Honoring the Old and the New

As we begin the new year, I want to take a moment to thank you for your friendship and support in the 2018-2019 school year. We were able to provide nearly 4,000 Native students with scholarships. I see a very bright year ahead, thanks to you and your support.

As we celebrate the gift of a new year, we look back on all of our scholars’ accomplishments and look toward all the good things to come.

We also see how much work is left to be done. Not just on our students’ part (we know how hard they work every day!), but on our part as well, as we continuously seek new and fruitful ways to support them.

Right now, 42% of Native Americans are 24 years old or younger. With nearly half the Native population school-aged there is an ever-growing need. We must be prepared to support the Native scholars who call on us for help, which is a significant opportunity, as it’s half the entire Native population!

I think you have a lot more in common with our students than you even realize. Your gifts to the American Indian College Fund show that you are just as determined to create a better world as they are. And just like them, you are succeeding by making higher education accessible for Native people. Because of your dedication, you touch the lives of those who go to college, as well as the lives of their families and communities.

Each and every day, together, we are making education accessible, obtainable and invaluable to American Indian students and Native communities across our country.

While we strive to provide support to every Native scholar who applies, we receive thousands of applications every semester – your gift allows one more student to receive the support they need.

Pilamayayapi (thank you) for your support and friendship,

Cheryl Crazy Bull
President & CEO, American Indian College Fund

Today’s Students Are Tomorrow’s Teachers

In August 2019, Kamala Harris shared an interesting statistic. She related that minority students do significantly better in school when they are taught by teachers of the same race as them. 

Having a teacher who looks like you changes how you see your place in this world and it influences how far you believe your dreams can go.

With 42% of Native Americans 24 years of age or younger, the time to increase Native representation, in classrooms and beyond, is now.

When Native students are taught by someone they trust and can relate to, it opens their minds and their hearts to listen and dream in a different way. They see themselves and their potential differently, inspiring better grades, improved attendance, higher graduation rates and greater opportunities.

It is incredibly powerful for our youth to have strong examples of Native people in leadership roles, painting a picture of what their future can look like. Leaders like these can help make Native students’ dreams feel attainable.

Your continued support of Native students’ education has the potential to create a ripple effect that can change our world – elevating the voices of today’s Native leaders and inspiring the generations that will follow.

As we start the new year, we are energized by Native youth who are leading the way and determining what lies ahead for the future of all people. And we are proud of your friendship and your support. Thank you again.

Alumni Profile


“It was undoubtedly a challenging journey to attain a college degree, but I was determined to succeed and surpass all the obstacles that I faced.”

Like many Native Americans, Jordan has spent his life balancing the Western world and his Navajo world. While this can be difficult, Jordan has found opportunity in living in both worlds. “I’m able to bring my Navajo culture and teachings, and the Western knowledge of medicine together to deliver care to tribal communities that’s both effective and culturally appropriate.”

After graduating from Tuba City High School in 2007, Jordan attended Arizona State University, but experienced some challenges coming off the reservation and going to a big university.

“I felt that I had to deal with a lot of adversity and differences,” he recalls. “And I then decided that it would be best for me to attend a tribal college.”

Jordan chose Diné College, because of the way they integrate the Navajo way of life into the curriculum. There he felt fostered in his educational growth, and because of his passion for the well-being of his Navajo people, he chose to study health.

After moving home for the summer, Jordan decided to attend school closer to his family and support system.

Now, after all of the hurdles Jordan has faced in his educational journey, he is pursuing his Doctor of Health Sciences degree at A.T. Still University. His goal is to one day become a healthcare administrator for Indian Health Services. He knows the future of good healthcare for his Tribal community will be about bridging the two worlds his patients are living in.

“It was undoubtedly a challenging journey to attain a college degree, but I was determined to succeed and surpass all the obstacles that I faced,” says Jordan. “The scholarship and financial assistance that the American Indian College Fund provided assisted me in coming one step closer to attaining my ultimate goal.”

Imagine never seeing someone like you—someone with your culture, beliefs, and traditions—go to college and achieve their dreams. That’s the world many Native students live in.

But the American Indian College Fund is changing all of that by supporting Native students in educational environments where they can succeed, and where their differences are seen as strengths.

The reality is, college is expensive for everyone. But the poverty rate for American Indians is two times higher than the general population, making it even harder to pursue a college degree. Together, we have the power to break that cycle with education.
“The College Fund recognizes all of us. It recognizes us as individuals, it recognizes who we are as Native people, and it especially recognizes us as students and scholars.”

—Kasha (United Houma Nation Tribe)

Today, only 14% of Native Americans hold a college degree. But 42% of the population is currently 24 years old or younger. That means now is the time to make an incredible impact.
“Education is an incredible tool to better yourself, but to also give back to others.”

—Katie (Cherokee Nation Tribe)

Every single scholarship provided by the College Fund affects up to 35 people, which means you won’t just be changing one life when you show your support. You’ll be changing all of ours.
“With my education, I will create self-sufficiency programs that will encourage the success of the next seven generations of students across the nation.”

—Kasa (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe)

“It means a lot for me, my family, and my community, knowing that the American Indian College Fund is here to help us continue and enhance our way of life as indigenous people.”

—Jason (Lummi Nation Tribe)

Help Raise Money for Native Education


Come join us for the experience of a lifetime at one of our upcoming Epicurean Award to Support Scholars (EATSS events! This wildly popular foodie-inspired top chef showcase will be in New York on April 21st and Seattle on May 20th.

For information about attending, contact Karissa Adame at kadame@collegefund.org  or 303-426-8900

You can also visit our website for more information: www.collegefund.org/nyceatss

Did You Know?


The American Indian College Fund meets all 20 Charity Standards of the Better Business Bureau, earning the Wise Giving Alliance’s Give.org Charity Seal!

Because of the support of friends like you, we are able to provide more scholarships to American Indians than anyone else. We’re the only organization that enhances this individualized financial support by funding accredited, tribally controlled colleges and universities and contributing to programs that ensure student success – starting before the first day of preschool and continuing beyond a student’s first day of their career.

So when you give to the College Fund, you know that your gift makes a difference, and you also have the peace of mind that comes from giving to one of the nation’s top charities. Thank you for your continued support!