From first grade through sixth grade, St. Joseph’s Indian School was a home-away-from-home for Rose and her siblings.
“I really enjoyed the time I spent at St. Joseph’s Indian School. We had plenty to do playing sports, hiking the chalk hills, camping, fun with all the other kids we were always busy,” said Rose.
“I want to give back in some way now, because I know what St. Joseph’s helped me accomplish. It’s just so important for these kids to know they’re not alone, that someone else has been where they are.”
When Rose returned to St. Joseph’s Indian School, she was much older… and much wiser.
“As a former student, I know what it’s like to be away from home and how hard it can be to go back home,” she told students. “Everyone has those day to day struggles, but you get up, dust yourself off and you work through them.”
Rose recently shared these inspiring words with St. Joseph’s sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students just before they left St. Joseph’s to spend a break from school with their families. It’s a time when life can be especially challenging, and make good choices harder to see.
The weight of her words settled over the pre-teen crowd, met with a thoughtful hush.
“I know you want to give up,” she continued. “But you reach inside, reach for your inner strength to keep going, hold your head high and tell yourself, ‘you can do this.’ It’s so important to keep making good choices and always remember you have a choice with what you do with your life so get out there and make a difference!”
Rose has made a difference to the boys and girls at St. Joseph’s Indian School. With her powerful encouragement backed by the weight of her own personal experience, Rose helped them to see there’s always hope… But she didn’t stop there.
Rose rallied her coworkers at the South Dakota Department of Environment & Natural Resources to provide Christmas gifts for six of St. Joseph’s homes. In her spare time, Rose volunteers with Emergency Operations at the Criminal Justice Center in her community and coaches youth sports.