First Place


Photo of Devon and his mother "We want to thank you so much for the scholarship that made it possible for him to attend college and work towards his career goals."

Growing up in the largest populated city of South Dakota, Devon lives with his mother and younger brother. His tribal enrollment is pending, but both his father and his paternal grandmother are citizens of the Yankton Sioux Tribe in southeastern South Dakota. Being a descendent made Devon eligible to receive the AIEF Scholarship.

During his high school coursework, Devon was certain early on that welding was his career choice. He loaded up with math and science classes, but also took two semesters of welding classes and picked up a third semester at a postsecondary Career and Technical Institute in an Advanced Welding and Fabrication course.

In addition to this heavy academic load, Devon held part time jobs since he was 14 years old, averaging 25 hours a week. In his senior year in high school, he logged 50 hours of volunteering, mainly at a meal center for homeless people.

Photo of Devon's sculpture Devon submitted a welded sculpture piece honoring his Native American heritage and won first place!

Devon credits being raised in a single parent household for his skills in budgeting and knowing that hard work will help him be a successful person in his community. Without a father figure in the household, Devon has modeled to his younger brother and stated, “I believe I’ve shown my brother that no matter what your background, your heritage, skin color or culture is, you have a responsibility to be a productive member of your community. I have done this by going to school, working a job, volunteering in my community and talking to him about how to be a person of character.”

Just recently, AIEF received some exciting news from Devon’s mother, Debra. She shared that he will graduate on May 5th with his diploma and certification in welding from the American Welding Society.

Even more exciting, Devon entered a Skills USA state competition in April and took first place! He submitted a welded sculpture piece honoring his Native American heritage and he received a medal, a new welding helmet and welding supplies and will move onto the national Skills USA competition in Louisville, KY in June.

After summer, he returns to school to pursue his Associates in Mechanical Engineering. Both Devon and his mother are very thankful. Debra added, “We want to thank you so much for the scholarship that made it possible for him to attend college and work towards his career goals.”

Devon's Thank You - Thank you so much for the scholarship. I am very excited to start school in the fall and your donation is greatly appreciated.


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