Our Progress

PRESIDENT’S LETTER | STUDENT SPOTLIGHTS | OUR PROGRESS | BE AN ADVOCATE

AMERICAN INDIAN WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

By 2020, 65% of all jobs will require a post-secondary degree or certificate. Employers are seeking a qualified workforce, and a well-rounded representation of all citizens of this great nation would be beneficial both to employers and the workforce itself.

Our corporate partners have demonstrated to us that there is a strong desire to have Native representation in the workforce. The Native perspective and indigenous knowledge can make significant contributions across many fields, including caring for our environment, combining traditional and modern medicine, and more.

In order to help American Indian scholars move successfully into the workforce, the American Indian College Fund has established an expert panel of leading national workforce development funders to provide advocacy, networking, and expertise for an upcoming workforce development project titled Tribal College Workforce Opportunities.

Our expert panel’s feedback and expertise will help focus the College Fund’s work on specific and strategic interventions that can make the greatest impact. In addition, the panel will help the College Fund strengthen its national network of workforce development leaders and stakeholders, ultimately allowing the College Fund to sustain and grow workforce opportunity program activities to help lay the groundwork for further student academic success and career readiness.

Strada Education Network’s goal is to lift communities through the support of post-secondary education.  We’re proud to partner with the College Fund as we develop new and innovative programs to better prepare American Indian students for post-education career success.”

—Lorenzo Esters, Vice President, Philanthropy, Strada Education network

“The Walmart Foundation has been a proud funder of the College Fund for 18 years and we are honored to count American Indians among our employees.  We’re committed to supporting American Indian students in achieving their educational and life dreams through providing great career opportunities at Walmart.”

—Danielle S. Goonan, Senior Manager, Grants Portfolios, Walmart Foundation

At Comcast, we believe that our workforce should reflect the communities we serve. Our work with the College Fund creates clearer paths for Native scholars seeking to find their career, so that companies like ours can benefit from their unique perspective.”

—Lissiah Hundley, Vice President, Workforce Diversity and Inclusion, University Relations, and Military Hiring, Comcast

PRESIDENT’S LETTER | STUDENT SPOTLIGHTS | OUR PROGRESS| BE AN ADVOCATE

We’ve Moved The National Needle
Salish Kootenai Graduation

There are only two ways to increase the number of American Indians with college degrees:
• Get more students in college; and
• Keep more students in college through and including graduation.

As a direct result of your support, we’ve made significant progress in both of these areas. Through focused recruitment efforts, engaging families and communities in instilling the value of education in our youth, strengthening college readiness curriculum in our middle and high schools and helping students navigate the complexities in applying for both college and financial assistance; we are seeing a tremendous increase in applications for scholarships – a 400% increase over the past few years. Proof positive that more American Indian youth are pursuing college degrees.

And, by providing additional support to our students – including tutoring, mentoring, internships and leadership programs to name a few – Graduation rates among our scholarship recipients have increased by 36%!

This combination has moved the national needle of American Indians with college degrees over the past two years – from less than 13% to 13.8%! Keeping in mind that every percentage point represents about 25,000 students, that means with your help, in the past two years, we’ve empowered almost 25,000 American Indians to achieve their greatest potential.

Thousands of American Indian college graduates are already making significant positive change. From strengthening economic development in their communities to influencing national and international public policy, our graduates are soaring beyond expectations, blasting through challenges and leaving obstacles in their dust. As policy makers, engineers, environmental scientists, teachers, lawyers, health care professionals, business owners and artists for social change, their contributions will be unparalleled and the good they create will be felt for generations to come.