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Lakota Student Attends Princeton Program

Courtesy Morgan Mesteth

A Lakota student from the Pine Ridge Reservation has just returned from a select summer program at Princeton University. The rising senior learned about a lot more than just preparing applications for college.
Morgan Mesteth was one of 100 students…and only 2 Native Americans…to be chosen to take part in the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America program at Princeton.  

The 7-week LEDA schedule offers college guidance and support to participants that includes trips to neighboring colleges and universities. Information sessions with admissions representatives and the opportunity to visit with matriculating students are also part of the summer curriculum.

Credit Courtesy Morgan Mesteth
Morgan Mesteth also had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. as part of the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America program.

Morgan says along with the positives of visiting New York City’s Columbia University, Yale and traveling to Washington, D.C., she did learn more about organizing.

“I also have all of my colleges lined out,” Morgan observes. “I have their deadlines…and I’m applying to all 10 of them. And I just have everything scheduled out.”

Morgan Mesteth notes that she looks forward to going to college for the opportunity to live in the environment where she’ll be learning and to fulfill her life’s goal.

“Growing up and then watching people you looked up to who tried to go to college and then they just came right back,” explains Morgan. “Everyone just gave up. I don’t want to be those type of people. Like…I chose not to be a statistic. And I just decided that I want to better myself and I wanted to go farther in education. But not only that. I wanted to come back and help others do the same thing that I’m doing.”

Morgan credits her older brother as her educational inspiration. She hopes to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder majoring in psychology or sociology, then return home to help students as a school counselor.

The rising senior says her experience wasn't all positives. Morgan says she didn't appreciate the pollution or congestion that comes with a big city. She also found herself as the subject of racial discrimination…an attitude Morgan expects will follow her as she practices her cultural beliefs.