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2017-04-20 / Headlines

Sicangu Teen Brings Home SuAnne Big Crow Award

BY VI WALN
LCT CORRESPONDENT


Jayden Rose SDEA SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Award winner. Jayden Rose SDEA SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Award winner. SPRING CREEK – Jayden Rose Whiting, a sophomore at Todd County High School, is the 2017 winner of the SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Award.

Sponsored by the South Dakota Education Association (SDEA), the SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Award for Human and Civil Rights is given to an individual, student or organization. Betty Sokol, a staff member at Spring Creek Elementary School, nominated Ms. Whiting for her commitment to the health, safety and education of the Sicangu young people. Jayden Rose is determined to make her community a better place for everyone.

Jayden Rose is the daughter of Cora M. Whiting of Spring Creek. She is the granddaughter of the late George Whiting and Jessie Ann (Kills In Water) Whiting.

A big accomplishment in her young life was the establishment of Jayden Rose’s Soup Kitchen. The soup kitchen began serving meals in January 2015. A meal is served on the last 2 Sundays of every month at the Spring Creek School gym, when the facility is available. “Everyone is welcome at the soup kitchen,” she said.

“I would always come home from school and ask my mom if I could bring my friends home with me to eat with us, because some of them said they didn’t have anything to eat,” she said. Her mother often sent the Whiting siblings to school with food to share with their friends.

Now, Jayden Rose’s sister Jessie Ann and brother Richard also work hard to keep the soup kitchen running.

“We welcome volunteers and accept donations of any type,” she continued. Depending on the inventory Ms. Whiting and her family are able to accumulate, they distribute clothing, shoes, jackets, personal hygiene products, household supplies and other useful items. People who need these items are encouraged to take them.

All food for the 2 monthly meals, as well as clothing and other items, is provided entirely by the Whiting family. Donations are welcome. You may contact the Whiting family at 605-747-2683 to donate for the soup kitchen.

In addition to her work with the soup kitchen, she is involved in a variety of extracurricular activities. She is a member of the St. Francis Mission (SFM) Youth Group. She also volunteers at Radio Station KINI.

Jayden Rose is also a Peer Mentor for the Tokala Inajinyo Suicide Prevention Program and a member of the Sicangu Youth Council. She wants to join the military after she graduates from high school. A long-term goal is to become a science teacher.

She also knows what it’s like to suffer abuse inflicted by a bully. “After being bullied at school, I took self-defense classes at Black Bull Gym,” she said. “Learning self-defense helped build my self-esteem.”

During the last 2 summers, she attended the American Indian Summer Institute in Earth System Science (AISIESS) Camp at the University of Irvine, California. This summer, she will attend the GenCyber Girls Camp at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology where she will learn techniques in cybersecurity, networking, programming and robotics.

The Easter weekend was a busy one for her and the other members of SFM Youth Group. They made over 150 treat baskets to distribute to local youth after Easter Sunday Mass in St. Francis.

Congratulations to Jayden Rose Whiting for winning the SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Award. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe appreciates her continued work in human and civil rights.

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