Column: Comanche teen studies tribal gaming

"On the whole, have casinos benefited the Comanche Nation and other Native American tribes who own and operate them? This question became the subject of an Advanced Placement English class research paper for Rob Boling last year, and his essay impacted more than just his grade point average.

"I wanted to explore the issue and see how it was affecting my tribe and other tribes," Boling said. "I found out that, for the most part, the money is being used well."

Boling, 18 years old and a Hinsdale Central senior, is a member of the Comanche Nation, headquartered in Lawton, Oklahoma.

In June, Boling was named one of five winners in the national 2009 Young Native American Writers essay contest for his submission, "Preserving Native Values: The Effects of Casino Income on Tribal Traditions."

Rob and his teacher, Christine Hicks, were treated to a four-day visit to Washington D.C., courtesy of the Holland and Knight law firm, contest sponsors. There he met the four other contest winners, visited the National Museum of the American Indian among other sites and was awarded a $3,000 scholarship."

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Town column: Teen looks at casinos (The Doings ClarendonHills 9/24)