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The Art of Thankfulness

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If you've visited the Idaho Youth Ranch website or Facebook page recently, you will have seen this original drawing by Gina Johnson. Gina is currently a trainee in IYR’s YOUTHWORKS! program, someone who is not used to thinking of herself as an artist.

But last fall, we asked kids currently in one of our youth programs to create artwork for our annual fundraising campaign. Gina’s desire to help inspired her to reach high and create a piece that would make a difference for other kids like herself.  Among many stellar submissions that made choosing a winner very challenging, Gina's drawing got the most votes. 

“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet that my work is plastered all over the Web now where so many people can see it,” she said. “Before this, all I ever tried to draw were stick figures. But because of my faith in Idaho Youth Ranch and the hope it has brought to my life, I was able to create something surprising.”

Besides being featured on our website and Facebook page during the last six weeks of 2013, Gina’s piece also went out in thousands of letters and emails to IYR donors and supporters.

“When you’re passionate about a something like I am about YOUTHWORKS!,” Gina said, “it is possible to do things you never thought you could do.”

Gina will graduate the YOUTHWORKS! program this spring. In her spare time, she is also working on a book and research project about the benefits of video gaming.

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