Awards and Smiles!

LCE Director and Acting Executive Director Janet Whiting recently delivered plaques and checks to the some of the winners in LCE’s Writing and Art Challenge on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The delivery was delayed, in part, due to storms, harsh weather, school closings and flooding. But, were there’s a will there’s a way! Prizes were mailed to winners who could not be present to accept their awards.

The Grand Prize winners in the High School Writing Challenge and the Experienced Art Challenge each received $350 and a plaque. The Grand Prize winners in the Middle School Writing Challenge and the Young Artist Challenge each won $250 and a plaque.

The Grand Prize High School and Middle School writers also earned their respective schools (Pine Ridge High School and Red Cloud Middle School) $1,000 in unrestricted grants, along with a plaque to commemorate the accomplishments of the students and their schools.

Director Janet Whiting said about the presenting the awards:

“It was an honor to go to the schools to meet each student and principal as I could see and feel the excitement of being acknowledged for sharing a piece of themselves with the world. I will always remember their smiles, art and poetry.”

Please take the time to look over the incredible work of these young people! Links to the winning entries of LCE’s prior writing and art challenges may be found on our website.

Do you enjoy reading the inspirational words of Native Youth Voices and seeing incredible artwork? Please consider making a donation to keep our work going!

Keith Martinez Returns In Leadership Role

Keith Martinez

Lakota Children’s Enrichment (LCE) is proud to announce that Keith Martinez (Oglala Lakota) has accepted a position as LCE’s new Director of Development. In addition, Keith will serve on LCE’s Board of Directors.

Keith is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. As a college student, Keith Martinez Co-Founded and Chaired LCE’s Youth Advisory Board and was an active participant in its leadership programs on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Keith was named a South Dakota Youth Ambassador for Youth Service America in 2014. Through this ambassadorship, Keith raised awareness about LCE’s efforts and positively impacted hundreds of young people through his role in helping lead youth summits, fundraising events, toy drives, and LCE’s Writing and Art Challenge. Also in 2014, Keith was one of 5 nationwide recipients of the Center For Native American Youth’s CNAY Champion For Change.

Keith graduated in 2016 from Villanova University with a Bachelor Degree in Communications. At Villanova he was a Gates Millennium scholar, Presidential scholar and a Harry S. Truman Scholarship recipient. Keith is an alumnus of the 2015 Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute (PPIA) at Princeton University.

Keith is a passion-driven individual with a track record of encouraging his peers to obtain an education, mentoring young people and making a positive difference in their communities. Keith said, “I want to see today’s Native youth go out into the world, gain an education to make a true difference in their communities and motivate others to do the same. I look forward to working as LCE’s Director of Development and serving as a member of its Board. I have seen first-hand LCE’s impact in my community and I hope to help LCE further elevate the voices and profiles of Native American youth.”

Keith will work part-time for LCE from the Washington DC Metropolitan area and will focus his efforts on fundraising and outreach.

Inquiries may be addressed to

The 2018 Writing and Art Winners Are Here!

The 2018 Writing and Art Challenge winning entries are LIVE online!

The 2018 theme was MNÍ KIN WIČHÓNI (Water is Life). 

Keep up with the latest and …..

Please visit our 2018 Awards Page right HERE at this LINK.

The 2nd Annual TEDxYOUTH@DINOSAURPARK videos go live!

Speaker, Wiyaka performed an original spoken-word poem!

This October 14, 2017, LCE had the pleasure of being a lead sponsor for the 2nd Annual TEDxYouth@DinosaurPark event in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Native and Non-Native communities of South Dakota came together in a collaborative educational environment to see 6 diverse speakers share their ideas at the Journey Museum and Learning Center on the theme, Voices of the Land. It was a HUGE success!

We have assembled (in alphabetical order) the videos and the bios of each speaker below! Check it out and please share!

  • Alice Liou: “Disrupting the Invisible Ism”   Alice is an educator who works with young people to use design and storytelling as a means to amplify youth voice and build critical community. She is a current Ph.D. student and previously a middle school teacher, a curriculum designer, and an educational researcher. In her talk, Alice shares her idea the ageism is the invisible ism that every person experiences. She takes us though movements led by young people and what we can do to challenge the assumption that youth are “just too young.”

  • Jared Narlock: “Finding Joy” Jared is an advocate for lifelong learning and development. He has had the immense pleasure working to make a difference in the lives of those he works with as the Vice President of Talent Development for Regional Health and as an active volunteer with junior achievement in Rapid City. In his talk, Jared experienced the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, a tipping point in his life, and walks us through his journey to finding joy

  • Liliana Tamayo: Indigenous Rising  Liliana is Sicangu Lakota, raised on the Rosebud Reservation. She currently a Junior in college in Omaha, NE and a mentor to Native students who attend Omaha Public Schools. In her talk, Liliana shares her experiences with the movement at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and explains the importance of today’s Indigenous Rising movements.

  • Marissa Lee Snider “More than 0.01%” Marisa is Lakota from the Hunkpapa, Oglala, and Sicangu bands. She is a recent college graduate who majored in computer science. She is a software developer and is dedicated towards giving back to her community through the access and use of technology. In her talk, Marisa shares that the stark statistic that Native American women make up only 0.01% of technologists, and walks us through the solution of increasing access in Native communities.
  • Nayana Rathmalgoda AKA Lobo Reincarnated “How to Save the Rhino” Nayana  is a Critically Acclaimed Artist, entirely self-taught. Joined onstage with his K9, Angel, he is highly passionate about wildlife with a focus on the illegal wildlife trade. In this talk, Nayana shares his project created through his collaboration with the NGO, Breaking the Brand, to combine art and science in an innovative new approach to combat the trade in Rhino Horn at it’s source.

  • Wiyaka Little Spotted Horse “My Past, Your Future” Wiyaka is a 17-year-old student attending Little Wound High School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. She is a young poet and artist. In her talk, Wiyaka performs her original spoken-word poem, “My past, Your future.” She is member of Lakota Children’s Enrichment’s Youth Advisory Board.

    Thank you for taking the time to watch these amazing young people share their ideas. We could not produce this event on our own! Thank you to our amazing volunteers and sponsors! Organizers were: Maggie Dunne (Lead Organizer), Autumn White Eyes (Organizer, MC, and Speaker Coach), Cindy Dunne (Organizer and Speaker Coach), Troy Kilpatrick (Organizer and Venue Coordinator), the Journey Museum and Learning Center (event venue), Indigene Entertainment Studios (Photography and Videography), Copy Country (Printing), the Performing Arts Center of Rapid City (lighting), and a huge group of volunteers made up of Lakota youth, LCE’s Youth Board, and community members from the Pine Ridge Reservation!

Special props goes out to Indigene Entertainment Studios! Willi White and Angel White Eyes did all of the filming, photography, and editing for the event! WOPILA! (Thank you!)

The first TEDxYouth@DinosaurPark took place in April 2016 and was the first TEDxYouth event ever produced in Rapid City, South Dakota. The second event took place on October 14, 2017!

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

TEDxYouth@DinosaurPark, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, like ours, are self-organized.

Learn more about TEDx HERE.

Visit the TEDxYouth@DinosaurPark’s website HERE. 

Check out all of the photos from our event HERE.

Interested in supporting this event? You can donate on our website, just indicate that you would like your donation to go to supporting this event! If you would like to become a sponsor or volunteer contact us at

Buy your tickets to attend the Scarsdale Rotary Club’s Annual Fundraiser benefitting LCE!

Save the date and buy your ticket today for the Scarsdale Rotary Club annual food and wine tasting fundraiser that will benefit Lakota Children’s Enrichment on April 19, 2018!

2018 Food and Wine Tasting Fundraiser:

April 19, 2018 6-8:30 PM

Scarsdale Golf Club – 35 Club Way – Hartsdale, NY 10530

Tickets: $100 per person

 The Scarsdale Rotary club has been a long time supporter of our work at Lakota Children’s Enrichment. Every year with this event, the Scarsdale Rotary Club raises money for 5 designated organizations (including LCE), and other local charities that can apply for funding.  We are grateful to be selected as a designated grantee once again. This event is sure to be a night to remember, and we hope to see you there! Head over the the Scarsdale Rotary Club’s website to purchase tickets for event day:

The Scarsdale Rotary Club meets every Tuesday from 12 – 1:30pm at:

Moscato’s Restaurant
874 Scarsdale Ave
Scarsdale, NY 10583

Email them if you would like to get involved and like them on Facebook!