This nonprofit provides a hand up to the youth of the Oglala Lakota Nation on Pine Ridge Reservation in SD. Over the years, it has steadily made an impact in lives by opening doors to opportunities, by financially supporting educational opportunities and by creating programs that give youth an opportunity to excel (writing, sports, art, leadership, mentorship). The works of Writing and Art Challenge winners have reached hundreds of thousands of viewers and have been picked up by Al Jazeera, Public Radio and other media entities. The Founder Organized a TEDxYouth event (TEDxYouth@DinosaurPark, an independently organized TED event) in 2016 which brought Native and non-Native youth together for an amazing dialogue.
In addition, the Founder brought a teen from Pine Ridge who is interested in Environmental Sciences to Antarctica, to share the opportunity to witness the impact of climate change first hand; this was the young girl's first trip out of the country and it is one which will likely have a lasting impact. The mission of this nonprofit is to elevate the voices of Native Youth and the accomplishments of the youth who have gone through the programs are evidence of its success. Many youth have receive service awards, scholarships, a Truman Scholarship and other awards for their work in the community through LCE.
In previous years we were assisted by Lakota Children's Enrichment --A New York Based Non-profit entirely run and operated by Non-Lakota's living in Scarsdale, New York. It was great at the time. They have a friend-Nora - who's an incredible young woman that really was the mover behind the gift and toy drive to help Maggie whose a friend and founder of LCE. We gifted Nora a beautiful satin Star Quilt because we knew she was the silent Angel behind the toy drive. But distrust and EGO has since surfaced in the rank and file of LCE. They have unfriended me and my children that once were on their touted Youth Board of Lakota students when I made the mistake of asking them to see their bank statements, expenditures, and budget. I did so because I was not only their community outreach person living here on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation but also because I was under mounting pressure from our people that wanted to know how all the finances LCE was raising is actually being spent. I thought they were my friends and thought they would have no problem with being transparent but I was wrong. They even had the nerve to publish a report stating they donated thousands of gifts to last years party but it's an out right lie. Unless they counted all the used books that they expected us to give as gifts to children they raise many thousands of dollars for. Fact is they approached a Lakota Owned Charity and received a thousand dollar grant to be earmarked for our party. This was not nice and we did not recieve a thousand dollars worth of gifts from that donation from the Billy Mills Foundation. I really put myself out there for this group and grew to love and respect its founder Maggie who talked me up in many accounts as her mentor but her Mom is the really controller of her efforts. They have since moved on to enlisting other poster Lakota's that don't ask questions so long as LCE is throwing a few scraps(compared to money coming into their organization). A real shame. I feel a four-year audit is in order.
It is truly an honor to be an advisor for the Lakota Children's Enrichment Inc. I have volunteered with their projects on several different occasions and have witnessed the positive impact that is being made for the Lakota youth. The writing challenge has encouraged many Lakota youth to share their thoughts on important issues. The support LCE provides to these amazing Lakota youth in whatever their hearts desire is truly awesome. I am looking forward to the great things that will happen because of Maggie and LCE.
The people of the LCE not only help children on the Pine Ridge Reservation, they inspire those of us who know them to work harder for the goals of LCE and of other organizations we support. The founder, Maggie Dunne, makes it clear that one person can make a difference, and that person can be a teen or a grandparent. LCE has found a way for each of us to help – be it packing books, working on the Reservation, making a financial donation or “just” learning and spreading the word.
The LCE organization has encouraged and supported my granddaughter Summer Rose Montileaux by recognizing her talents as an upcoming poetry writer. And gave her opportunities to continue her educational endeavors. I am impressed with Maggie's reason to help our people the Oglala Lakota. As an elder and community member I am deeply moved that this is happening in my lifetime. For this I am eternally grateful.. Mitakuye Oyasin (All my relatives)
Panke Ska Win
Lakota Children's Enrichment is an impactful nonprofit whose programs provide enrichment opportunities for the bright, talented, amazing Native American youth on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. As a LCE volunteer, I have had the opportunity to visit Pine Ridge twice, and I’ve seen firsthand the need for programs like LCE’s that promote leadership, creative expression, athletics, service learning, and activism. I've had the privilege of meeting the children whose lives have been positively changed by LCE's work, and I have been inspired by the many members of the LCE team (including Founder and CEO Maggie Dunne, the Board, and all the wonderful volunteers) who work collaboratively to address the injustices on the Reservation. LCE does truly important work with passion, enthusiasm, and optimism and it is an organization whose mission is deserving of all Americans' attention.
The Lakota Children’s Enrichment Project serves a great purpose. I met the founder Maggie Dunne when she gave a talk about the organization. Since then I have learned a great deal about the work that she and her volunteers do to help the youth on the Pine Ridge reservation. I recently attended the inaugural fundraiser. The more I learn about the project the more I understand the need for this organization.
I have had the great pleasure of following the beautiful journey of Maggie Dunne, founder of LCE,from when she first learned of the tremendous need for activism on behalf of the children of Pine Ridge, through all she has done in the years that have followed, all with the goal of benefiting and enriching the lives of those children. She is an extraordinary person and her mission, this organization, is brilliant. She absolutely has my gratitude and support.
LCE is a great group of dedicated people who truly care about the youth that live on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota.
As a member of the Board I am a Lakota Youth of the Pine Ridge reservation who has directly benefited from the amazing work being done by this non-profit. This program is giving youth of the Reservation a true voice and hope to reach their life dreams. I hope this non-profit will continue its work for many years to come for the betterment of the Reservation as a whole.