The accompanying essay was read at a recent school Mass by Shelrae, a St. Labre sixth grader.  She speculates that some of her success at the school goes back to when she entered pre-school at age two.  Normally, she would have been in the daycare program, but she says in those days students were tested and could be admitted early if their score was high enough.

“I don’t remember too much about that time except that I was in the same class as my brother who is two years older than I am,” she laughs.  “He might not have liked that.”

What would appear to be a long St. Labre pedigree is anything but:  Shelrae would change schools at least three times over the next few years as her family moved from place to place.  “But now,” she says, “I plan to stay here.  I live with my Grandma and she doesn’t move around.”

When asked about her favorite subject, she is quick to identify the Cheyenne language class.  Her extra-curricular activities are limited to basketball, which she plays with verve.  “I play at school, but every weekend my cousins and I play a lot at home, too.”

We expect  Shelrae has many more basketball games to play at St. Labre as she pursues her education here,  an education, which she greatly appreciates.

By Shelrae

I am thankful to my grandparents for sending me to this school, and I am also thankful for Ms. Melin and Father Paschal for my Catholic education.   Last year I never would want to come to school, except for math.  Then I thought of what I would be missing in religion.  I stopped being late for school.

I’m going to tell you what St. Labre Catholic Indian School has done for me and how it helped me improve in my school work.  St. Labre has helped me to learn to do things that other schools don’t teach.  I have the opportunity to learn our language.  We also have electives like beading, drums,  and Crow language.

There are a couple of reasons why I like this school.  We have values such as respect, excellence, integrity, stewardship, spirituality and justice.  These values are pretty simple.  They have helped me grow in my spirituality and improve on learning my Cheyenne language.

What gives me my motivation?  When I get up in the morning, I look at my iPod the first thing, and on my lock screen it says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

This is what St. Labre Indian Catholic School has done for me.