Making Dreams Happen During a National Pandemic

Posted on: April 20, 2020

(Chamberlain, S.D.) –College students across the nation are facing several changes in the pursuit of their post-secondary dreams. St. Joseph’s Indian School alumna Danielle Arpan has seen the effects first-hand and is experiencing the extra stress that an unexpected online curriculum can bring. “The COVID-19 pandemic has not made things easy, but one of the many things that makes a good student is finding ways to adapt to challenges,” said Arpan. Regardless of the trials, she remains optimistic and finds ways to cope while keeping a forward-thinking mind. “My advice for staying motivated, pandemic or not, is manage your time in a way that works for you. There is no right way to study and succeed for all individuals – there is only what works best for you to help YOU succeed,” said Arpan.

Arpan has been busy preparing for her future since before she graduated from high school. She will be entering her fourth year at South Dakota State University (SDSU) this fall with a major in Nursing and minor in American Indian Studies. Arpan’s goal is to achieve a well-rounded education that will properly prepare her to help indigenous mothers and children. Although a degree in Nursing is not an easy feat, Arpan has an interest in public health and policy and hopes to achieve a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or a Ph.D. specializing in maternal and child health.

On March 24, 2020, Arpan was voted in by her colleagues to serve as the Student Association Senator for the SDSU College of Nursing. She encourages SDSU students to become more involved and to make them aware of the opportunities they have right on campus. “Hopefully I can increase the representation of my own demographic – Native American health professionals,” said Arpan. She is also the president of the American Indian Science and Engineering chapter at SDSU.

Above all the successes and stresses that come with being a college student, Arpan gives credit to her support system for providing hope when she needs it the most. “Without a stable home and loving faculty at both St. Joe’s and the college I’ve chosen, I would not be as successful. Without my family, my friends, and even the people whose agenda was to bring me down, I wouldn’t be me. I do what I do for all of you, and thank you,” said Arpan.

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