Everyone deserves a chance to shine

The Lakota girls participated in a community hair shop this weekend, and everyone got a new ‘do!
Araya and Aralyn giggle in anticipation of curly, bouncy hair!

Yesterday, we had a Community Hair Shop to teach staff and students about braiding and decorating hair. We saw lots of cute new do’s sported around campus, and people enjoyed the time thoroughly. I promised one of our other bloggers I wouldn’t say much, and let them add more pictures and descriptions of those events.

Last night, I filled in for mass at St. James parish in downtown Chamberlain. Fr. Guy, the regular pastor, needed to be away attending to his ill father. Three of the pews were filled with very familiar folks – high school students from our St. Joseph’s program. Our older Lakota students enjoy going downtown for church when they don’t have a ballgame or something going on Saturday night. One big draw is that it gives them the chance to sleep in Sunday morning. But, I also know they enjoy taking part in the local community, and mingling with classmates and teachers from the public high school they attend.

I saw the rest of our crew Sunday morning in Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel. During the announcements Steve, our HS academic advisor, awarded the traveling academic trophies to Hogebach (HS girls) for the highest overall GPA, and to Carola (HS boys), for the fewest missing or late assignments.

There was also plenty of basketball today! Besides our girls intercity games, the Knights of Columbus and Jaycees teamed up to sponsor a Free Throw and Hot Shot contest. I saw several of our students proudly displaying trophies they’d won.

Jashon (10), Wankiya (11) and Trenton (14) took first place in their age group and will advance to the next level of state competition in two weeks!

I ran into four girls from the Afra Home (1st-3rd grade girls) walking home with their houseparent, Alice, from a trip to the dollar store where they spend some of their allowance. Mariah held out a rubber ball that bounced very high. Neveah, Loverine and Kyla clutched colorful journals they were planning to write their life stories in.

One of the books was titled, “Everyone deserves the chance to shine.”

That’s my hope for each of our students, and brought a smile to my face.

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 89 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

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