Education has been the foundation of the Aberdeen Presentation Sisters’ ministry efforts since being called to Dakota Territory in the late 1800s. From the 1886 foundation of Presentation Academy in Aberdeen, S.D., to our current sponsorship of Presentation College in Aberdeen, to our ministry at over 50 schools where Presentation Sisters have served, we remain committed to providing all those we serve with educational opportunities.
Education continues to be a part of nearly every ministry endeavor that the congregation has undertaken. The Sisters carry out this commitment to education outside of the traditional classroom by educating through internship programs, retreats, camps and conferences and by teaching ESL classes, human growth and development seminars and basic life skills. In addition, as an apostolic congregation of women religious, the Sisters teach the people they serve to be self-sustaining. This allows the congregation to move on to meet other unmet needs in the world.
The Sisters remain committed to education and support the Catholic education of young people in our region. In 2009, the Aberdeen Presentation Sisters, with the assistance of generous donors, began offering scholarships for students in South Dakota to attend Catholic primary and secondary schools in the Sioux Falls Diocese. A scholarship committee, consisting of four people located throughout the state, read each and every application and essay. Since its inception, more than 1,400 students have applied for the opportunity to receive a scholarship. In the beginning, 25 – $500 scholarships were awarded. Since this time, the Sisters have increased both the number of scholarships awarded and the scholarship amount. For the 2016-2017 school year, 40 – $750 and 3 – $1,500 scholarships were provided to students. In its eight years, over $160,000 in scholarships have been awarded to 254 student recipients.
Often, notes of gratitude are written back to the scholarship committee. Listed below are two of the letters received for this year.
Our hearts are filled with such gratitude and joy. Thank you for the gift of a scholarship for our daughter, allowing her to continue on at Immaculate Conception School, with this family that has been such a big part of her knowing God, of her healing through some very difficult life challenges and helping her to develop the gifts and talents God has given her. Without this scholarship, we would not have been able to attend IC for the upcoming school year, and this would have had such an impact on our daughter – another significant loss. I can say with confidence that she will continue to contribute in many positive, loving and faithful ways. She will pay it forward through her loving, faithful spirit, through her volunteer work and her personality that shines so bright!
~ a recipient’s parent
Dear Scholarship Committee,
I want to thank you for your generous scholarship program for Catholic school children in the Diocese of Sioux Falls. Your gift of $34,500 to 43 recipients speaks strongly of your commitment to the individual students and to your support of Catholic education.
I also appreciate your commitment to prayer for me and the students. Please keep the pastors with schools and the administrators in your prayers as they endeavor to run viable schools that teach the message of God’s sacrificial love and his saving grace. Pray that the students and parents would receive the “word of the kingdom” and that their hearts would be the good ground and bear fruit in their service to God.
Director of Catholic Schools for the Sioux Falls, SD Diocese