Preparing the Lakota students for their next steps in life

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School! Although spring is only a few weeks

Julie is a counselor for the Lakota boys and girls at St. Joseph's.
Julie, Family Service Counselor

away, it has been cold and snowy in Chamberlain. The kids are getting a bit antsy and most are ready for warmer temperatures so they can be outside and run off some energy!

We are also at a point in the school year where our seniors and our eighth grade students begin final preparations for their next steps in life.

Where will I go to college or what will I do after graduation? What high school will I attend?

All of these questions lead to some anxiety, introspection, and excitement.

As a Family Service Counselor, it is my job to help the students asking themselves those questions continue making plans for the future.

St. Joseph’s is proud to have six seniors graduating from our high school program this spring!
St. Joseph’s is proud to have six seniors graduating from our high school program this spring!

Many seniors have already applied to colleges or for military service and are pretty secure in what their next step will be. We continue to put plans together to plan the details that will help those students succeed in their next endeavor.

As we work on the process of selecting eighth grade students for our high school program, we work to keep stress levels down and ease anxieties. No matter what our eighth grade students choose to do next, it will be a new adventure!

While it is exciting to see a student graduate from high school, it is a bittersweet moment as we prepare to let the students spread their wings and fly. While many of our eighth grade students will return to our high school program in the fall, some will choose to attend high schools in other places… another bittersweet moment.

No matter what a student chooses to do after these milestones in their lives, we wish them well and wish them success.

As we navigate through the end of winter and the season of Lent, it is a good time to reflect on what the mission of St. Joseph’s Indian School and in what ways we can continue to be of service to the Lakota (Sioux) students and their families. We truly thank all of you who have chosen to be of service to our mission here at St. Joseph’s, through donations, prayer, and support.

Without your commitment to service, we would not be able to provide the programs necessary to help the students learn the skills they will need to survive in the world.

So as the last weeks of school quickly approach, know that amidst home trips, softball, track and summer preparation, you who support us so well are not forgotten!

We pray for you daily, and thank the Lord daily for all you do. May God Bless and keep you always.


Family Service Counselor

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.

2 thoughts on “Preparing the Lakota students for their next steps in life”

  1. Re: Preparing the Lakota students for their next steps in life

    Can Julie or another counselor explain more fully what this means–“As we work on the process of selecting eighth grade students for our high school program….”

    Thank you

    Jim Chrismer


    1. The 8th grade selection process is used because of sometimes limited spots open in our High School program. The selection process is also used because not every 8th grade student wants to return to St. Joseph’s for High School. The process entails an interest survey/application that assess what the student’s plans for high school are (their top three high school choices), why they want to attend high school at St. Joe’s, etc. Once these surveys are completed, the students complete an interview with the high school residential coordinator. The interview again assesses interest and commitment to the St. Joe’s high school program. All students are considered for the high school program, but unfortunately, we don’t always have enough open spots, or beds, for the all of the students who wish to attend the HS program. However, our program IS growing!! We continue to expand our program so that we can give all student who wish to attend our program the opportunity to do so!

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