Youth Enrichment provides Native Children with Hopeful Future

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Sheila WhitefaceSheila Whiteface and her son.

By Kristin Vanevenhoven, Communications Specialist

Q&A with Sheila Whiteface on her involvement with American Indian Youth Enrichment

Q: How did you get involved?

A: We moved here from South Dakota about a year ago. And this is the only place I found that has a specific Native American enrichment program. My son just loves it here. It has opened his eyes to who he is, being Native, and all the things that are possible for him and his future. He is the youngest of my five children and the only one who has been able to be involved.

Students made Native shields during their American Indian Culture class.

Students made Native shields during their American Indian Culture class.

Q: What is his favorite part of the program?

A: Powwows and singing.

Q: What would you tell someone else thinking about getting involved?

A: My own daughters are skeptical. But when I watch their kids, my grandkids, they are always surprised by what goes on here and what my son is learning. I always tell them, this is what he loves, and this is what he wants to do.

Q: What impact has this program had on your family?

A: Huge impact. My son comes home with stories everyday. He is excited to get up and going so he can learn more. Thanks to the program, it has opened his eyes to see how he can represent himself, take care of himself, and his future.

Q: What would you like to say to program donors?

A: I hope you can donate as much as you can. To see how it brings a smile to these kids faces. To know that these children look forward to the future. To know that there is hope. This is all thanks to your donations. If it was not for this program, who knows were my son would have been, he might have never known that he was Native American. So I would like to thank the whole program for everything they have done for my son and our family.

To learn more about the Youth Enrichment program, please contact:

Rebecca Fairbanks Dickinson
Youth Enrichment Coordinator