Myriam Rama '15

Gates Millennium Scholar and incoming student of Creighton University. 

"Red Cloud really helps you and it really helped better my future. You start as a seed there and just keep growing."


Myriam Rama ‘15, is one of the three 2015 graduates to receive the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship at Red Cloud Indian School. Throughout high school she was an active athlete (basketball, cross country and track) and student leader (member of Student Council, Science Club and published scientist.) Myriam has big plans for the years to come, starting with Creighton University this fall. We caught up with her as she hit the halfway mark during her second summer of research at the National Institutes of Health program in Washington, D.C. 


Q&A with Myriam Rama '15

Can you tell us - in layman’s terms! - what you’re doing at NIH this summer? 

I’m researching HHV6-A (Human Herpesvirus) and an infection called HTLV I & II (Human T-Lymphotropic Virus), which is prevalent in Native Americans. It’s an infection that could possibly lead to cancer. I also do western blots, which compare patient blood samples to a healthy donor to see if the patient has HIV. The doctors are working with the patients and they bring the blood samples to me so I can do the background work. 

Incredible! And you were awarded the Gates Scholarship this year. Congratulations!

I was in disbelief! I was super excited because I worked really hard on those essays. I put a lot of time into this scholarship and my studies and seeing that it all paid off was overwhelming. [My teacher] Anne Grass stayed many hours to work with me. [Red Cloud] prepared me academically and pushed to me to work. Also, seeing all these Gates Scholars at Red Cloud made me want to work hard to be one of those people. 

Next on the list: Creighton University this fall. What made you decide on this school?

It’s a very well known medical school, which is what I plan to study. I like the campus and the smaller environment, which I’m used to from attending Red Cloud. It has spiritual formation classes and that’s important to me, too. I want to integrate that into my time at Creighton. 

I will be minoring in Spanish and majoring in Biology because I love science. I like that science is never definite. Even when you get the answer you want you can still keep moving forward with it. I want to minor in Spanish because I’m part Hispanic and it will really help me in my career if I’m bilingual. During the summers I'll return home to take Lakota language classes because I think it’s important to expand on my native language.

What are your plans for your future ? 
Hopefully I will become a pediatrician. I do want to come back to the reservation, but not right away. I want to gain some experience and eventually bring back my knowledge. I also want to do academic research, specifically on the psychological effects of growing up on the reservation. I want to write something with my research and my own experiences and put that out into the world. I also want to give back to the Red Cloud community; there were a lot of people that helped me throughout my time there. I want to do whatever I can to help.

It sounds like you have really had a formative couple of years.

It was a really good time at Red Cloud. It really shaped me and molded me into a stronger person. I was involved in many clubs and sports and there was a lot of homework, so they helped me balance out my work and prepare for college. Red Cloud helped me because I’ve been able to work here at NIH and publish my research (at NIH and The University of South Dakota). The teachers are really one-on-one with all the students and that boosted my confidence. Red Cloud really helps you and it really helped better my future. You start as a seed there and just keep growing. 

Related Links

Five Red Cloud Students Earn Gates Millennium Scholarship
Red Cloud Junior, Inspired by Staff and Alumni, Fills Summer with STEM Learning Opportunities

Photo: Myriam, Senior Portrait by Crystal Bach Photography
last updated: July 10, 2015