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Dina Horwedel, Director of Public Education, American Indian College Fund, 303-426-8900, dhorwedel@collegefund.org

Colleen R. Billiot, Public Education Coordinator, American Indian College Fund, 720-214-2569, cbilliot@collegefund.org

Mar 14, 2024 | Press Releases

American Indian College Fund Honors Tribal College Students of the Year and Coca Cola Scholars

Denver, Colo., March 14, 2024—The American Indian College Fund (College Fund) honored 35 Tribal College and University Students of the Year and 35 Coca Cola First Generation Scholars at a ceremony held on Sunday, March 10 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Dr. Charles M. Roessel, President of Diné College, was also named the College Fund’s 2023-24 Tribal College and University President Honoree of the Year.

The Adolph Coors Foundation sponsors both the Tribal College and University Students of the Year and the Tribal College and University President Honoree of the Year. Each Tribal college and university (TCU) selects one student to represent their institution and the College Fund selects the TCU President Honoree. Students receive a $1,200 scholarship and the president is awarded a $1,200 honorarium.

The Coca-Cola Foundation provides scholarships for first-generation Native students who attend a TCU. The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded almost $3.6 million in scholarship support to the College Fund since 1990 to assist more than 500 students with their college education. Students can reapply to the scholarship each year if they maintain a 3.0 grade point average and are active in campus and community life.

Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “We are so proud of our students who are representative of the amazing and talented students who attend our tribal higher education institutions. Our values and vision are reflected in each of them. We look forward to all the ways that they will continue to contribute to the self-determination and wellbeing of our Tribes and families.”

The 2023-24 Tribal College Students of the Year are:

  • Aaniiih Nakoda College: Alexis Bigby
  • Bay Mills Community College: Alysandra Gonzales-Flora
  • Blackfeet Community College: Gwynne E. White Quills
  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College: Tyrese Leaf
  • Chief Dull Knife College: Jozette Limpy
  • College of Menominee Nation: Chenoa Webster
  • College of the Muscogee Nation: James Gray
  • Diné College: Gwyneth Shorty
  • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College: Anthony Sam
  • Fort Peck Community College: Gib Medicine Cloud
  • Haskell Indian Nations University: Justine Butterfield
  • Iḷisaġvik College: Vincent Elkins
  • Institute of American Indian Arts: Isabella Edmo
  • Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College: Rachel Ritchie
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University: Andre’Anna Acosta
  • Leech Lake Tribal College: Darrin Brown Jr.
  • Little Big Horn College: Kayle Addison
  • Little Priest Tribal College: Denise Milford
  • Navajo Technical University: Layla James
  • Nebraska Indian Community College: Jiah Marks
  • Northwest Indian College: Karla Miller
  • Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College: Kacey Murdock
  • Oglala Lakota College: Austin Red Dog
  • Red Lake Nation College: Angeline Harris
  • Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College: Tamara Lawson
  • Salish Kootenai College: Bryce Norling
  • Sinte Gleska University: Michal Beardt
  • Sisseton Wahpeton College: Jana Isburg
  • Sitting Bull College: Elena Rodriguez
  • Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute: Dominique Bluehorse
  • Stone Child College: Jazmyne Torres
  • Tohono O’odham Community College: Ashley Mccreery
  • Turtle Mountain Community College: Aaliyah Selburg
  • United Tribes Technical College: Jennifer Fragua
  • White Earth Tribal and Community College: Lauri Zupan

 

The 2023-24 Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars are:

  • Aaniiih Nakoda College: Lyle Stiffarm
  • Bay Mills Community College: Oona Burton
  • Blackfeet Community College: Brandi Harwood
  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College: Marissa Baer
  • Chief Dull Knife College: Kyla Kwandibens
  • College of Menominee Nation: Melissa Wescott
  • College of the Muscogee Nation: Deidre Yarbrough
  • Diné College: Vanesha Cleveland
  • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College: Anthony Sam
  • Fort Peck Community College: Sherry Ross
  • Haskell Indian Nations University: Tilda Hubbell
  • Iḷisaġvik College: Kacey Woodruff
  • Institute of American Indian Arts: Brianna Waukau
  • Keweenaw Bay Ojibwe Community College: Gabrielle Picciano
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University: Desmund Lapointe
  • Leech Lake Tribal College: Torrey Kingbird
  • Little Big Horn College: Dvera Tolbert
  • Little Priest Tribal College: Dawn Makesstrongmove
  • Navajo Technical University: Rebecca Yazzie
  • Nebraska Indian Community College: Bridgette Hoshont’Omba (Jameson)
  • Northwest Indian College: Julie Bosch
  • Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College: Cassandra Hopkins
  • Oglala Lakota College: Conner Roubideaux
  • Oglala Lakota College: Summer Afraid Of Hawk
  • Red Lake Nation College: Kyleisha Garrigan
  • Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College: Ayla Sisco
  • Salish Kootenai College: Bobbi Brooks
  • Sinte Gleska University: Sunshine Brings Plenty
  • Sisseton Wahpeton College: Dora Jones
  • Sitting Bull College: Nicholas Peters
  • Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute: Audrey Weebothee Magdalena
  • Stone Child College: Kaycee Chiefstick
  • Tohono O’odham Community College: Christy Mcgaughey
  • Turtle Mountain Community College: Quentin Brien
  • United Tribes Technical College: DaSean Marquese

 

About the American Indian College Fund The American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 34 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided $17.4 million in scholarships and other direct student support to American Indian students in 2022-23. Since its founding in 1989 the College Fund has provided more than $319 million in scholarships, programs, community, and tribal college support. 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 www.collegefund.org.

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

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