Overcoming adversity and excelling in school despite personal family tragedies are the qualities that enabled Rae’l Trosper to receive the Honorary Cowboy Award from the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming (ASUW), the student government.
Trosper and her family were honored during the recent Border War football game against Colorado State University. The Trosper family was treated to breakfast the following morning, hosted by ASUW, and given a tour of the UW campus.
ASUW gives the Honorary Cowboy Award to a Wyoming K-12 student facing formidable life circumstances, says ASUW President Ben Wetzel, a molecular biology sophomore from Powell. The award was established in 2012 by the 100th ASUW student government to honor a student who represents the “cowboy-up” spirit to face personal challenges. The honor is awarded to at least one student each spring for recognition at a football game of his or her choice during the following fall semester.
Trosper, a Wyoming Indian High School (WIHS) junior, was selected because she has overcome adversity and excelled in spite of her tragedies, according to a nominator. Her father was killed in a car accident, and a brother was murdered in Riverton in what local authorities called a hate crime.
Still, Trosper continues to maintain a high GPA as an active student-athlete. Her parents are Leslie Trosper Antelope and the late Allison “Ty” Trosper Sr.
Rae’l Trosper is the WIHS student council vice president and participates in cross country, wrestling and track. She is a member of the Traditional Club and dances traditional, fancy dance, jingle dance and hoop dance. Trosper is a member of both the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes.
According to a nominator, Trosper always strives to get good grades and often volunteers to help her school and community. She likes to help her family at Native sundance ceremonies and sweat ceremonies. Trosper is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and she would like to attend UW after graduating from WIHS next year.
Nominations for the Honorary Cowboy Award are distributed statewide each year, and nominators submit letters of recommendation.