Bobby Pourier: #Service #Ambassador

Bobby DC

Bobby Pourier, South Dakota’s NCAM Youth Service Ambassador 2014-15

Bobby Pourier, Jr. constantly pushes himself and his peers to do better and to help their communities on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and his commitment to service was just recognized on a national level.  We are proud to announce that Bobby was appointed by Youth Service of America (YSA) and the Festival of Children Foundation to be South Dakota’s National Child Awareness Month Ambassador. Out of the thousands of applications that YSA received from youth across the nation, they selected only one representative to serve as each state’s youth representative, plus one from the District of Columbia. They said in their notification that Bobby’s service proposal “stood out as one of the best.”

Bobby Pourier and Maggie Dunne met up in Washington DC in July 2014

Bobby Pourier and LCE’s Maggie Dunne met up in Washington DC in July 2014

As South Dakota State’s Youth Service Ambassador, Bobby will represent the State (and Lakota Children’s Enrichment) at an all expenses paid one-week leadership training session in Washington DC, and he will assume a key role in shaping some of Lakota Children’s Enrichment’s programs throughout the 2014-15 school year. In addition he will receive leadership and mentorship support from YSA throughout the year.

In his application, Bobby proposed for LCE to produce a panel discussion on education in all of the communities across the Reservation. He called his proposal How and Why to Become a Better Student.”

Inspired by a panel discussion at a recent Game Changers Youth Summit, where teachers, TFA staff and community members spoke about the importance of continuing in education and how to rise above the negative pressure to drop out of school, Bobby proposed to bring these discussions to all students across the rural Reservation. Because of the distances between the communities on Pine Ridge Reservation and limited mass transportation options, it is difficult for many students to attend LCE’s summits —  and Bobby wants to see students from all communities engaged in positive discussions about education and strategies to persevere.

Bobby said about his Youth Service America appointment: 

I’m honored to be selected as South Dakota’s Youth Service Ambassador. I look forward to meeting the YSA team in Washington DC and to working with them throughout the next year!  I hope that my participation in this program will encourage other young people to follow their dreams. Working together we can become a positive force of change inside our community, and in the world.

I love my community and want for everyone to have the opportunity to engage in positive and productive discussions about the value of higher education. The negative pressure to drop out of school on Pine Ridge can make you lose sight of the fact that a solid education opens doors to a better future. LCE never lets us forget that those of us who remain in school and give back to our communities really are the “cool” kids. I am thankful for the support of  both of my amazing parents, my gram, everyone at LCE and everyone else who has given me any kind of support.

“At only age 16, Bobby is an amazing role model for youth anywhere,” said LCE’s Maggie Dunne. “He regularly pushes himself outside of his comfort zone and encourages his peers to engage in service.  Bobby is a Co-Founding member of Lakota Children’s Enrichment’s Youth Advisory Board, and is an incredibly valuable member of the team – he puts thought and care into everything he does.  This is a well-deserved honor for Bobby, and we look forward to watching and supporting his future accomplishments.”

“On a related note,” said Dunne, “it is gratifying to see LCE’s Youth Board members receive continued recognition from YSA.  The youth on Pine Ridge Reservation face many challenges, and LCE’s Youth Board members are proving to themselves, their peers and to the world that anything is possible.”

Among many other accomplishments, Bobby just returned from a ten-week internship in Washington DC with the National Institutes of Health, where he focused on alcohol addiction research. Bobby is a student at the Red Cloud High School in Pine Ridge.

You can follow Bobby on Twitter at @WildHeartAF

Wopila (Thank You) to YSA for being an amazing resource and a supporter of native youth!

#inspired #NativeYouth #fearless #NCAM #YSA

YSA is a national nonprofit that works with young people and their adult mentors, to improve communities by increasing the number and diversity of young people serving in substantive roles. The Festival of Children Foundation is a national nonprofit that improves the lives of children by strengthening the charities that serve them.

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