Washington, DC: Today, Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills announced the fifth class of American Indian youth to receive $10,000 Dreamstarter grants for projects that help them bring their dreams to life. Each of the ten Dreamstarter recipients, who are all American Indian youth under age 30, will work together with a community nonprofit on a business supported by Running Strong for American Indian Youth. Carl Petersen, 20, of Parade, SD, and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and David Fraser, 25, of Kyle, SD, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe are among this year’s ten recipients.
“Each year, our Dreamstarters inspire me with their incredible talent and limitless passion,” said Mills, who is Oglala Lakota (Sioux) from Pine Ridge, SD and co-founder of Running Strong. “The development of our young entrepreneurs must stay abreast of our communities’ economic development plans. I am proud of these young entrepreneurs and their commitment to build up their communities.”
Carl’s dream to operate a video game design studio on Cheyenne River and produce video games by and for Native people. David’s dream is to build and open his own tire repair shop in Kyle.
The full list of 2019 – 2020 Dreamstarters is available at indianyouth.org/2019Dreamstarters, along with information about their dreams. This year’s recipients hail from all across the country. Running Strong has given away a total of fifty $10,000 Dreamstarter grants over five years to support Native youth’s dreams for their communities. This program was announced in October 14, 2014, to mark the 50th anniversary of Billy Mills’ gold medal win at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
On October 14, 1964, Billy Mills, an Oglala Lakota (Sioux) runner, won the 10,000 meter race at the Tokyo Olympics in an upset, come-from-behind victory that has been called the greatest race in American Olympic history, and ever since has been an inspiration to Native youth and all Americans. He is still the only person from the Western hemisphere ever to win that event. He co-founded Running Strong for American Indian Youth in 1986 to help others live their dreams. Mills announced the Dreamstarter program on the 50th anniversary of his gold medal win, to help Native youth believe in the power of their dreams to build strong futures for themselves and their communities.
Additional information about the program can be found at www.IndianYouth.org/Dreamstarter.