Two-dozen students graduate and choose their future
RONAN — Change can be good and it certainly is when a person has the
choice to make changes. Representative John Fleming (D), HD 12, was at
Kicking Horse Job Corps and addressed students, staff and family
members present at their recent graduation.
Fleming, a second-generation legislator who is currently
seeking reelection said he was there to talk about changes (and
destiny). Representative Fleming reaffirmed that their destiny was
about choices each will make - where to live and work, to get married
or not. Ultimately, he said, you're in control of your own life by the
choices you make.
Fleming recalled part of Senator Mike Mansfield's speech to
American youth in 1989: "We are living in a fast changing world. You
are young enough to keep up with it... You haven't been given much of a
legacy, but you have been given a great challenge and what you do will
determine what your successors will be."
When Mike Mansfield came to Great Falls, Montana in 1910,
across the Continental Divide, the Flathead Reservation had changed and
was being carved away by homesteaders. Salish, Kootenai and Pend
d'Oreille Indians' lives changed. Mike Mansfield was seven years old
and his life was forever changed too. After he had lost his mother, his
father sent him and his two sisters to live in Montana with family.
Mansfield mucked his way out of the mines in Butte and became the
nation's longest serving Senate Majority Leader. Mansfield had indeed
"Life brings changes but you can be in charge," Fleming says.
For two-dozen Kicking Horse graduates, whatever their choices,
they have proven that they can succeed, says Tom Vail, Kicking Horse
Job Corps Academic Manager.
Like the young couple at graduation, Ian and Maryinna, their
lives were forever changed and they made a choice to make a life
together. In front of their peers, Ian proposed and Maryinna accepted,
while many witnessed, cheered and clapped.
Kicking Horse offers several graduation dates throughout the year and the September graduation was unique.
Ron Oldman traveled from Arapaho, Wyoming to attend his son's
graduation and to sing an honor song for the graduates. The elder
Oldman said that he believed that when he is asked to help, he never
Kicking Horse staff member Trudie Garcia watched as her
grandson, Ryan Hardy, accepted two certificates for completing his
Graduation wouldn't be complete without listing the graduates
and their accomplishments and how sweet it was for one culinary arts
student. Actually that's her last name. Lauren Sweet, 22,
daughter of Carol Jean and Randy Sweet from Edgewater, Colorado;
graduated from Kicking Horse Job Corps with a certificate in Culinary
Arts. Lauren completed her training in 11 months. While a student at
Kicking Horse, Lauren held the following leadership responsibilities:
dorm representative in student government, new student guide, and
Lauren volunteered and assisted with meal preparations for
wakes at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius in her spare time. Lauren plans
to go to Treasure Island in San Francisco, CA for advance training in
Culinary Arts Program.
Tyndale Tallman, 20,
member of the Navajo Nation and the son of Julius and Sharon Tallman,
of St. George, Utah graduated with a certificate in Diesel Mechanics.
He completed his training in 29 months. Tyndale also held Room leader,
new student guide, and Safety Officer leadership positions. Tyndale
plans to attend advance training at United Auto Workers in Clearfield,
Anthony Owen Johnson, 21,
son of Owen and Ginny Johnson, of Draper, Utah graduated with a
certificate in Diesel Mechanics. He completed his training in 12 months
and held several leadership roles for Kicking Horse. Anthony also plans
to go to advance training at UAW in Clearfield.
Shelby North Peigan
(Shortman), 18, member of the Fort Belknap/ Sisseton Wahepeton Sioux
Tribe; and daughter of "Birdie" Darlene Shortman and Roberto Sanchez
graduated with a certificate in Culinary Arts. Shelby completed her
training in 18 months and also earned her GED and High School Diploma.
Her mother also attended Shelby's graduation. Shelby's plans included
going to work and going to SIPI next fall in Arizona.
Gregory Oldman, 24, member
of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, and the son of Ron Oldman and Theresa
Oldman-Guina of St. Stephens, WY graduated with a certificate in
Culinary Arts. Gregory completed his training in 10 months and was a
dorm leader, Safety Officer, REC aide, New Student Guide, Corpsman
aide, dorm representative and Vice President of Student Government.
In Greg's spare time, he also volunteered to cook at
traditional wakes at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius and at The People's
Center during Native American Awareness Week. Greg plans to work in
construction and eventually work in the Culinary Arts field.
Monyee Wheeler, 19,
graduated with a certificate in Culinary Arts. Monyee completed the
training in 22 months. Monyee held the following leaderships: Student
Body President, Student Body Vice President, Dorm Representative,
Section Chief, and REC Section Chief. Monyee plans to continue in the
culinary field, obtain his GED and go to college in Denver, Colorado.
Cassandra Stotts, 24,
daughter of Mike and Ellen Stotts of Greeley, Colorado graduated with a
certificate in Business Administration. Cassandra completed her
training in five months. Cassandra worked as a Center Activities Office
aide, CTS aide, Math Tutor, and New Student Guide. Cassandra plans to
go to advance training at TCU in San Jose, CA.
Maryinna Carstens, 20,
member of the Choctaw Nation and the daughter of Denise Hunt and Joseph
Carstens graduated with certificates in Nursing Assistant and
Phlebotomy. Maryinna completed her training in six months. Maryinna was
a dorm leader, New Student Guide, and Math Tutor. Maryinna plans to
marry Ian Holyoak and attend college in California to become a LPN.
Mathew Matheson, 23,
graduated with a certificate in Clinical Medical Assistant. He
completed his training in 12 months. Matthew held the following
leaderships: Phone Aide, Corpsman aide, New Student Guide, Math Tutor,
Room leader, and Section Chief. Matthew plans to attend Dixie State
College for Pre-Med classes and become a Cardiologist.
Dillon Sinyard, 17, son
of Dean Sinyard of Montrose, Colorado graduated with a certificate in
Culinary Arts. Dillon completed his training in nine months and earned
his GED and High School Diploma. Dillon also held the following
leaderships: Room Leader, REC Section Chief, and New Student Guide.
Dillon plans to seek employment in the Culinary Arts field in Montrose,
Ryan Hardy, 20, the son
of Ron and Robin Hardy of Ronan, and the grandson of George and Trudie
Garcia, graduated with certificates in Nursing Assistant and
Phlebotomy. Ryan completed his training in five months. Ryan plans to
attend Salish Kootenai College as a first year Nursing student and will
graduate from SKC in June of 2012.
Tiana McBride, 20,
daughter of Natalie Jackson and Frank McBride of Great Falls, graduated
with a certificate in Nursing Assistant. Tiana completed her training
in six months. While a student at Kicking Horse, she held the following
leadership roles: New Student Guide, Math Tutor and CAO aide. Tiana
plans to work as a CNA and attend Great Falls College of Technology.
Ian Holyoak, 20,
graduated with a certificate in Culinary Arts. He competed his training
in five months. Ian also received his Driver's license, GED and High
School Diploma. Ian held the following leaderships: REC Section Chief,
Math Tutor, Student Body President, and Corpsman aide. Ian plans to wed
Maryinna Carstens and join the Coast Guard and make their home in
Clarissa Redday, 18,
member of Navajo Nation and the daughter of Jennifer Jane Joe of Aneth,
Utah and Stanley Redday of Sisseton, South Dakota graduated with a
certificate in Business Administration. She completed her training in
17 months. While a student at Kicking Horse, she held the following
leaderships: Room Leader, Section Chief, Dorm Chief, New Student Guide,
Corpsman aide, student welfare committee and educational aide. Clarissa
also plans to attend advanced training at TCU in San Jose, CA.
Jessica Williams, 25,
the daughter of Michele Wilkie of Grand Junction, Colorado graduated
with a certificate in Business Administration. She completed her
training in only four months and still managed to be a New student
Guide, REC aide, CTS aide, and Phone aide. She plans to join several
others and receive advanced training at TCU in San Jose, CA and then
relocate to Orlando, Florida.
Michaelene Sam, 21,
member of the Tohono O'Odham Tribe, and the daughter of Michelle Ortega
of Sells, Arizona graduated with a certificate in Business
Administration. She held the following leadership roles: Room Leader
and CTS aide in her eight months on center. Michaelene plans to attend
Tohono O'Odham Community College for Early Childhood Development.
Hunter Ewing, 20, the
son of Janet and Keith Ewing of Eaton, Colorado graduated with a
certificate in Culinary Arts. He completed his training in 11 months
and earned his GED and High School Diploma. Hunter was a Room leader,
Section Chief and New Student Guide and a Safety Officer. Hunter plans
to go to college and work.
Pamela Sagg, 22, member
of the Navajo Nation and the daughter of Roselyn Yellowman and Lucinda
Pelt of Southern Utah, graduated with a certificate in Business
Administration. She completed her training in 10 months and earned her
GED. She held the following leadership positions: Room leader, Section
Chief, Dorm Chief, Safety Officer, Dorm Representative and Corpsman
Aide. Pamela plans to seek employment in Denver, CO.
Victoria Cdebaca, 19,
daughter of Joann and Chris CdeBaca of Denver, Colorado graduated with
a certificate in Nursing Assistant. She completed her training in 10
months and earned her GED. She was a leader in the dorms and was a New
Student Guide. Victoria plans to live in Denver, Colorado and work at
the Children's Hospital.
Janice Perrigo, 21, the
daughter of Debbie and Kevin Perrigo of Colorado Springs, Colorado
graduated with certificates in Nursing Assistant and Phlebotomy. She
completed her training in 15 months. Janice also earned her GED and
held leadership roles in the dorm and student government. She plans to
go to Colorado Springs and continue her education in the medical field
Brandon Stauffer, 19,
son of Tresa and Wesley Stauffer of Buena Vista, Colorado graduated
with a certificate in Heavy Equipment Repair. Brandon completed his
training in 12 months. Brandon worked as a Phone aide and New Student
Guide. Brandon plans to go home and work for a heavy equipment repair
Evan Englert, 20, son
of Linda Bohochik and Steven Englert of Colorado graduated with a
certificate in Heavy Equipment Repair. Evan completed his training in
12 months and also earned his GED and High School Diploma. He plans to
attend college in Colorado.
Jessica Eagle, 23,
member of the Sisston/Wahpton Oyate Tribe, and the daughter of Michael
Masoka and Donnette Eagle graduated with a certificate in Business
Administration. She completed her training in six months. She held
leadership positions in the dorm and was New Student Guide. Jessica
plans to work and go to college for her Associates Degree.
Scott Andre, 20, son of
Amie Andre of Thornton, CO and Alan Andre of Loveland, Colorado
graduated with a certificate in Facilities Maintenance. He completed
his training in 10 months and also earned his GED. Scott plans on
attending Front Range Community College for HVAC in Thornton, Colorado.
It takes a whole lot of people to get these students where they
are today. The national Job Corps program officially started back in
1964 and the program today serves approximately 100,000 youth annually.
While Kicking Horse Job Corps has changed from an all-Indian
Job Corps Center - it still remains to be a training program operated
by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
The staff members at Kicking Horse are always there for the students, and that part hasn't - and will never be changed.