.” 

Realizing the time, I left my office and headed to the cafeteria only to find the lunch line closed early. I enjoy the meals our cooks prepare for our residents, and I was disappointed that I missed my only option for lunch that day. However, on my way out, I noticed black and yellow cupcakes on a decorated table under a banner that said, “We are proud of you.” Stopping, I realized the cause for my empty stomach- it was graduation day and I was just in time for the ceremony.

That afternoon, I left the ceremony feeling filled up. But, it was not because of the cupcakes. 

A sole student at the Ranch was set to receive their diploma from Pleasant Hope School District that day. However, based on the crowded tables, decorations, and restlessness of the staff and residents, you’d think there were a hundred graduating. The grinning graduate walked to Pomp and Circumstance alongside members of the board of education, the Superintendent of the district, and the Principal of the Ranch School to the front of the dining hall. 

When they arrived at the front of the room, the principal shared a collection of our staff’s memories of the student. Unsurprisingly, his work ethic and warm smile were mentioned again and again.

Quinton*, the graduate of the hour, is a resident at the Ranch and is in the final stages of our treatment program. During his time with us, Quinton has been exploring the trauma he has experienced in his life. Additionally, he has learned how this trauma relates to negative choices he has made in the past. Alongside his therapist, he has had to learn to forgive himself and to be patient with himself as he develops his ability to manage his emotions and behaviors. 

The principal ended his time with a quote from the student himself:

“Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress. You arrive a little at a time, not all at once.” 

Looking back on my frustrations from the morning, I realized that these words were exactly what I needed to hear. Quinton reminded me of the importance of giving myself grace. Undoubtedly, these are words I need to hear every day. And I mean that literally! In fact, I wrote those words on my office whiteboard immediately after the ceremony.

Want to learn more?

Quinton is just one of 150 youth and families we work with over the year. As I continue to work at the Ranch, I look forward to the lessons they will teach me.

Do you love what Good Samaritan does for youth like Quinton? Do you find yourself having a hard time explaining how we do it?

If so, you’re not alone! If you want to learn more about the lessons that Quinton learns while in trauma-informed residential treatment, send us an email se we can fill you in on all the nuts and bolts. 😊

 Contact Us!


Phone: (417) 376-2238

*The name of the resident has been changed to conceal their identity.