It is strange the twists and turns our life journeys take us on. I have been reflecting these past few weeks about my time here at St. Joseph’s Indian School and about the impact the students made upon my life. I was thinking of one particular student I used as an example of going above and beyond what is asked of any of us. For many years, I used her as an example of her selfless action to help another in need in several of my classes.
Years ago, when this girl was in sixth grade, she had beautiful long hair and was very proud of it. One day she heard about a woman undergoing chemo therapy and was losing her hair and was in need of a wig. My student had her head shaved and donated all of her hair to help make a wig for this woman dealing with cancer. This past Friday, after several years of not seeing her, I bumped into her at a store. We were so glad to see one another and I was amazed at what a beautiful young woman she had grown into. I spoke to her husband and related what she had done in my class and he said she was still a woman of conviction and great compassion. This young woman is a true example of one the success stories of St. Joseph’s Indian School.
I am so proud of all of the students I’ve worked with. They have touched me, and I hope I have also had an impact on them. Some of the eighth graders have commented that we have known each other for eight years and, as they embark on a new journey, so shall I.
I have known my mentor match since first grade, when he hid in the closest of the classroom and would not speak to anyone but me! Now, he towers over me and is still growing (and I am over six feet in height!).
I will miss each student here and I thank each one for allowing me into their lives and trusting me with their stories of growing up Lakota. What an honor I have been bestowed with.
To all, I wish you peace and joy each day of your lives. Never stop dreaming and make those dreams become reality. I have always lived my life so there would never be any “should of, could of, would of…” and never stop believing, as Anne Frank said, “In the goodness of people.”