October 17, 2007

Lakota youth at the UN

Rosebud teen speaks at United Nations

LaBradford Eagle Deer, 16, helps focus attention on povertyA teenager from one of South Dakota's poorest counties is speaking out against poverty Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the United Nations in New York City.

LaBradford Eagle Deer, 16, of St. Francis on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, will speak this afternoon during the United Nations observation of the 20th International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will also participate in the program, which begins at 1 p.m.

The theme for the event is "Eradication of World Poverty: Youth As Agents of Change."

LaBradford is one of six young people selected to read commemorative stones marking the observance and to participate in a panel discussion on poverty.
Why Eagle Deer was chosen:"Poverty creates a sense of hopelessness in a person," LaBradford said. "And that is why suicide, addiction, dropout and crime rates are so high in poverty-stricken areas on our reservation, as well as other areas in the world."

The Christian Children's Fund-USA selected LaBradford for the trip. LaBradford is president of the St. Francis youth center, which is a program of the Oyate Networking project, sponsored by the Christian Children's Fund.

He recently led a series of focus-group meetings at the youth center.

He coaches flag football and has organized a traditional youth-honoring powwow.

An honor student, LaBradford values education as a pathway out of poverty. His parents' emphasis on education and support has helped keep him on track when many around him are dropping out or failing high school, he said.

No comments: