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For Immediate Release: Sept. 19, 2006
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Native American students awarded scholarships

Eight Native American students were chosen to receive Richard Hagen-Minerva Harvey Memorial Scholarships for the first time in 2006-07. These eight students join 11 others whose grants were continued under the program. Together, the 19 students will receive a total of $23,000 this year. The students will use the scholarships to pursue their education at an institute of higher education located in South Dakota.

“The 2010 Education Initiative includes a focus on improving the graduation rate of our Native American students,” said Gov. Mike Rounds. “This scholarship provides a powerful incentive for students to finish their high school experience and to pursue higher education. These students should be extremely proud.”

The eight applicants who were selected to receive scholarships for the first time in 2006-07 are:

• Wesley Clifford, New Underwood

• Christina Cordier, Pine Ridge

• Shawna Cuny, Rapid City

• Jesse DeCoteau, Sisseton

• Adam Dell, Rapid City

• Angela Drown, New Underwood

• Sean Franklin, Brookings

• Brian Holmes, Dupree

The 11 students who will continue to receive funding in 2006-07 are:

• Kelsey Cavender, Lake Andes

• Ann Marie Ducheneaux, Rapid City

• Nicholas Estes, Chamberlain

• Raelynn Her Many Horses, Lower Brule

• Andrea Hicks, Batesland

• Kandace McGlynn, Rapid City

• LeAnn Meek, Mission

• Jordon Mendoza, Eagle Butte

• Seth Pearman, Eagle Butte

• Maya Peters, Sisseton

• Margaret Smith, Batesland

According to South Dakota’s 2006 Report Card, the graduation rate of Native American students from the state’s public schools is 66 percent, compared to 89 percent for all students.

Hagen-Harvey scholarships are awarded to recent high school graduates who are enrolled members of one of South Dakota’s nine tribes. Recipients must attend an institute of higher education located in South Dakota. Recipients are chosen based on qualities such as leadership potential, demonstration of exceptional talent, ACT test score, high school grade point average, and other indicators of persistence and drive for success. Students can apply to receive a total of $6,000 over four years.

The scholarship program was established in 2003, after Minerva Harvey left the proceeds of her estate to the South Dakota Department of Education to develop a scholarship program for American Indian students. Richard Hagen was a legislator from Pine Ridge who served in the State House and Senate.