American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarship Recipient, Charity Valentin (Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe) has three children and lives in Hayward, Wisconsin. Like many students, she has followed a non-traditional path to college – returning 10 years after high school. Charity obtained her Associate’s Degree from Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College – making the Dean and President’s List every semester. She now studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and will complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Hygiene next summer.

1. What helped you acclimate to school and overcome homesickness?

Luckily, I lived close enough so I could drive home on the weekends and see my family. When I couldn’t, phone calls to my mom and video calls with my family were a lifesaver. These regular contacts reminded me that a lot of people were rooting for me, and want to see me succeed. Sometimes those faces on the screen were all the help I needed when I was stressed or homesick.

2. What strategies do you incorporate into your schedule to support a happy, healthy lifestyle?

Staying active is a part of my family’s routine. Nothing to crazy, just time outdoors playing soccer, football, swimming or hiking. Daily fresh air is a must, and helps keeps the chaos under control!

3. If you could turn back time and give one piece of advice to your 18-year-old self, what would it be?

Don’t doubt yourself!

4. You have maintained high grades while providing for your family. What strategies or habits have helped you successfully manage all of your responsibilities?

Before I started school I was a master procrastinator, and had to make changes. Using a planner has really helped me manage my time and plan ahead. I have always prioritized time for myself and my studies. Keeping my kids on a routine with an early bedtime allows me to enjoy some “me time” at the end of each day. Then I wake up early before my kids so I have time to prepare for the day and get my schoolwork done

5. How has your academic advisor helped you stay on course and reach your collegiate goals?

My advisor made sure I completed the necessary classes for my degree. Most advisors have tons of students, so developing a relationship and meeting with them regularly throughout the year will keep you on the road to success.