LMU Forms Partnership with Red Cloud Indian School

Thanks to a $55,825 grant from the Adams Mastrovich Family Foundation, Loyola Marymount University will send two full-time post-graduate volunteers to the Red Cloud Indian School in South Dakota next academic year.

Red Cloud is a Catholic K-12 school in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, that serves more than 600 Lakota Native American children. Through the Center for Service and Action, the grant will pay for two LMU graduates to travel to and serve at the school. The volunteers, who live on the Red Cloud campus, will serve in roles such as teachers (elementary, middle and high school), librarians, aides or coaches.

Anne Grass, volunteer coordinator for Red Cloud, said the newly formed relationship will be a valuable one for both Red Cloud Indian School and LMU.

“We are a rural Jesuit school that serves an overlooked group in the United States, so we rely on awareness and generosity from across the country,” Grass said during a recent visit to the LMU campus. “Having a university like LMU step up to be a reliable partner helps keep the doors open.”

Tom King, assistant director of Center for Service and Action, said he is thankful that Red Cloud is willing to provide the opportunity for LMU graduates like Vanessa Grisco, who currently volunteers at the South Dakota school.

Grisco (’14) is finishing a 10-month term of service, but has renewed for a second term thanks to the meaningful service experience and opportunity to learn about the Lakota Sioux culture. She said LMU and Red Cloud “share similar educational values that stem from the Jesuits,” and added that Red Cloud is the ideal place for LMU students looking for post-graduate service.

“The students I work with always ask why I left Los Angeles to be here,” said Grisco, who serves as a first grade aid, bus driver and volleyball coach at Our Lady of Lourdes, the sister school of Red Cloud. “As an LMU alum, I see myself giving these kids a glimpse of the education LMU gave me, so they know they can get the same education. I want to extend to them my love of learning that was deepened during my college years.”

For more information about the the volunteer opportunity, email Tom King of the Center for Service & Action or call (310) 338-5727.

Photograph courtesy of the Red Cloud Indian School.