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Oglala Lakota
Oglala Lakota College

RW150.jpgRichard White started his college career by leaving the Pine Ridge Reservation for Phoenix, Arizona, where he says his experience at a technical college gave him confidence and made him more independent and knowledgeable.

Richard went on to earn two associates' degrees at United Tribes Technical College, where he graduated with honors. 

Richard is now continuing his education at Oglala Lakota College, where he is studying in the science, engineering, and math program. Richard plans to transfer his credits to the civil engineering program at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where he plans to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Richard has his eye on completing a Ph.D. in civil engineering and returning to his reservation to teach. “I have learned in my life to pass on the knowledge and strengthen our youth for a better tomorrow,” Richard says. He attributes his success to setting many goals, his love of science and engineering, and programs from middle school through high school (including the NASA Honors Program) that gave him hands-on experience and a competitive edge.

Richard served as the president of the Oglala Lakota College American Indian Science and Engineering Society Chapter. He also worked as an intern at his college’s math and science department, where he analyzed soil, water, and plant samples, and presented and won awards for his research.

Richard says, “Many of the students in the tribal colleges need any help they can get and it is people like you that make the college life possible for the students. College life isn’t easy and it does take a lot of money to go and get an education for their future and the future of their children. I am very grateful to receive any help I can get and it is very much appreciated.”


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