Student Stories: I Did This. No One Can Take It Away From Me

This Sunday is the Giving Thanks Benefit for the American Indian OIC (aioic.org) at Famous Dave’s in Calhoun Square. The show is from 3 to 7. We’d love to see you there to help us raise money for a school that makes a HUGE difference in people’s lives. For the rest of this week, we will post stories of people the school has helped. For information on how to help or more information on the show, please go to http://givingthanks.eventbrite.com/.

Here’s the story of Chastity, a 19 year-old girl from a reservation in South Dakota.  Until recently, her life has been extremely difficult.  With her mother imprisoned for drug use almost continuously throughout her life, she was raised by her grandmother who was a severe alcoholic. Several times, Chastity and her siblings were separated and given away to other family members or foster care as the grandmother tired of raising them.  Chastity endured severe abuse during her childhood and was continuously surrounded by chemical dependency.  With so much chaos around her, she failed out of ninth grade and dropped out of school entirely.  After struggling with sobriety in her early and mid teens, Chastity sought a way out.  She joined job core for a few years to earn some money and learn some skills. After job core, she settled in Minneapolis and found it hard to get a job without an education.  She enrolled at the Minnesota Internship Center High School (a partner school in this grant).  Soon after, she found out about the health care training at the American Indian OIC and enrolled in March.  In April of this year, she completed her Nursing Assistant Training. She was so proud of her accomplishments and stated that she was the first in her family to obtain any additional schooling. At the certificate awards, she stated, “this is mine – I did this and no one can ever take it away from me.”  Chastity remains in high school while working at a local nursing home.

Be a part of the story. Make a difference. See you at the show!

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