Jacob Vocu ’09


Pine Ridge, South Dakota

Current Location

Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota


While many Red Cloud High School graduates elect to head south for their college careers, recent graduate Jacob Vocu decided to take his 3.7 GPA and move to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he is a current student at Hamline University. Jacob’s commitment to learning (and good grades) earned him a full-tuition scholarship at Hamline, where he’s loving the opportunities that a big city offers while embracing the luxury of small class sizes and personal attention.

Asked and Answered

What was it like going from Red Cloud High School, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, to Hamline University in a major metropolitan area?

Well, it was different. Very different (of course). Most of the differences have to do with location Different. There was a big difference between the schools because Red Cloud is a small country school where you know everyone and although Hamline is a small campus, it is located in the middle of a city with so much diversity. It’s one big culture shock. So the whole transition was just different in every which way.

What was the hardest part for you?

I think that the hardest part of the whole transition was being away from my family and my friends for the first time ever. I’ve attended RCIS my whole life and it was really just hard making the adjustment from that to a whole new life.

Now that you are settled in your new atmosphere, what do you do to keep yourself busy? besides homework?

I am a member of the Hamline Anime and Manga Club primarily. I have joined other clubs, but I either forget the meeting times, or they don't have meetings at all. On the weekends, I mainly stay in my dorm or ride the bus to either the local shopping center or to a comic book store up the street. It’s really interesting for me to take in all the sites.

What has been your favorite part about attending Hamline?

The people. The teachers are likeable and work to make the class feel not so much like a college class. The students make any activity that much more enjoyable. It’s really a great experience getting new meet so many different types of people with a variety of backgrounds, beliefs and new ideas. Hamline was a perfect fit for me, both academically and socially.

What is your current major?

Currently, I am undecided on a particular major but I am leaning towards a major in education, primarily High School Education or maybe even Middle School or Elementary Education.

Why education?

I think that educating young minds is an inspiration and that it would be in my best interests to return back to Red Cloud Indian School and become a teacher. Red Cloud is my home away from home and I feel that it is only right if I give back to the school that I’ve spent a large part of my life at. I want to show the younger generation that anyone can go out, see the world and return home with an education that would make a difference in the lives of their own people.

What would you say to current Red Cloud seniors who are looking into possible colleges and scholarships for their futures?

Well I would tell seniors to put their time and effort into filling out scholarship applications. And once you find a college that you feel is right for you, stick to it and keep working hard…always.


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