In this newsletter you will meet two American Indian College Fund scholars, Breanne and Maya. They are extraordinary, talented young people who shine as brightly as the hope they bring to their communities and our world. They are truly finding their power, charting their destiny and claiming their future.
Breanne and Maya will soon be part of the 13.8% of American Indians with college degrees. They, like all of our students, are willing to do whatever it takes to complete their education – not just to change their own lives, but to change the world.
Many of our graduates have already created a significant footprint, including developing and sharing environmental research at a global forum in China; visiting the White House to talk about computer coding; advancing at lightning speed at one of the largest companies in the world; and completing a Ph.D. in engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University.
Maya and Breanne will be no different – they are exceptional, but they are not exceptions. Breanne’s goals include graduate school to pave the way for her quest to become a college president. Maya aspires to tell true stories of the contributions American Indians are making in today’s world, ensuring that when today’s events are history they will be correctly and abundantly documented.
I am humbled that the College Fund supports such outstanding young people and am so proud of their extraordinary accomplishments. And I am forever grateful to you for partnering with the College Fund in seeing and supporting both the realized and untapped potential in our students and their communities.
Three years ago we set and shared some bold organizational goals – to increase the number of American Indian students attending college and to increase our scholars’ graduation rates – resulting in more American Indians with college degrees. We have made significant progress against these goals, which we share in this newsletter. Please read “We’ve Moved the National Needle” on page 2 for the details outlining our successful progress to date.
There are three pillars driving our success. The first, of course, is our students and the passion, commitment and dedication they demonstrate day in and day out in their relentless pursuit of a college degree. The second is the College Fund’s innovative creation of an effective, successful framework to get urgently needed support and funding to American Indian students. And the third pillar – the one for which we are most grateful and the one that continually holds us up, is you. As we share with you the movement we are seeing in reaching our goals, you must know that the foundation for that success is you.
As Lauren, one of our recent graduates, says, “Your support is everything – without it I wouldn’t have had even a chance of finishing college.” The end of this month is the deadline for determining our scholarship funding for the fall semester. Just imagine what our students will do with your continued support!
In solidarity and with love for all students and their families,
Cheryl Crazy Bull (Sicangu Lakota)
President and CEO, American Indian College Fund