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Young correctional officer looks to make an impact

todayMay 26, 2024 4

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Rapid City, S.D. (KELO) — Kobe Whipple grew up on the Rosebud Reservation before moving to Rapid City and attending St. Thomas More High School.

After college, he wanted to give back to the community as a mentor.

After graduating from Chadron State College with a degree in Criminal Justice, Kobe Whipple wanted to get right to work on making an impact.

“I wanted to give back in some way, you’re not going to save everyone but if I can be a positive role model in their life in certain times, hard times you know. Being locked up isn’t easy and I understand that I don’t understand but I’m just trying to be here,” Correctional Officer Kobe Whipple said

Juvenile Center Commander Joe Guttierez coached Whipple in high school and encouraged him to one day consider a job in corrections.

“You’re a good kid, you’re Native American, and you’d be an instant role model for the juveniles we have at our facility. And I said, you know I’d like you to consider taking a tour and see if it’s something you might want to do,” JSC Commander Joe Guttierez said

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Having a role model, like Whipple, is important. 

“Working with our Native population here at the Juvenile Center, because Kobe has been there, Kobe has grown up in you know like some of the other kids that are in our facility, he’s grown up kinda the same way that he can kinda relate to what they’re going through,” Guttierez said

“You know, they’re young, and in their eyes, they think they’re old and they think it’s over, which it’s not. You know, they might be behind here for a couple of years and that but they got so much more life ahead of them and you just gotta show them that it’s possible, especially during hard times,” Whipple said

The Western South Dakota Juvenile Service Center is always looking for new role models to help connect with these kids while they are in.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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