Guest Blogger: Shana

Cante wasteya nape ciyuzapeloI take your hand in friendship.

This is a common Lakota greeting; the literal meaning is “With a good heart I take your hand.” My name is Shana and I’m the High School Residential Director.

This summer is going by fast as we’ve had four of our five high school homes open and fully operational with 41 high school students on campus! High school students choose to remain on our St. Joseph’s campus so they can either work a summer job, take driver’s education class or participate in our Freshman Transition Summer Program.

Thankfully it’s not all work – students get to relax, take shopping trips, go to the movies or swim at Chamberlain’s city pool or public beach area. Students remain connected with family and sometimes get checked out by their parent or guardian so they can attend family functions or visit a family member in the hospital.

There’s never a dull moment on our campus!

We have 19 upcoming freshmen in our Freshman Transition Summer Program. These students were able to meet their future high school teachers, take a trip to visit Mitchell Vo-Tech, Oglala Lakota Community College and tour the Badlands on their way to visit the Red Cloud Indian School Art Show. This three-week camp is full of both education and transition activities in order to get them prepared for the challenges of their first year in high school – and beyond.

The transition program ends Friday with a Parent Luncheon. Here, we will review the changes the students will face in high school and the differences in our high school residential program from our elementary residential program. Everyone enjoys pizza, and then the students are able to give their parent or guardian a tour of their new St. Joseph’s high school home.

All the students will then return in August, either a week before school starts so they can begin sports practices with their Chamberlain athletic team, or return two days prior to the first day of school for our Student Orientation.

Our high school summer programs don’t end in July; we have three students participating on our Summer Transitional Living Program starting on June 22 through the end of July.

Two of these students are currently in Germany with two St. Joseph’s chaperones and two other St. Joseph’s students as part of our Germany Exchange Program with our sister school in Handrup, Germany. They will spend two and a half weeks learning about the German culture, giving presentations to Handrup students about their Lakota and American culture and, of course, doing some sightseeing. The Handrup students will then take a trip to the USA and come visit us here at St. Joseph’s Indian School in October so they can learn more about American and Lakota culture. It’s been a great learning experience for both staff and students.

These are not the only St. Joseph’s students who are able to travel during their summer vacation. One of our graduating seniors was awarded the Davis-Bahcall scholarship. Erin will spend one week digging deep into the science and engineering that exists at the Sanford Underground Laboratory in Lead, South Dakota. She will spend three weeks studying modern physics at Princeton University in New Jersey under world-renowned scholars and researchers. She will also travel to research laboratories in Europe to experience the world of modern scientific research.

We are very proud of Erin’s accomplishments and know she’ll succeed next year as she begins her college career.

One of our upcoming seniors was accepted into College Horizons, this is a six-day “crash course” in preparing for college. Aaron will learn about a broad variety of colleges and universities, and establish personal relationships with admission representatives and college counselors. At each site, 100 students from across the nation work with over 70 expert college counselors and college admission officers to help students learn how to fill out college applications, including essays and prepare for college. We hope Aaron has a great experience – congratulations!

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer as much as we are!

Pilamayathank you,

Shana

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.

1 thought on “Guest Blogger: Shana”

  1. Shana — such an interesting blog entry! The summer season at St. Joseph’s sounds wonderful! Congrats to all involved.

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