IAIA - Keeper of the Next Generation Student Profile
Glenda, BFA in Studio Arts
Glenda says, “I was in the library one day in 2009, walking out by the doors. I saw the flier and I thought I would apply for this scholarship. It took time to do the paper work and get the application letters - I was in the library for about two weeks. It was July when I got the letter. I was in my car crying, I was so happy.”
A recipient of the Keepers of the Next Generation scholarship for an outstanding single parent student enrolled in college, Glenda earned a Bachelor’s offFine arts (BFA) in studio arts in 2011 from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA).
Glenda’s college career began more than 20 years ago when she moved from Jemez Pueblo to Santa Fe to earn an associate’s degree (AA) in studio arts. After graduation, she stayed in the city building a reputation as an accomplished artist and jeweler.
Returning to IAIA in 2009, Glenda planned to focus on studio arts and complete her degree in two years. The bachelor’s degree required Glenda to take some additional courses outside her major. “My first day of class I was in Steve Wall’s class titled Intro to Indigenous Studies. It was intimidating looking over the syllabus. I thought, 'I have not been in school in so long.' I just got scared.”
Glenda survived those first weeks and maintained an impressive 3.9 GPA. In her third semester Glenda took a business class and found she liked it. She decided to complete the new 15-credit business and entrepreneurship certificate program. The program serves Native entrepreneurs and artists, like Glenda, by improving their business skills and helping them build small businesses.
Although Glenda has been successful returning to college, she admits she was intimidated going back for her bachelor’s degree. “I was talking with a friend and thinking, what if I’m the only older student? What if it’s too hard?”
Today Glenda encourages others to continue their education. “It’s never too late to go back to school. My goal was to earn my BFA before I turned 50.” Glenda dreams of teaching other artists business skills back home in Jemez.