May 12th, 2015 Last Updated on: May 12th, 2015
On Tuesday, May 19th, the White House will honor twelve former foster youth as “Champions of Change” who are making a difference in their communities. In addition to honoring these young people for their courage, resilience, and contributions, the event will also highlight their commitment to furthering their education. The event will showcase the stories and work of these inspirational leaders as a part of National Foster Care Month. The program will feature remarks by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Deputy Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity Roy L. Austin Jr.
Two of these outstanding Champions of Change are Oglala Lakota, read more about their story!
Daryle Conquering Bear Crow (Oglala Lakota), is the Healthy Living Program Assistant at the Denver Indian Family Resource Center and is in his senior year of college, on his way to receiving his Bachelors in Human Development and Sports. A proud member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, he speaks nationwide about native youth who experience the child welfare system and advocates for the enforcement of the Indian Child Welfare Act. Conquering Bear Crow has served on advisory boards for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the National Resource Center for Tribes, and Casey Family Programs. He collaborates and has interned with the National Indian Child Welfare Association and currently sits on the North American Council on Adoptable Children board of directors. Daryle Conquering Bear Crow is a senior at Oregon State University.
Eriq Swiftwater is 19 years old and a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. As a freshman in college, Swiftwater studies Business Education and plays on his university’s football team. A graduate of Oelrichs High School in Oelrichs, South Dakota, he served as class president, set records in football, basketball, and track, and graduated as class salutatorian, receiving three academic scholarships, and one athletic scholarship to play football Black Hills State University. At the age of twelve, Swiftwater and his five siblings were placed in foster care, and separated into two different homes. He is currently involved with the South Dakota Gear Up program as Youth Guest Speaker, sharing his story and mentoring students in high schools across the reservation. Eriq Swiftwater is a freshman at Black Hills State University.
The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. The event will be live streamed on the White House website. To watch this event live, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live on May 19th at 9:00AM ET. To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions. Follow the conversation at #WHChamps.
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