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Daschle meets with Pine Ridge youth

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WASHINGTON - Sen. Tom Daschle met with students from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation at the U.S. Capitol on July 29. The students were in Washington participating in the National Youth Opportunity Skills Challenge, a competition sponsored by the Department of Labor's Youth Opportunity Program.

"The Youth Opportunity Program gives Native youth the chance to gain technical skills that will be helpful later in life," Daschle said. "I am so glad these students are able to participate in such a meaningful program."

The Pine Ridge students competed locally for the chance to attend the National Youth Opportunity Skills Challenge in Washington. At the two-day national competition, the students were judged on their academic achievement and employment skills. The group represented the only competitors from South Dakota at the national competition.

Students from high schools on the Pine Ridge Reservation are eligible to participate in the Oglala Sioux Youth Opportunity Program. With the mission of improving work and life skills for youth on the reservation, the program encourages students to complete their high school education and attend post-secondary education to gain knowledge that will lead to success in employment. Maretta Champagne, Pine Ridge; Laticia DeCory, Pine Ridge; Ray Rowland, Pine Ridge; Ohitika Tasso, Wounded Knee; Fawn Irving, Manderson; Elaine Gibbons, Manderson; William Spotted Eagle, Kyle; Joyce Tibbitts, Pine Ridge; and Russell Bluehsmith, Oglala attended the competition in Washington.