Lakota Country Times: Rosebud students earn top scholarship

Pictured (L-R) are Sheighla Lunderman, Georgia Kills In Water (School Board President) and Matilda “Matee” Anderson. The young ladies were presented with shawls by Ms. Kills In Water during an honoring for their achievements in winning scholarships under the Young Scholars Program of the Jack Kent Cook Foundation. Photo by Vi Waln

Sicangu Students Honored
By Vi Waln
Lakota Country Times Correspondent

ST. FRANCIS – The St. Francis Indian School (SFIS) Board of Education honored two students for their individual achievements in winning the Jack Kent Cook Foundation Young Scholars Award.

Sheighla Lunderman and Matilda Anderson were recognized at a school board meeting last week for their accomplishments. Both young ladies are high academic achievers and are involved in school sports as well.

“I want to thank the school board for recognizing this achievement,” stated Lunderman. “It was a lot of constant hard work for me. I had the opportunity to go places and meet new people. It was a very challenging experience, because I was the only Native American everywhere I went.”

“For instance, I was the only Native American out of 700 students at a 4 week event. I felt alone out there. No one prepared me for that. I wanted to give up,” continued Lunderman. “But I realized there are other Native American students out there, I want to spread the word about this scholarship. As Native American students we are all smart and we are capable of working hard.”

The family members of Sheighla and Matilda, as well as the community members in attendance at the board meeting, enjoyed cake and ice cream to celebrate the students’ achievements. Photo by Vi Waln

“I also want to thank the school board for honoring us,” stated Anderson. “I had the opportunity to spend 6 weeks in New Hampshire last summer. I want to continue my education and am interested in biology.”

The young ladies were presented with shawls by Georgia Kills In Water, School Board President. The school board also approved a resolution recognizing the outstanding achievements of Sheighla and Matilda. Cake and ice cream were served in their honor.

“St. Francis is very proud of the accomplishments of these two young ladies,” stated SFIS Superintendent Richard Bad Milk. “They are examples of what can happen when parents support their children. We are putting out good students. Our children can do anything they want.”

According to the Foundation’s website, the Young Scholars Program is highly competitive. A rigorous application review includes analysis of grades, test scores, student and parent essays, letters of recommendation and family finances. There were 1900 applications submitted last year from students all across the country. Out of those 1900 applicants, only 70 were accepted into the program.

Visit the Lakota Country Times and subscribe today

The program enables high-ability middle and high school students with financial need to realize their full academic potential. Through the Young Scholars Program, the Foundation has to date supported 600 students from across the nation, providing them with individualized educational advising combined with comprehensive financial support from the 8th grade through high school.

The website also states that beginning in the 8th grade, the Young Scholars Program, working through fourteen on-staff educational advisers, enables students to:
• Participate in high-quality academic and extracurricular opportunities in their local community, on college campuses, and around the globe.
• Develop the knowledge, talents, and leadership skills to be significant contributors to their field of interest and society at large.
• Set and reach academic and talent goals that will prepare them to be competitive, well-informed applicants for our nation’s best colleges and universities.

The application period is open from January through March each year. Finalists are notified in early fall. To learn more about the Young Scholars Program and to complete an application, visit

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the largest scholarship foundation in the country, is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Because they believe that high-potential, low-income students will excel educationally when given the resources to develop their talents, the Foundation supports exceptional students to develop their talents from elementary school to graduate school through scholarships, grants, direct service, and knowledge creation and dissemination.

Find the award-winning Lakota Country Times on the Internet, Facebook and Twitter.

Join the Conversation
Trending in News
More Headlines