Guest Blogger: Julie H

Hello!  Can you believe that summer is in full swing?  Things here at St. Joseph’s Indian School, although it is summer, continue to move along swiftly!

My name is Julie and I have been here at St. Joseph’s Indian School for over 10 years.  I currently work as a Family Service Counselor.  During the school year, I stay busy seeing students for individual counseling, group counseling, and enrichment activities.  But what does a counselor do in the summer when most of the kids are gone?  Well, that is a good question!

As a Family Service Counselor at St. Joseph’s Indian School, part of my duties in the summer include traveling to see the students and families with whom I work during the school year.  We visit with the students and families to make sure their summer is going well and to see if there is anything we can help with while the students are at home.  Most of the time, this is just a check in and a great time to visit with students and families.

So far this summer, I have been to Eagle Butte to visit with one of my students.  This week will take me to on two or three more trips and the rest of the summer is filling up with travel as well!  Though many of our students are from the nearby Indian reservations of Fort Thompson and Lower Brule, we also travel as far away as Pine Ridge and Nebraska to visit Native American students.

Another thing the Family Services Counselors do during the summer is work on student admissions. Of course, we need to fill the first grade class with new students and other grades may have openings as well.  Part of the admissions process includes going to the prospective student’s home to meet them and their family.  A short interview is conducted to gain some background information on the student, and this is a great time to start building a strong relationship with the student and their family.

Interspersed with all of the travel, the Family Service Counselors work on getting consent forms signed for the next school year, finish up paperwork and start preparing for the kids to return.  Summer is also a good time to attend workshops to keep us up to date on the current trends and best practices in counseling.

The best part of the summer is getting to go out and see our students and their families, as well as meeting new families.  Although most of the kids were ready for summer to get here, they sure seem happy to see us when we visit! 🙂  And many times the first question they ask is,

“When do I get to come back to St. Joe’s for school?”

I hope you all have a blessed and safe summer! – Julie H

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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