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Dina Horwedel, Director of Public Education, American Indian College Fund, 303-426-8900,

Colleen R. Billiot, Public Education Coordinator, 720-214-2569,

The American Indian College Fund Honors 36 Native American Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars

Scholars celebrating at last year’s banquet. Because of COVID-19, this year’s banquet was cancelled to protect scholars and their communities.

Students Awarded $5,000 Scholarship

April 9, 2020, Denver, Colo.— The American Indian College Fund was set to honor 36 American Indian first-generation scholarship recipients at its 2020 Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship banquet in Albuquerque, New Mexico in late March. Then COVID-19 struck, causing the event to be canceled to protect students and their communities. Knowing that Native students would be faced with even greater challenges to stay in school, the Coca-Cola Foundation announced it will continue to work with the College Fund to help scholars in the program meet their immediate needs to ensure they complete the semester during these unprecedented times.

The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded more than $5 million to the College Fund since 1990 to fund the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship, with the goal of helping students who are the first in their families to attend a tribal college or university. To date the scholarship has assisted more than 400 first-generation Native Americans in their college education. The scholarship is renewable throughout students’ tribal college careers if they maintain a 3.0 grade point average and are active in campus and community life. 

The following scholars are being awarded scholarships through the program:
Rose Mary Antone, Aaniiih Nakoda College
Kaylee Begay, Little Priest Tribal College
Thomas Berryhill, Haskell Indian Nations University
William Bouschor, Bay Mills Community College
Shanae Burshia, Fort Peck Community College
David Butler, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa College
Jacob Claymore, United Tribes Technical College
Kristen Dean, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College
Annie Evans, Salish Kootenai College
LeVonna Graham, Chief Dull Knife College
Chyann Haas, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College
Tammy Hammer, Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College
Ella Hoffman, Nebraska Indian Community College
Martin Horn, Stone Child College
Michael Howling Wolf, Northwest Indian College
Michael Iceman, Red Lake Nation College
Elizabeth Lukee, Institute of American Indian Arts
Tiana Martinez, Haskell Indian Nations University
Christy Max, Sisseton Wahpeton College
Anna Old Crow, Little Big Horn College
Dwayne Ortega, Tohono O’odham Community College
Gwendolyn Owletuck, Ilisagvik College
Ashley Peters, College of Menominee Nation
Tevin Phillips, College of the Muscogee Nation
Curtis Rainey, Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College
Faith Roy, White Earth Tribal and Community College
Kylie Rutherford, Blackfeet Community College
Shawna Semmens, Leech Lake Tribal College
Shinaya Todacheenie, Diné College
Kaylie Trottier, Sitting Bull College
Loren Tsosie, Navajo Technical University
Robert Upton, Turtle Mountain Community College
Tada Vargas, Oglala Lakota College
TiShai Yazzie, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
Leslie Young, Cankdeska Cikana Community College
Sarah Zephier, Sinte Gleska University

About the Coca-Cola Foundation—The Coca-Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants to support sustainable community initiatives —from water to women’s empowerment, from community recycling to wellbeing—around the world.

About the American Indian College Fund—Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 30 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided $7.72 million in scholarships to 3,900 American Indian students in 2018-19, with nearly 137,000 scholarships and community support totaling over $221.8 million since its inception. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit

Reporters: The American Indian College Fund does not use the acronym AICF. On second reference, please use the College Fund.

Photo: The American Indian College Fund awarded its Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars $5,000 scholarships.

Dina Horwedel

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