Please Send Your Prayers!

A young Native American graduate smiles broadly in her cap and gown with a friend on either side.

Urgent prayer request! There is an affliction running through our eighth graders and seniors in varying degrees of intensity. The kids are displaying bouts of talking back, reverting to behaviors from early in their development, flat out disrespect and little to no signs of gratitude. The official and technical term for the affliction is “eighth-grade-itis” or “senior-itis.”

This affliction develops in kids who are focused on their next life change and transition. The anxiety of what is ahead and trepidation about the new and unknown causes our kids to act out in ways we haven’t seen from them in a long time.

Yes, I say that our kids are afflicted in an effort to make humor during a very stressful times…

Yes, we see this every year with the eighth graders and seniors.

Yes, our experienced staff know that this too shall pass, and help less experienced staff members through this challenging time.

Yes, we will love the kids through this.

Yes, we are just as anxious and nervous about the kids’ futures as they are.

Yes, we are proud of all the little victories as well as the major accomplishments.

Yes, we are grateful for all we have.

Yes, every other household out there with kids who are graduating or transitioning in some way is going through the same difficulties.

Frank and the boys who graduated from eighth grade in 2017 are pictured in their shirts and ties for the event.
As he has for the last several years, Frank helps plan and get students ready for eighth grade graduation day.

Despite these challenges, we are proud of all of our students! We are proud when our eighth graders finish out their year well. We are proud to watch our seniors walk across the stage and receive that diploma they worked hard for in the face of all the odds against them. We are proud to watch our seventh graders begin to mature into our next leaders of the school for the coming year. We are proud to look back and see the skills all our students have displayed over the course of the year – skills we helped teach them.

We are also reminded to be grateful for our mission and purpose. Grateful for our kids, their families, our co-workers and supporters everywhere. We are grateful we accepted this mission as our own and have the ability to continue to pick up the challenge of working with our kids.

We have all been through these times in our own lives – not knowing for sure what the future would bring. Not wanting to be dependent on our adults. We pushed away our own adults, displayed challenging behaviors and, at times, acted younger than we should have. Our kids, and kids everywhere, are experiencing these feelings.

It’s our job, our mission and our privilege to help them through this. As the school year comes to a close, we hope to teach our kids one more lesson in perseverance and getting through a stressful time.

And of course, the kids and staff always need your prayers.

Thanks for being part of our mission,

Residential Coordinator, Grades 7-8

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 90 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.

24 thoughts on “Please Send Your Prayers!”

  1. You are in my thoughts and prayers always! God bless you all and all the students with strength, peace, and patience at this stressful time!

      1. Let the Holy Spirit come into the presence of each student and be lifted up to recognize their accomplishments and every time there is a change in their lives big or small they can always count on the Holy Spirit to lead in the changes that are shaping them. Trust, Love, Pray. The help is waiting for you to ask.
        The best to all the students in all the grades!

  2. Lifting all in prayer. Teachers, house parents, residential coordinators may you be richly blessed with patience and understanding and mountains of love.
    Students, may you have peace in your hearts as you approach new life challenges. Our God is good. Read Jeremiah 29:11 everyday until you really believe it

  3. Sending loads of strength. It is a very tough age group. I raised three daughters. Hormones rage, one minute they are children, the next minutes a young adults. It flip flops constantly. Keep giving them love. Patience, and a little extra understanding. Will pray for everyone!

  4. Since I taught 8th grade for 13 years in Catholic school I can only say the best way to face this crazy behavior is to remind the students in question that they owe it to the school and their teachers and house parents and most importantly to themselves to remember the efforts put forth by these people who helped bring them to this accomplishment of graduation. As citizens of this country and Christian believers the students should remember the golden rule and show respect and admiration which fits the fine knowledge and life examples they saw in their leaders as these persons brought them to in their long preparations.

    I brag a lot about how the students at St Joseph’s are such fine citizens and demonstrate such good qualities, so I hope they will remember how high the standards of St. Joe’s are and resume their good behavior so they can truly be proud of being graduates.

    My prayers go to all the graduates and to their leaders in education and Christian example.

    God Bless you all.

    William Graff of San Francisco

  5. Bless you all. My prayers are sent, for blessings on the 8th graders and seniors and on the staff who work with them. I remember going through these feelings as a senior and in college. Thank you for your generosity with these young people, your time, your love, your compassion, your commitment. God is good. All the time.

  6. Not just thoughts and prayers, but a desire for uplifting understanding to tackle today’s highlights, accomplishments, technicalities, and problems. May you be always inquisitive and pushing towards a brighter future. Congratulations graduates!

  7. Prayers for all of you. These times will pass.but it is disheartening
    I’m sure for the staff. Because of you all these children’s lives have become better. And their future ahead is bright. So I’m praying they will be more respectful and show gratitude ♡

  8. Sage Smoke and prayers for all at the school, and their families. I am a psychology counselor, with a long background, with experience working with at-risk youth, as well as their families, so I have a working knowledge of the stresses with going through the problems with this part of your journey. Plus I have some ways of developing a few problem-solving steps to help with finding solutions to those obstacles, I am saying there are options, for you, and there are we out here, that can help. Sometimes the problem is trusting in those, just by asking, can be the start for you. I would be willing to try to help with this. But the main thing is that you stay strong, and focused on what makes it work for you, in your life. Blessings, and strength.

    1. I agree with you Allan. Trust is the number 1 thing to make happen. Also making these students feel loved and that they have self worth. Find away to connect!

  9. I worked as a Counselor for at-risk youth, and their families, So I have some idea of the problems that you deal with in your daily life. I would be willing to help me, as long as you feel that you could trust me since we’ve never met, I would understand your reluctance, however, the offer is still there, You can talk with, Father Kluckman, or mr. Yarlott (Isalu^utshiilile (Yellow Arrows), And your Elders, for guidance. Sage Smoke and Bless you, and your Families.
    Sincerely, Alan D. Davison, Great First Nations Member

    1. Hi Alan! The safety of our students is our top priority as we seek to educate them for life – mind, body, heart and spirit. As part of these efforts, every student who attends St. Joseph’s works with a certified counselor right here on our school campus. In addition to working with students and families on admissions, our counselors provide the students with emotional support, communication skills and other tools to overcome any situation they may encounter in life.

  10. When I was that age I also had a rebellious stage. Didn’t think so when I went through it, but it was me. As I look back, it was that I was not encouraged to do this to direct these feelings to better use. Dialogue with the people involved may help. Support is essential to everyone and sometimes all we need to do is to listen before we tell people how to act. Giving advice to someone in terms that they understand is a form of prayer that we fail to see in our limited minds. St. Joe’s is always in my prayers when I pray the Office.

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