A Wyoming Indian High School student has been recognized by the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming for academic excellence despite facing personal challenges.

The UW student government presented Rae’l Trosper with the Honorary Cowboy Award during the Border War football game against Colorado State University, UW says. The next morning the Trosper family was treated to a breakfast hosted by ASUW as well as given a tour of the UW campus.

Trosper is a junior at the Wyoming Indian High School. She was selected to receive the award for excelling in school despite facing significant life challenges. Her father was killed in a car accident and her brother was murdered in Riverton in what local authorities are classifying as a hate crime.

Tropser achieved a high GPA and was an active student athlete. She is the WIHS student council vice president and participates in the Traditional Club and dances traditional, fancy dance, jingle dance and hoop dance. She is a member of both the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes.

Her parents are Leslie Trosper and the late Allison “Ty” Trosper Sr.

ASUW selects at least one K-12 student every year to receive the Honorary Cowboy Award. The award was established in 2012 and is presented to a student who represents the “cowboy-up” spirit to face personal challenges. The student is recognized at a football game of their choice.