Ogallala Commons (OC) has enriched my sense of place in community involvement and gains of work experience by learning and performing the proper approach in conducting and contributing to local events.
Becoming a part of OC’s mission to relay natural resources and commonwealth assets meant focusing on the youth by being involved in efforts to conserve and preserve our planet. This year Ogallala Commons has welcomed me and Tasina Lone Elk as the first interns from South Dakota. OC promotes inter-ethnicity in their organization so I felt highly involved in expanding their network as being one of two interns representing my homeland of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
My internship has become a story about a youth-based idea. The youth become proactive in growth and development of common assets in culture and sustain region as the time setting taking place in my generation. My story is what connects me to my fellow interns following the same tale through their own projects under the name of Ogallala Commons.
My summer agenda began with youth activities evolving to community events and then becoming a combination of the two groups. My hours for my internship were delayed in the month of June due to the excessive rainstorms. During the month of July, I operated 3 events that totaled to 70 work hours and 10 community hours. The two main events were the week of July 13th through 17th when Tasina and I operated the 7th Annual Youth Leadership Camp in association with Beginner Farmers and Ranch with assistance with Lacrosse, WI School District and the 8th Annual Suicide Awareness Bike, Run, and Walk; sponsored by Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Emergency Youth Shelter.
The Youth Leadership Camp focused on showing the youth the proper measures to take action in creating strong voices in the community by proposing ideas that’ll affect community lifestyle. Activities included identifying characteristics of a leader, guest key-speakers giving motivation speeches, practicing Roberts Rule of Order, mock presentations of building recreation centers, and CPR training. We concluded the Leadership Camp with Suicide Awareness Bike, Run, and Walk that emphasizes collaboration and cooperation among local community agencies.
There are views of the purpose of our events as putting more significance in our community member’s post-existence than the ones still alive today. However, our events are posthumous, the focus is preparing the youth (the highly susceptible to our region’s suicide epidemic) to recognize and respond when a fellow peer is showing factors of depression. By doing this, the efforts as a community are likely to have the greatest and most stainable impact in counteracting our mental health crisis.