$100,000 awarded to Southeast… | South Dakota Community Foundation

$100,000 awarded to Southeast Technical College Foundation

January 17, 2024 // Grants, Beyond Idea Grant Program

The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) recently awarded a $100,000 Beyond Idea Grant (BIG) to the Southeast Technical College (STC) Foundation. Funding will support the idea to develop and evaluate a pathway initiative for Native American students to pursue and find success in technical careers.

“Data tells us that students with limited access to college prep opportunities are less likely to enroll and graduate from any college,” said Marcella Prokop, Director of Access and Workforce Opportunity at Southeast Tech. “And for Indigenous students in South Dakota, culturally relevant career training that supports personal and community growth has the power to change that data and change lives. Through funding from the Beyond Idea Grant, STC will partner with Native American families and students to learn how we can increase access and opportunity for Indigenous students to enroll in technical education and find meaningful careers.”

Photo Left to Right: Ginger Niemann, Senior Program Officer, SDCF; Marcella Prokop, Director of Access and Workforce Opportunity and Cynthia Mickelson, SDCF Board Member.

Southeast Technical College's mission is to educate individuals for dynamic and rewarding careers that promote lifetime success and meet the workforce needs of our region. This project is comprehensive in that it starts with listening and meeting Native American 8th graders and their families, collaborating with Native high school juniors and seniors on college preparation and providing a welcoming supporting environment towards graduation for all enrolled Native American students at STC. This project serves the STC mission of supporting individuals so they can prepare for and enter fulfilling careers in our region. It places a special emphasis on ensuring our Indigenous residents can enroll in college and persist through it so they may find meaningful work.

“STC is taking the initiative to develop and evaluate ideas to make equitable change for Native American students,” says Ginger Niemann, SDCF Senior Program Officer. “We are proud to partner with them to achieve their mission of promoting lifetime success while meeting workforce needs in our State.”

SDCF is a public non-profit organization established in 1987. SDCF, with offices in Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen administers 1,200 funds benefiting hundreds of charitable organizations annually. The Foundation distributed nearly $31 million in grants in 2023 which made a tremendous difference in communities statewide. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors. If you have a specific cause you would like to support or would prefer to give for the general good of our state, please visit https://sdcommunityfoundation.org/giving to learn more or call 1-800-888-1842.