Meet our 2022 Seniors
My name is Andrew, but most people call me Andy. I’ve been at St. Joseph’s since sixth grade.
While I was a student at St. Joe’s, I was involved in football for a year, basketball for a year, softball for seventh and eighth grade, and archery since seventh grade. In high school, I participated in wrestling for one year.
One of my favorite memories is playing hide-and-seek and “Chupacabra” in the Cyr Home.
I want to thank all of my houseparents, counselors and teachers from St. Joe’s to high school.
My plan for next year is continue being a certified nursing assistant. My advice for younger students is the thing everyone says — do your work even if it’s boring, and pay attention because it’s going to be hard to get caught back up.
Hi, my name is ShyAnne. I have attended St. Joseph’s Indian School since seventh grade.
During middle school, I participated in volleyball, basketball, softball, and archery. In high school, I participated in volleyball for four years and basketball for two years.
I have a lot of favorite memories with a lot of people, places, and things, but the most important would be placing first in archery at the Dakota Oyate Challenge and taking the Minnesota home trip.
I would like to say thank you to all of the St. Joe’s staff and my houseparents who have helped me with all I have been through. I would also thank my godparents for everything they did for me, and for loving me as their own.
My plan for next year is to continue working as a certified nursing assistant. My advice for younger students is to keep going and don’t give up. You will have obstacles that will be challenging, but don’t ever stop.
My name is Joaquin. I have attended St. Joe’s for about eight years.
While attending St. Joe’s, I played basketball, football, softball, some bowling, and archery.
My favorite memory is when I made associates with my friends at St. Joe’s. I would like to thank my houseparents.
I plan to join the Army National Guard. My advice would have to be: just be yourself, dude. Be your own dude, and don’t fall into bad influence.
Hi, my name is Marques. I have been at St. Joe’s for eight years.
One of my favorite memories has to be when we always played hacky sack with the boys freshman year.
I would like to thank all of my houseparents, counselors and anyone else who pushed me to finish school.
My plans for next year are to do welding at Mitchell Technical College. My advice I would give to younger students would be to be yourself no matter what others think of you. I’m not saying you should be more outgoing and go outside your comfort zone, but just be yourself.
My name is Jeren. I have been at St. Joe’s since first grade, so a whopping 12 years.
I participated in football, basketball, and track in middle school. In high school, I participated in football and basketball.
My favorite memory at St. Joe’s was definitely not cutting my head open on the monkey bars in the second grade — it was actually participating in a donor luncheon in Los Angeles with Tayeden and Colton my freshman year; the trip was such a fun experience. Plus, we went to a Lakers game and they won. I can officially say I was in the same arena as LeBron James.
I would like to thank all of my family, friends, and counselors. I would also like to thank my houseparents throughout the years. I would also like to thank my teachers for helping me actually enjoy school.
My plan next year is to attend Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado for business administration. My advice for younger students is do not be afraid to try new things, and put full effort into the activity you want to do. Enjoy high school to the fullest, trust me.
Hi, my name is Josette. My Lakota name is Waȟčá Číkʼala Wíŋ, which translates to “Little Flower Woman.”
I’ve attended St. Joe’s since the fourth grade. I’ve participated in many activities throughout my years here. I’ve been in clubs such as the Native American Club, Junior Beta Club, and National Honor Society. I’ve also contributed to various sports such as cross country, volleyball, basketball, cheer, and track. I even dance at many powwows and have held many titles as royalty.
It’s hard for me to pick just one favorite memory. I’ve had so much fun and have made so many. Some I remember are my seventh grade cultural trip; it was cool get out of school and learn more about myself as a person, culturally. Also, honorable mention, was the time spent with my eighth grade class — we were so close. Graduation was a highlight that year as well. My time here has been the best and I have met so many close friends I will forever cherish.
I would like to say THANK YOU to everyone who has been in my life and contributed to help me become the person I am today. There are a lot of people to thank, and I feel they should know who they are. Also, most importantly, I would like to thank my family – especially my siblings – for pushing me to become a better role model and showing them that they can do anything regardless of what obstacles they may face.
My plans for this fall are to attend the University of South Dakota for engineering, and I also plan on picking up a minor in Native American Studies.
My advice for younger students is DO NOT be scared to talk to anyone! I’ve met so many great people just from simply stepping out of my comfort zone. What comes around goes around, so make the best of your time and stay positive. If you’re still too scared, don’t fake it ‘til you make it; fake it until you become it! Confidence is key.
Philámayaye — thank you — for the support and encouragement you so generously share with the Lakota students!
Meet our 2021 Seniors
My name is Jacie. I have attended St. Joseph’s Indian School for four years. Over the years, I have been involved in the Chamberlain High School (CHS) Native American Club, the CHS Fall Play and was a CHS boys’ basketball manager.
My favorite memories during my time at St. Joseph’s have to be relaxing on a hammock and for cruises in the evenings.
I’d like to thank the following people for their support throughout the years: my mother, sisters, and other family members involved in my life, as well as all of the staff who worked with me and watched me grow into the person I wanted and needed to be.
I plan to attend college and work toward the career I want following graduation.
Hi, my name is Carolina. I have attended St Joseph’s Indian School since the eighth grade, or for five years. I’ve been involved in the Chamberlain High School fall play, I managed the CHS boys’ basketball team, and I’m currently the president of the CHS Native American Club.
My favorite memory at St. Joseph’s was traveling to Germany with my friends — it was a 100 out of 10 experience. There are a handful of people I would like to say thank you to, but I do not want to miss anyone. So, if you have ever helped me in any way while I’ve been here at St. Joseph’s, you know who you are.
I will be attending college in the fall.
Hi, my name is Lillian. I’ve attended St. Joseph’s Indian School since the sixth grade. I have been involved in volleyball for three years, the CHS Native American Club for three years and the fall play for two years.
My favorite memories are traveling to Boston for a donor luncheon, traveling to Germany for the exchange program and meeting new people throughout the process.
I would like to thank all of my houseparents and everyone else who helped me along my journey.
I plan to attend college in the fall and major in Photography.
Hi, my name is Trinity, and I have attended St. Joseph’s since the first grade; some would call it being a “lifer.” I was involved in many activities while living here, including basketball, football, cross country, track, golf and softball. I danced at the St. Joseph’s powwow for eight years. I love to draw, play video games, and just sit inside and chill.
When you have been a part of St. Joseph’s for 12 years, it’s hard to find just one favorite memory. I can easily say my days in the Cyr Home with my houseparents are at the top. I cannot forget every home trip I have been on with each home I’ve lived in — any time I was with the boys we just had a good time. One memory that really sticks out is when I went to Terry Peak. While I was snowboarding down the slopes, I thought I was going to hit a ramp, but my board got stuck underneath the snow in the front of it. I did a full front flip and somehow landed it. There were people on the ski lift who watched it and cheered for me afterward, which felt cool.
I would like to thank every houseparent and teacher who had to put up with me every day. Every single one of those people taught me something new almost every day. Those people should know who they are — there are too many people to list. Let’s not forget about my blood family, friends, and other St. Joseph’s staff members. I wouldn’t have made it this far without those people entering my life. Everyone has had an impact on me and made me who I am today.
The people of St. Joseph’s are my family. St. Joseph’s is my home. Gotta’ love St. Joe’s!
My plan is to attend technical school for the Building Trades Technology program in the fall.
Hi, my name is Tayeden. I have been living at St. Joseph’s for eight years, or since the fourth grade. Throughout my time here, I’ve been involved in basketball, football, softball, track and CHS National Honor Society.
My favorite memories throughout my whole time here would be during my sophomore year of high school; it was one of the craziest and most adventurous years yet. I went to Los Angeles for a donor luncheon and had a blast. The biggest memory would be going snowboarding with my home and chilling out in the lodge.
There are so many people I could thank for my journey here, especially my houseparents. I am thankful for all of you and the times we spent together. I’m sending a huge thanks to my houseparents and counselor for helping me through my developmental years — whether that be through the good or hard times. Thanks to the Rec Center staff for also dealing with me these last couples of years with me being in the gym 24/7. Lastly, I would like to give a huge shout-out and special thanks to my uŋčí or grandma. Without my grandma, I don’t know where I’d be in life and I wouldn’t be the same person I am today without her. She has a special place in my life and heart forever.
As for my plans, the biggest path I’m exploring is going to a technical school. My final decision will depend on where my mind wants me to go and what scholarships are available.
Philámayaye — thank you — for the support and encouragement you so generously share with the Lakota students!
Meet our 2020 Seniors
Diana is a member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe. She has attended St. Joes for 4 years. She has participated in Paws Transportation, help employment, attended donor luncheons, and travelled as far as Germany. Her favorite class is math. Diana hobby in her spare time involves art. Her favorite memory was when there was a snake in the ceiling and her houseparent got scared and left. Her favorite thing about St. Joes is the people you meet and she is grateful to have her own space in her St. Joes home. Diana’s future plans after graduating high school is to attend South Dakota State University to become a NICU nurse.
Nicholas is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. He has attended St. Joes for 10 years. He participated in basketball and football. His favorite classes are Government, math and literature. Nicholas’s hobbies include working, exercising and running. He couldn’t choose a favorite memory because he has too many to count after attending St. Joes for 10 years. Nicholas says the best thing about the home life at St Joes is how nice the homes are. He is grateful for everything that St. Joes has done for him. His future plans are enlisting in the military and enrolling in a Tech School.
Philámayaye — thank you — for the support and encouragement you so generously share with the Lakota students!
Meet our 2019 Seniors
My name is Camron, and I have attended St. Joseph’s since the second grade. I wasn’t one to be in activities much (because I really like my free time), but I was involved in the Explorer’s Club during middle school, and archery for a short time, as well. As a minor brag, I took first place at both the Lakota Nation Invitational and the Dakota Oyate Challenge Archery Tournaments in ninth grade. Other than that, I enjoy playing a lot of video games, drawing, occasionally writing, and reading.
When you’ve been at St. Joseph’s for over 10 years, it’s rather difficult to pick one favorite memory. Although, I can safely say any of the game nights with the Perky Home are easily at the top. There’s also every single home trip, and any time I’ve just had a really good laugh with the boys.
I would like to thank every houseparent I’ve ever had. Every houseparent taught me something during my time at St. Joseph’s — whether it was directly said or through my quiet, ninja-like observation.
Let’s not forget my teachers, as they have literally taught me something new almost every day. They would be Stacy, Heather, Peggy Thomas, Steve Conway, Ron Byers, Brock Sundall, Craig Barcal, Linea Schoenhard, LaRayne Woster, Mr. M, Pam Shroyer, Sarah Moran, Dave Baldwin, Matt, Mrs. Donovan, Mr. Rademacher, Mrs. Waterbury, and Mr. Toering (there’s probably other people I missed here, too).
Lastly, I would like to thank my family, friends, Krista … and the man, the myth, the absolute legend: my counselor, Scott. I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have without everybody.
Currently, my plans for next year are to attend Dakota State University and major in Computer Game Design. It certainly doesn’t seem like a very easy thing to do, but I’m hoping it’ll be a fun challenge.
I have a load of advice I’d like to give to younger students, but I’ll try to keep it short. Do your homework. I know everybody says this one, but it can’t be stressed enough. Doesn’t matter how smart you are, either. It’s easy to lose motivation and let the assignments pile up. In the words of Shia LaBeouf, “just do it.” Next, don’t be afraid to try new things. Whether it’s a club, extracurriculars, getting a job or making new friends. I was the guy who very rarely did any of that, and I probably would’ve had a better high school experience if I put myself out there a little more. Also, keep your priorities in check. Whatever is necessary to achieve your goals should be at the top of your list. The staff and teachers are there to help you. Lastly, survive. It’s a dangerous world in high school. Especially if you don’t have ninja skills like me.
My name is Jered. I’ve been attending St. Joseph’s for eight years. In high school, I got a job and started working to earn money to help pay for things that’ll benefit me in the future.
My favorite high school memory is a hard one to pick because there were so many good memories at St. Joseph’s. One of my absolute favorite memories is the Seventh Grade Cultural Trip. It was fun hanging out with friends and also visiting new areas that I hadn’t been before.
At the moment, there’s a lot of people to thank, including my houseparents over the years. I would like to thank Luke and Wendy for making my childhood fun. I would also like to thank Tim and Jess, also Rich and Tara for just being fun in general. Also, Aaron and Melissa for dealing with me too.
My plan for next year is to move to Colorado for college for about a year. My older brother and I are renting an apartment so I’ll try out college there for a year to see if I like it.
My advice for younger students is to do what you want to in high school and don’t be scared to make friends. Life is short. You’re here for a good time, not a long time. Also, don’t fall behind on schoolwork and pay attention in class — it’ll help you a lot in the future, trust me.
My name is Listella. I have attended St. Joseph’s non-consecutively since the fifth grade. I left my junior year, but came back for my senior year and it was by far, the best decision I ever made.
In middle school I played basketball, volleyball, track, and softball while doing cheerleading. My freshman year, I was brought into the world of theatre. I was too shy to go up on stage and act, so I did stuff behind the scenes, such as creating props and moving stuff across the stage in between scenes. The plays I had participated in were: “the Wizard of Oz”, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and “Peter and the Starcatcher”. My sophomore year, I decided to get out of my shell and become a girls basketball cheerleader, while also being the mascot. I joined the Lakota Nation Invitational knowledge bowl team, and that was quite the experience. I was part of the Native American Club all throughout high school, with the honor of becoming president my senior year. My senior year, I participated in girls’ basketball as a manager.
My favorite/embarrassing memory would have to be in sixth grade. That time of my middle school years has probably been the most embarrassing. I decided to play some football with my friends. I didn’t think it would be extreme because we weren’t wearing any pads. It was Joe’s (Religion teacher) first year. He joined in the game and Daryl had just showed us a play to run. I didn’t follow, but I still tried to run it, and Joe actually tackled me. I brought this up recently and he has no recollection of the incident.
I would like to thank Bob and Angie. They made my experience at St. Joseph’s awesome. Thank you to Rachel and Chuck because you taught me that I can’t always get what I want (LOL). Thanks to Aaron and Melissa, you guys have done so much for me by teaching me things that I know will be valuable. I can’t thank you enough. I am thankful for Dee Awna because she was the new sheriff in town and knew how to put me in my place … not that there were many times she had to do it.
You can have a plan, but it may not always go accordingly. I wanted to go to Mitchell Tech and become a Radiology Technician but because of my procrastination, I will be attending the following year. The goals I have set for myself are still in reach, and because of that mindset, I believe I can achieve anything. I believe everyone can if they work hard enough.
The most given advice is to keep up on your school work, and it’s true. Stay on top of your homework, take the opportunities offered and stay out of drama.
My name is Louie. I’ve been attending St. Joseph’s Indian School since the fifth grade.
While in middle school, I was involved in everything except cross country. I was involved in basketball in high school.
Every day at St. Joe’s was a blessing, so every day I had a good memory — there’s too many to name.
I would like to thank every person who knows me or has helped me in some way. I am grateful for all of you! I would like to thank my houseparents, Sue, Scott and Krista.
My advice to younger students is don’t do drugs and stay in school. Work hard in everything you do. Don’t care what other people think — do what you feel is best for you.
My name is Sarah and I have attended St. Joseph’s Indian School for five years.
During my time at St. Joseph’s and Chamberlain High School, I have been involved in volleyball, Native American Club, HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) and cheerleading.
I’ve been here long enough to make a lot of memories — there are many that come to mind! Although, the best is yet to come when I graduate.
I’d like to thank the houseparents and staff who have supported me throughout the years, the teachers and staff at Chamberlain High School for the encouragement, and my family for always helping me see the positives in life.
After I graduate, I plan on furthering my education. I have several plans in mind and I’m still unsure on which I want to pursue. I don’t know where I’m going, but I know it won’t be boring.
My advice to younger students: try your best in your academics. High school isn’t always great, but there is no limit to what you can accomplish. Never let anyone’s negativity discourage you. Honestly, you’re living for yourself, so as long as you’re happy, your own opinion matters most.
My name is Treyah. I have been attending St. Joes for six years. I’ve participated in basketball since middle school, dancing, cheerleading, softball, and also have been in the Native American Club.
My favorite memory would have to be my sophomore year when a couple girls and I wanted to go to the playground in the evening. We asked our houseparent, Angie, if we could go, but she was unsure about it. She said what if someone were to kidnap us or something. She eventually let us go. Long story short, she scared the heck out of us that night and disguising herself. It’s funny to think about now, but at the time we were mad about it.
I would like to thank ALL THE STAFF that helped me throughout my years. A HUGE thanks to Kathrine and Fred, Angela and Bob, Norm and Lilli for putting up with me the longest, and also Aaron and Melissa for helping me out a lot this year. Oh yeah and Mrs. Vanderley: thanks for probably being the best teacher. I cannot forget my parents who are my biggest supporters out there. I love you guys. Also, my counselor, Amanda: thank you for being there all the time. Although sometimes we don’t always agree, I appreciate your help the most! I guess a big thank you to Joe for being the best cousin, and Krista!!
My plans for next year is to attend the University of South Dakota. I’m undecided on what to do yet. My advice for younger students (and I know you hear this a lot but trust me, you need to do it) is do your work. Get it done! Do not fall behind in school. If you plan on doing sports, please take that advice. Don’t forget to have fun, though. Before you know it, you’ll be a senior and wonder why the years went so fast. It does go by fast, so be involved in things, have fun, and take advantage of opportunities.
My name is Wankiya and I have attended St. Joseph’s for six years. I was involved in basketball, football, softball and archery in middle school. During high school, I participated in basketball and football.
A few favorite memories are the home trips, Seventh Grade Cultural Trip, riding bikes in the rain, playing hide-and-seek and ball tag.
Thank you to the houseparents — a couple of the houseparents are Dick and Carol, Paula, Joseph— and my family and friends.
My plans for next year are to attend Mitchell Technical Institute to earn a degree in welding.
My advice for the younger kids is to do your homework on time. I know it sounds I’m barking up the same tree, but it’s true. Don’t be like me and wait until the very, very last minute to do your work.
Meet our 2018 Seniors
My name is Danielle. I have attended St. Joseph’s Indian School for eight non-consecutive years, and have been a part of the high school program for two and a half years.
In middle school at St. Joseph’s, I was a part of t-ball (second-third grade). In fourth through sixth grade, I played basketball. I participated in volleyball my seventh grade year. During high school, I have been a part of various activities (not all with Chamberlain High School). I participated in JROTC, Women’s Society, FBLA and International Club in high school. Through Chamberlain High School, I have participated in Native American Club for two and half years and have had the opportunity to serve as president for two years. I have also taken part in the LNI Knowledge Bowl Team. Lastly, I had the honor to be selected as royalty in 2014-2015 as Miss Chamberlain High School, and in 2017 I was crowned Miss St. Joseph’s Indian School.
My favorite memory would have to be working on campus for the last two years during the summer with the children because, let me tell you, each and every one of those children have a personality that is unforgettable. I enjoyed working with the summer home and having the opportunity to be a part of the students’ lives.
None of my future plans have been set in stone, although I do know that when I attend college, I want to study Native American Studies and the Lakota language and history. I would also like to study Human Services.
I would like to thank my houseparents who worked in the Afra, Summerlee and Pinger homes, because those years were rough. The staff, believe it or not, have impacted my life one way or another. I would also like to thank my counselors — old and new — Sherry, Robyn and Darcy for always being there for me throughout school and never giving up on me. I cannot forget Lilli and Norm or Aaron and Melissa for giving me guidance through this last year. It was rough but thank you.
And the advice to younger students … the more obvious advice is to get your work done, because you cannot live your dreams if you do not have an education, (this isn’t the 1950s people). But MY advice is to never let someone else’s negative opinions about you, or something you have a love and passion for, define who you are. And always remember that plans are always changing so do not get discouraged if there is a different outcome. Everything happens for a reason.
My name is Hope and I’ve attended St. Joseph’s Indian School since I was in sixth grade, so I have been here for 7 years.
I wasn’t involved in activities my freshman year of high school. In my sophomore year, I joined choir and the fall play. I’ve been in the productions of Wizard of Oz, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Peter and the Starcatcher. I was a boys basketball cheerleader my junior year. During my senior year, I was a cheerleader for football and boys basketball.
My favorite memory was winning the Spirit of Six Award at the boys’ state basketball tournament for the second year in a row, which has never been done before.
I would like to thank my counselor Amanda for looking after me, so I don’t get into more trouble than I already have, Kathryn for being the best cook I ever did meet, Judy for brightening my day, Krista for helping me with all of my college plans and preparing me for all of it, and Joe.
My advice to younger students is to get out there. Go take adventures — even if they’re small ones — like joining a club, a sports team or even a play. Little adventures like that will help you with the big one — life. And also, don’t forget to do your homework. Never fall behind, it’s very hard to catch up. Trust me, I would know.
My name is Kayla and I’ve attended St. Joe’s for 7 years. I’ve been involved in the fall play for the last two years.
My favorite memory is obviously really hard to pick, but the ones that come to mind are freshman orientation and the seventh grade cultural trip.
I’d like to thank Brittney and Phil for their patience, Bob and Angie for always making me laugh, Norm and Lilli for teaching me to appreciate the small things, Krista for helping me plan out my future, my mama bear Kathryn, Rich and Tara for being fun houseparents, and especially Amanda for always being my biggest supporter and for just about everything else.
This summer I will complete basic training for the National Guard, and then be off to college at Black Hills State University. My advice to younger students is don’t stress too much — but that doesn’t mean don’t try. Take all the opportunities that you can.
My name is Kezrai and I have been attending St. Joseph’s Indian School since fifth grade.
While attending St. Joseph’s I was involved in volleyball, basketball and softball. In high school, I was involved in the fall play as a crew member. I had lots of fun with my partner in crime, Krista.
One of my favorite memories would have to be when we went to Minnesota for our home trip.
I would like to thank my mom most of all because she’s my best friend and has helped me with everything. I would also like to thank people that helped me through all my years at St. Joseph’s. I would like to thank Al and Nancy for being such great people and my counselor, Amanda, for dealing with me throughout the years.
My plans for next year are undecided because I have several plans in mind, but I’m still unsure of which I want to pursue.
My name is Krista and I have attended St. Joseph’s Indian School since eighth grade, so about five years. While at St. Joe’s, I was involved in basketball and volleyball.
At Chamberlain High School, I was involved in Native American Club, the fall play and the St. Joseph’s LNI team.
My favorite memory is this year’s home trip. I would like to thank my houseparents along the way, Rachel and Chuck, Rich and Tara and Bonnie and Fahad. I would also like to send a shout out to Mrs. Waterbury.
My advice to the younger kids is don’t get in trouble … or just don’t get caught.
My plans after high school are to enlist in the Navy and become a corpsman.
My name is Reyna and I have attended St. Joseph’s Indian School for five years — since eighth grade.
I was the manager of the volleyball team during my first year at St. Joseph’s, but not in high school.
My favorite memory at St. Joseph’s was when some of the girls and I had a pillow fight in the middle of the night and then we got caught.
I would like to thank Julie, my counselor. She helped me the last four years before leaving St. Joseph’s. I would also like to thank my houseparents, Bob and Angie. They were my houseparents for three years and were a lot of fun.
My advice to younger students is to do what you enjoy.
I was accepted into Black Hills State University. I’m going to take a year off to work before attending college.
My name is TJ and I’ve attended St. Joseph’s Indian School since fourth grade.
In middle school, I was involved in cross country, football, basketball, track and softball. In high school, I joined basketball.
My favorite memory at St. Joseph’s was my birthday in 2017 when Al and Nancy took Sarah Anne, Ashley, my big dog Justin and me out to eat. When we got back, Sarah, Ash and I went to the movies. We didn’t do too much, but I felt really content and happy. I was spending time with the people closest to me at St. Joseph’s. I also met Ashley’s bunny.
I want to thank Rich, Tara and Annie. Al and Nancy — my years with you guys were a blessing. If I could, I would re-live some of the moments I had with you guys.
My advice to the younger students is don’t be afraid to make buddies. Good and bad times feel better when you have someone to share the moment with.
Pilamaya — thank you — for the support and encouragement you so generously share with the Lakota students!