Running Strong for American Indian Youth® 2020 Dreamstarter Dawn Marie Johnson (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), is a Career & Technical Education teacher and Community Outreach Coordinator at the Joe Foss High School at Axtell Park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
As a Dreamstarter, Dawn’s dream is to create health and well-being kits for students in the 7th – 12th grade in her community and is hoping to use these kits to prepare students for success in the future.
In addition, through her connection with Running Strong, thanks to our supporters this year for the first time we will be providing 200 backpacks filled with school supplies for her school to ensure they have everything they need to get off to a promising new academic year.
Joe Foss principal Tyler Engelson notes that Axtell Park provides students with opportunities to encourage all students to grow and develop intellectually, emotionally, socially, and physically as they work to complete their high school educations in a nontraditional setting.
The high school program at Axtell Park seeks to reduce the number of dropouts, to recover students who have dropped out and wish to return and to offer students classes required to earn a diploma.
“The Joe Foss program is an alternative option for high school students that offers and individualized and alternative approach to help ensure students earn their high school diploma,” says Dawn.
“I want to support those students and families who come to our open house and events,” she told us. “Since the majority of students are free and reduced-price meals, the need is clear.”