The American Indian College Funds 2018-2019 Student Ambassadors represent some of the best Native students in the country. Recently, their outstanding accomplishments have brought even more attention to this stellar group of young leaders – as evidenced by these actions and awards:

  • Five members of the Student Ambassadors joined the gathering of distinguished guests and donors at the American Indian College Fund’s 30th Annual Flame of Hope Gala. The high-profile annual fundraiser in New York City hosts hundreds of supports, and provides an opportunity for Native students to share their journey and thank donors for their support. These student ambassadors took to the stage to share their stories, and talk about the impact of the College Fund in their lives and futures. Their examples helped to raise almost $450 Thousand dollars to support scholarships and support programs for Native students. Plus, the ambassadors got to meet celebrity supporters like Brooke Simpson, Zahn Clarendon and Bette Midler.
  • Student Ambassador Celina Gray (Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana) was part of a delegation at Salish Kootenai College that received Montana Governor Steve Bullock. Celina asked him about greater representation of  tribal colleges and Native student representation on the state board of regents for higher education. The delegation also discussed topics discussed like #MMIW  (some of our students conceived an idea for a data base app for public use at a business competition in WY, they used this opportunity to kind of pitch it to the governor.) and MT Forest Conservation/ Wildfires were some of the other ones that he specifically wanted his staff to follow up on in addition to support for Indian education at the state level.
  • The Tribal College Journal has announced that Student Ambassador and College of Menominee Nation student, Jasmine Neosh (Menominee), will serve as the publication’s next student blogger. Titled “Rezilience,” Jasmine hopes the blog will connect people and open conversations about sustainability and other important issues. Passionate about the environment, sustainability, and tribal college education, Neosh is president of her school’s SEEDS (Strategies for Ecological Education, Diversity, and Sustainability) Club, and a vocal advocate for environmental justice and stewardship. Bradley Shreve, editor of Tribal College Journal and TCJ Student, says, “Jasmine is an active, engaged, and thoughtful student. She will no doubt be a strong voice for TCU student concerns, environmental protection, and the tribal college movement. I’m looking forward to working with her and reading her every word.” Read her first post HERE.
  • Student Ambassador and Institute of American Indian Arts graduate, Manuel Ramirez (Otoe-Missouria), was just completed an artist-in-residence at Yellowstone National Park. Known for his Native influenced printmaking, Manuel drew inspiration from the parks magnificent beauty and share his process daily with guests at the Old Faithful Inn.
  • Student Ambassador and Navajo Technical University student Roland Begay (Navajo) is interning with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) agency. He is working with the Office of Tribal Affairs and Policy (OTAP), serving as the agency’s primary point of contact for tribal governments, tribal organizations, federal agencies, and other entities on behavioral health issues that impact tribal communities. They are working to implement the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA), which was signed  in response to the crisis situation on Indian Reservations, where violent crime continues to impact communities at rates much higher than the national average. TLOA ensures that justice, safety, education, youth, and alcohol and substance misuse prevention and treatment issues relevant to Indian country remain the subject of consistent focus for the federal government.

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of these amazing Native scholars. May their example inspire other students to reach for excellence and strengthen their communities.