I grew up in Swift Bear Community, one of the 22 Communities of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. I grew up along the Little White River in a rural setting; I am an enrolled tribal member. I graduated in 2013 from the White River High School, South Dakota. I currently reside in the Black Pipe Community located nearby Norris, South Dakota, where I raise my family of two girls and one boy. I am currently a full-time student at Sinte Gleska University (SGU) enrolled in my second year of their Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) program, pursuing an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) degree.
One of my favorite things about Sinte Gleska University is that it provides an accessible and nationally accredited education for our people, communities, and reservation. I started my journey pursuing nursing in 2013. Upon graduating from high school, I enrolled at Western Dakota Vocational Technical school in Rapid City, South Dakota. Because I was a teen mother and had a two-year-old child at the time, and with the demands and costs of attending school full time away from home, it was a challenging time for me. I dropped my courses. In 2014, I decided to focus on raising my daughter, and soon became a mother to two other children. I returned home in 2016 and began taking nursing courses part time at SGU. Because of the local access, the assistance of a dedicated staff, the financial assistance, and being part of a campus community, nearly like family, SGU is assisting me in my journey pursing my dreams of becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse. SGU motivated me to enroll full-time in the LPN program.
A scholarship would help me greatly with such things as any additional nursing fees, along with mileage and travel costs, and with rental, utility, and food costs, which without need to mention, add up quickly with a family. Upon obtaining my LPN license and begin practicing in regional hospitals and clinics, currently, I see myself soon completing an advanced Registered Nursing (RN) licensure program, gaining additional skills, and advancing within the health care system especially focusing on the needs here at home. Nurses are in demand, not only here at home, but also nationwide with the current pandemic and the increase in age of the population. I see myself serving that demand, and SGU will assist me with that service.