Help Native American Graduates Achieve Their Dreams

At St. Labre Indian School we provide our students with a life-changing education that celebrates our Catholic faith and embraces the Native American cultures of the Northern Cheyenne and Crow tribes. Some of our Indian students come from homes that are broken by drugs or alcohol abuse. The safety and security they find within our classrooms are critical in helping them finish school and preparing them for a brighter, better future.

For these and many other reasons that you make possible, these resilient young men and women have made St. Labre’s graduation rate 92.8% — much higher than the 81.8% graduation rate for the entire state of Montana.

That’s part of what we call the “miracle” here at St. Labre. And with the generous help of friends like you, we want to continue helping our graduates achieve their dreams.

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The Impact of a St. Labre Education

St. Labre Indian High School graduates are eligible for scholarship funding to attend the post-secondary educational program of their choice. Your support makes possible an education with personal and economic impact far exceeding the national averages for Native Americans and continues to bring hope to children from the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Indian Reservations.

Graduation Rates

Drop Out Rates

College Attendance Rates

Percentage of graduates since 2009 who attended college or other post-secondary education their first year following high school.

College Retention Rate

Percentage of graduates who returned to college for the second academic year since 2007.

Scholarships & Financial Assistance

Total amount of scholarships awarded to St. Labre graduates in the last 13 years.

Number of St. Labre Alumni who
have Earned College Degrees

Since 2008

Alumni Currently Served by the
Post-Secondary Mentoring Program


Two St. Labre Grads — Two Lives Transformed

“If not for St. Labre, I wouldn’t have finished school.”

Woodsi King

St. Labre graduate

“You have done so much for me. You gave me my love for reading.”

Joel Martinez

St. Labre graduate

“In some ways, this story is as much about me as it is about these two young men. Without them, I might not be where I am today.”

Dave Charpentier

Mentoring Program Coordinator
St. Labre Indian School

Woodsi King was the first person I met on the St. Labre campus in the fall of 1990. Woodsi went on to graduate as salutatorian of his class. He may be the best student I’ve ever had in terms of connecting and synthesizing ideas from great works of literature and moments of history.

Joel Martinez was in my sophomore honor’s English class. Joel was a top student who excelled in wrestling and participated in student council, wrote for the school paper, and undertook other leadership roles in the high school. He was an articulate speaker who had a calm way of sharing his ideas and point of view in discussions, and he encouraged others to do the same.

Woodsi graduated in 1992 and Joel the following year. It would be almost ten years before the Mentoring Program began in 2001. In the intervening time, I lost all track of them — except for one common piece of information. I heard they spent time in prison.

Five years ago, I traveled to visit both of them, Woodsi in Pablo and Joel in Great Falls. They were both in the beginning stages of contemplating a college education. I helped them outline their goals, formulate a plan, and apply for the St. Labre Scholarship Program. Over the next five years, I traveled to visit them on a regular basis.

This past spring, over 20 years since their high school graduations, they both earned college degrees. Their graduations were two weeks apart, and due to other commitments, I had to miss Joel’s. When I notified him, he replied, in typical gracious fashion, “That’s fine, Dave. You have done so much for me. You gave me my love for reading.”

Joel earned two Associate of Science degrees concurrently in micro computer support and network support. Joel received the St. Labre Scholarship throughout his time at the Great Falls College. He was very grateful for the financial support he received. “The scholarship really helps a person from the reservation, who is already fighting obstacles and bad odds. There is enough stress with school. Not worrying as much about how you will pay for it reduces the stress of the financial burden,” he told me.

Woodsi’s graduation was the first Saturday in June in Pablo, Montana, ten miles south of Flathead Lake, over 600 miles from St. Labre. Woodsi excelled in his college classes, first in his social work studies, and then in his forestry coursework when he changed majors. His GPA each semester neared the 4.0 mark.

“If not for St. Labre, I wouldn’t have finished school. I learned how to write at St. Labre, and without this writing skill, I never would have made it through college.”

Woodsi earned an Associate of Science degree in forestry. He is returning to school this fall to pursue his Bachelor of Science in forestry, which he will earn next spring, along with another associate degree in native resources.

The “Miracle” of St. Labre Indian School

Providing a quality education to some of the nation’s most forgotten children so they can succeed in life is our mission at St. Labre Indian School. We want every child who is taught and lovingly cared for in our classrooms to be self-sufficient once they graduate St. Labre.

But we can’t do this alone. The kind donations from generous friends like you help transforms lives, giving our Indian kids the tools for a better life and the education they need to compete in the real world.

Please give now to help deserving Native American students on their path toward graduation and beyond. Together, we can help them realize their dreams of achieving extraordinary things!

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