On Wednesday, August 16th, the Shawnee, Oklahoma civic clubs hosted Oklahoma State University president Burns Hargis for a speech at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Cultural Heritage Center. The speech was sponsored by the Shawnee Dropout And Retention Foundation – a successor organization to a grassroots effort initially called “Stop Truancy And Reduce Tardiness” – START, for short. The CPN’s FireLodge Youth Council is a member of this coalition. CPN member B.J. Trousdale, director of the FireLodge Youth Council, is a member of the Dropout and Retention Foundation board of directors.
START was established to empower children to achieve academic success through such activities as mentoring students who are at risk of dropping out of school, providing support to families to increase high school graduation rates, promoting leadership to all students, and providing career development information, skills, and support,
OSU president Hargis is an accountant and lawyer. He is a former Vice Chairman of Bank of Oklahoma and was a candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1990. He spent many years as a co-host, representing the conservative political philosophy, on the KFOR-TV political discussion program “Flashpoint.”
On this edition of “The Native American Speaks,” we present President Hargis’ speech on the programs that Oklahoma State University is using to keep its students in college and moving toward obtaining a degree.