In the last year alone, the current drop-out rate for schools on Pine Ridge hovers around 70 percent and more than 20 girls on this South Dakota Reservation have committed suicide.
To inspire the next generation of Sioux to create jobs, build sustainable income, and establish a brighter future for themselves and generations to follow, True Sioux Hope Foundation today announced its $25,000 donation to The Pine Ridge Girls’ School, the first college-preparatory independent girls’ school on a Reservation in the United States.
Nearly 43 percent of the population living on Pine Ridge Reservation is under the age of 19. Many teenagers at this age have dreams and aspirations of continuing onto college and graduating with a degree. Unfortunately, for teens on Pine Ridge Reservation their dreams of furthering their education often fall short due to poor funding, suicide and pregnancy.
To combat both the drop-out and suicide rates, the school will present a new model by supporting the “whole student” combining a strong college-prep curriculum with ongoing wellness screenings, mentoring, and an environment that celebrates Lakota practices and ways of life. This academically rigorous program is guided by best practices for all-girls education and at-risk populations, backed by strong social-emotional support and grounded in Lakota culture, language and values.
After a generous donation was made to True Sioux Hope by prominent Orange County philanthropist, Donna Pickup, True felt inspired to personally match the gift in order to make an immediate difference in the lives of these rising girls. This contribution will specifically enable the school to hire another teacher and add a seventh grade by Fall 2016.
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