Six Red Cloud Students Earn the Prestigious Horatio Alger Scholarship
Six students have been awarded the prestigious Horatio Alger Scholarship at Red Cloud Indian School—twice the number of any school in South Dakota and the most the school has had in a single year. The competitive scholarship supports deserving young people who have overcome challenges in their lives in order to pursue higher education.
“I am very proud and humbled hearing that we received so many recipients for the Horatio Alger this year,” says Red Cloud High School Principal Robin Johnson. “The dedication and hard work from the students, teachers and families inspires us to continue to reach for excellence.”
Red Cloud Indian School is located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where the annual per capita income is only $7,887 and six out of ten children live in poverty. Education is a major challenge on the reservation: today only twelve percent of Pine Ridge residents have earned a bachelor’s degree. But at Red Cloud, 95 percent of graduates pursue higher education or post-secondary training. Teachers and administrators say the high-quality curriculum, supportive environment and programs that honor Lakota culture make all the difference.
“I feel that this is a great scholarship for our students because they have faced many challenges and overcome many obstacles to get to where they are now,” says Mike Sunderland, an English teacher at Red Cloud Indian School who works closely with students on college and scholarship applications. “I support students who are committed to attending college and pursuing their goals.”
Since 1984, the Horatio Alger Association has awarded $100 million in scholarships to approximately 20,000 students across the country. The association supports low-income students by granting need-based awards to applicants who have demonstrated integrity, academic potential and a “personal aspiration to make a unique contribution to society.” Each recipient at Red Cloud will receive $6,000 to apply toward his or her college tuition next year.
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