DIW Teacher Thomas Draskovic Named “Dreamstarter Teacher”


Department of Indian Work Teacher, Thomas Draskovic, is one of 24 teachers to be named “Dreamstarter Teacher” by Running Strong for American Indian Youth. He will receive $500 – $1,000 in grants to purchase additional books to build his classroom library of cultural relevant books.

By Kristin Vanevenhoven, Communications Specialist

On February 1, Running Strong for American Indian Youth announced that Thomas Draskovic from American Indian Magnet School in Saint Paul is one of 24 talented educators in the first-ever class of Dreamstarter Teachers. Each educator will receive $500 – $1,000 grants to support the educational needs of Native students.

Thomas Draskovic is the lead teacher for the Department of Indian Work American Indian Youth Enrichment program and also works as the Lakota Culture Teacher at American Indian Magnet School. He has been working in the American Indian community for more than 20 years.

Thomas will use this Dreamstarter Teacher Grant to purchase additional culturally relevant books for his classroom library. He has spent years building a library of books for his students to read as part of his work to help the students access their indigenous culture and history. By providing these resources, he is offering a safe space for indigenous youth to feel personal and cultural pride.

Dreamstarter provides grants to teachers serving Native students. Grants can be used for almost anything teachers need for their classrooms, like educational resource materials, supplies, equipment, professional development, field trips, or stipends for bringing community liaisons into the classroom. We are honored and grateful that Thomas Draskovic chooses to teach in our program, and that he has been chosen to receive this grant.

A full list of this class of Dreamstarter Teachers and their projects can be found on the Running Strong website.

To learn more about American Indian Youth Enrichment, please contact:

Rebecca Fairbanks Dickinson
American Indian Youth Enrichment Coordinator, Department of Indian Work