Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota

Success Stories

Residential Programs For Children & Youth, New Beginnings: Jamie

Jamie knows better than to go home after school some nights - just in case.

She lives with her grandma, and Thursday is Grandma's night to "play the machines" at the casino. If Grandma wins, she is happy. If she loses, she takes it out on 13 year old Jamie. Jamie never knows which Grandma will come home.

In 2008, more than 2,043 South Dakota children like Jamie were removed from their homes by the Department of Social Services because of abuse and neglect.

Jamie began skipping school when the abuse started and her grades suffered. When she did show up for school, she was in detention. She eventually fell in with a bad crowd and began getting into serious trouble for her angry behavior. Eventually, Jamie was referred to Lutheran Social Services' New Beginnings in Aberdeen for help.

Nearly 400 children and youth found hope and healing at the LSS residential care programs across South Dakota in 2008.

At the New Beginnings Center, Jamie found acceptance and the healthy environment that was lacking at home. She's now getting all passing grades and learning to deal with her anger.

"I wanna do better, go home," she says. "I wanna be a role model for my cousins."

Today, Jamie has a mentor from her hometown who visits her at New Beginnings. This relationship has motivated her to keep making progress. When she goes home, the mentor will be there waiting, helping her keep on the positive path she's found through NBC.

"I know I fell down," Jamie says, "but God has put us here so He can pick us back up."