White Mountain Apache
United Tribes Technical University
Marian grew up on the Fort Apache reservation in Arizona, where she was adopted by her aunt when I was about two years old. She says she spent her younger years wondering why she was adopted and why her biological mother didn’t try to get her back. She decided to put all of her energy into school and excelled.
In high school she was a member of the gifted and talented program. She took some college courses while still in high school, excelling at them while also immersing herself in her tribal culture, language, and ceremonies.
She attended college at the University of Arizona a few years after high school, but says she experienced culture shock and decided to return to the reservation. She took a job with her tribe, where she met her husband. After starting a family and struggling to make ends meet during the recession, the family traveled, selling goods in a family business to make ends meet. They traveled to the United Tribes Technical College International Powwow, and while there, she decided to apply to go to college. That turn of events has found Marian as an honors student today, working towards earning a bachelor’s degree in small business and business administration. Today Marian marvels at her good fortune to be where she has always dreamed of being—in college.
“We took a huge risk and we are far from home, but this is for our business so we will make it more profitable! This is also for my two babies; my son who is now five and my daughter who is now one. I cannot let them down. This is for them as well as for me, and for all of my family who is behind me to get that degree!” Marian says.
Marian’s Ford Blue Oval scholarship helps pay for her rent, cost of food, books, and other fees at school so she can focus on earning a degree, a dream that she thought “would never become a reality.”
Marian says earning her degree will help her to be “a positive statistic, a guide, a counselor, a leader, a light, a motivator, someone who can relate to what it feels like to not have anything and yet education became the key to the future. I can help Native students to find their inner strength and always be encouraging to finish, because it is never too late to start a college education, and finish with a degree in hand. If I can do it, so can anyone else out there.”