Gen Z Voices: Attending school on a tribal reservation, and outside of it, led Aidan Gover to discover the disparities in education. He says funding is key.

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Aidan Gilver in CPR's main studio. Jan. 7, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Monarch High School junior Aidan Gover in CPR’s main studio. Jan. 7, 2023.

Colorado high schooler Aidan Gover has moved around a lot — and that’s meant jumping from school to school. A member of the Otoe Missouria Tribe of Oklahoma, Gover spent some time attending a grade school on the Oklahoma reservation where his grandmother lives. 

After moving to Colorado, Gover noticed some glaring differences among the schools he’s attended here and the one on the reservation, which had outdated textbooks, far less challenging classes and fewer resources.

“It's like being on an alien planet. Like socially, it's different. Even the landscape in school is different,” Gover told CPR. “And then also the economic difference, which I believe is connected to that education difference.”

This led Gover to look into the amount of funding per student at two of his former schools in order to compare.

What he found shocked him and started his journey of discovery about disparities in education funding and some ideas to address it that he feels would help students in his Tribe succeed.

Gover is now a junior at Monarch High School in Louisville. He shared more on this topic last year during a talk titled “The Gift of Education” at a TEDxYouth at Cherry Creek event. 

Gover hopes to attend an Ivy League school and become a doctor. 

“I want to share my culture, but [also] show other Otoe kids we can get into college, and that us Oteo kids can do it too.”

The next TEDxYouth at Cherry Creek event will take place Saturday.

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