St. Joseph’s Indian School: Meet the High School Students Part 2

Hello there! I’m Maija, and I have the best job at St. Joseph’s Indian School! I work primarily with the Lakota (Sioux) students in high school and junior high. I get to plan

Maija works with St. Joseph's high school students

fun activities with the kids, train new houseparents, call applicants and more.

I had the pleasure of putting together a series of five blog posts that you’ll see over the next few weeks – one post from each of our high school homes! We got started last week with the Hogebach Home.

St. Joseph’s high school students live on campus, but attend Chamberlain High School, so their schedule is a little different than our younger students.

I hope this blog gives you a glimpse into our world; the activities the kids are involved with, their hopes, and goals.


The girls in Crane Home describe themselves as close friends who are like one big family of cooperative, energetic, funny, and AMAZING girls! They love doing things together, like hanging out, watching movies, and going on home trips. They feel blessed to be big and little sisters who will always stand up for each other.

New houseparents Bob and Angie, who joined our staff after many years in residential care elsewhere, say they have never seen a houseful of teenage girls get along so

The Lakota girls in the Crane Home love spending time together!
For their Valentine’s Dinner, the girls toasted their favorite beverage – pomegranate juice with diet Sprite!


Ashley, a freshman, is proud of how well she is adjusting at Chamberlain High School. All the girls shared that they are making new friends, becoming more outgoing, are comfortable and able to be themselves at school.

The girls are celebrating having the least amount of missing assignments of the school year. Their goal is to earn the trophy again. The quarter ended March 7, so we’ll know soon if they were successful!

In St. Joseph’s High School program, there are two traveling trophies that circulate through the high school homes:

  • Highest average home GPA
  • Fewest missing assignments per home

These trophies are awarded at mid-term and at the end of every quarter, so the homes have eight chances each year to steal it away from the previous winners.

Some recent excitement for these young ladies was when the one-act play, “Afghan Women,” earned a superior rating at the South Dakota State One-Act Competition. Erica has been involved with the drama team at Chamberlain for three years now! She admits the practices are sometimes long and hard, but the performances are outstanding and worth the effort. She likes that the Crane Home has good drama, not bad drama.

Katie is happy to be chosen to attend the donor luncheon in Los Angeles and is very excited about being a participant in the upcoming student exchange in Handrup, Germany this summer. She would like to learn some basic German prior to leaving.

Nine Native American girls live in the Crane home at St. Joseph’s Indian School.
Leahanna, Katie, Danielle, Ashley, Kezrai, Erica, Martina and Lilly make up the Crane Home at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Each girl in the Crane Home has progressed academically and works hard at keeping up with their studies. The girls’ hope for the remainder of the school year is to stay as close as they are right now.

Pilamaya thank you – for your support of St. Joseph’s and these awesome kids!

Have a great week,

Maija & the Crane girls

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 “St. Joseph’s Indian School: Meet the High School Students Part 2”

  1. Sounds like a wonderful environment for these young ladies.! . How far do they have to travel to attend Chamberlain High School? Congratulations Katie on your upcoming trip and student exchange this summer. Thanks for the continued update. Have a good day and God Bless you all!

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