Success Stories

A Care Package for Jalynn

A photo of Jalynn, Jalynn is a junior at Sinte Gleska University, where is a Human Services major with an emphasis on mental health.

24-year-old Jalynn of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe was awarded an AIEF scholarship for the 2022-2023 school year. She’s a junior at Sinte Gleska University, working on her bachelor’s in human services with an emphasis on mental health.

As a new mother, Jalynn was relieved to be selected as an AIEF scholar. “I felt happy when I got the news. I knew I was going to be okay.” Jalynn attends school online, and also holds a part-time job 23 miles from her home. Her husband is an auto mechanic without consistent work. Jalynn shared, “we’re staying afloat but it’s a struggle.”

Raised by her grandmother, Jalynn has fond memories of growing up in Fort Thompson on the Crow Creek Reservation. “We were always doing things for others, like bringing food to the elderly. My grandmother is in a nursing home herself now. She has dementia and lost her sight, so she can’t see my baby.”

Jalynn still hopes to make her grandmother proud by graduating from college and serving her community as a health professional. “Last year, I volunteered at a women’s shelter and enjoyed working with women and children. I want to work in behavioral health, and I know I can help whatever program I end up working for...”

When she received the AIEF care package, Jalynn was “surprised by how much was in the box.” She found items like laundry detergent, face masks and hand sanitizer. “I make everyone sanitize their hands before they hold my son, so I was happy to get sanitizer because it’s expensive - laundry stuff too. It’s hard getting off the reservation to buy things, especially traveling with a baby.” Between the scholarship and the helpful care package, Jalynn can focus on her future.

Only 16% of Native Americans hold a college degree today. But you can help push this number higher. Invest in Native education by donating to AIEF today.


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