Just under nine percent of Navajo people age 25 and older have achieved a college degree in the United States—compared to 30.9 percent of other groups nationwide. The APS Foundation is partnering with the American Indian College Fund for the ninth straight year to remove the financial obstacles Navajo students face when seeking a higher education and to help prepare them for careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.
The Foundation renewed its commitment to the APS Foundation Navajo Scholars Program for $100,000 for the 2019-20 academic year. Since the program’s establishment in 2010, the Foundation has provided $900,000 toward Navajo higher education through the College Fund. The scholarship program works to increase the Foundation’s goal of increasing academic achievement and workforce preparedness for students in Arizona.
Each year, 15 outstanding Navajo scholars are funded through the program. This year, in addition to financial support, scholars will grow their leadership skills by completing 15 hours of community service in their local community to cultivate civic and leadership skills and to broaden the Foundation’s impact in the tribal regions of Arizona and New Mexico.
Navajo students who are voting members of a chapter of the Shiprock Agency with a minimum 2.8 GPA and who are pursuing STEM degrees at Diné College, Navajo Technical University, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, or mainstream colleges and universities in Arizona and New Mexico during 2019-20 are eligible to apply.
“The APS Foundation Navajo Scholarship Program is changing lives,” said Tina Marie Tentori, executive director of the APS Foundation and director of Community Affairs for APS. “These scholarships are giving Navajo students the opportunity to blaze a new path forward, gaining the education and the skills they need to kick-start careers in STEM fields while giving back to their communities in the process.”
Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “Our students deeply appreciate the long-term investment of the APS Foundation toward the education of Navajo students in STEM fields. The opportunity to be educated in the STEM fields means our people lead the management of our resources and bring their unique perspective to those careers. On behalf of the College Fund and our students, I share our thanks to the Foundation for their generosity and for caring about our students and their families.”
About the APS Foundation—The APS Foundation supports programs that enhance academic achievement in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Since 1981, the Foundation has invested more than $44 million in projects throughout Arizona that help prepare students to compete in a 21st century economy.