Eriq Swiftwater (Oglala-Lakota) Honored at White House as Champion of Change

Eriq Swiftwater - Champion for Change

Eriq Swiftwater – Champion for Change

WASHINGTON – Black Hills State University rising sophomore Eriq Swiftwater was named a Champion of Change and honored by the White House Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

Swiftwater, who redshirted for the Yellow Jacket football team this year, was honored with 12 other individuals as former foster youths and making a difference in their communities. In addition to honoring the young people for their courage, resilience and contributions, the event also highlighted their commitment for furthering their education.

The event showcased the stories and work of these inspirational leaders as part of National Foster Care Month and including remarks by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Deputy Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity Roy L. Austin, Jr.

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.

The following is a bio provided by the White House on Swiftwater:

Eriq Swiftwater is 19 years old and a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. As a freshman in college, Swiftwater studies Business Education and plays on his university’s football team. A graduate of Oelrichs High School in Oelrichs, South Dakota, he served as class president, set records in football, basketball, and track, and graduated as class salutatorian, receiving three academic scholarships, and one athletic scholarship to play football Black Hills State University. At the age of twelve, Swiftwater and his five siblings were placed in foster care, and separated into two different homes. He is currently involved with the South Dakota Gear Up program as Youth Guest Speaker, sharing his story and mentoring students in high schools across the reservation. Eriq Swiftwater is a freshman at Black Hills State University.

Editor’s Note: This article was first published in NDNSports.com. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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  1. Deborah Pacheco 3 years ago