Hilton Worldwide, a renowned global leader in the hotel and hospitality industry, provides scholarships for American Indian students studying hospitality, tourism, food services, or business at Blackfeet Community College, Montana; Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, Minnesota; or Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, New Mexico.
Students who receive the award must be high academic achievers, have outstanding leadership qualities, and be involved with the Native community. Students must also be available for internship opportunities with Hilton Worldwide.
Shawna was the first person in her family to graduate from high school and the first to attend college. However, Shawna wasn’t sure how she was going to pay for her education. Her family was unable to help her because father is disabled and unable to work. Determined not to let that stop her, Shawna worked for two years after she graduated from high school to save enough money to attend.
Today Shawna is a proud Dean’s List student with one year under her belt at SIPI.
Shawna’s goal is to complete a two-year degree in business at SIPI and then transfer to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. After graduating, she plans to find a job in the business field to gain experience, and she eventually wants start her own business in order to take care of both herself and her family. “My parents have always taken care of me and have done more things for me than I could have ever asked for. I want to be able to take care of them like they've taken care of me. My father is on a fixed income, and my parents are barely making it through this hard time,” Shawna says.
“Going through all of these hard times has opened up my eyes to know just how lucky I am to be able to go to school and work on my own goals.” Thanks to her American Indian College Fund scholarship, Shawna says she “can have more time to concentrate on my work without any distractions. I would like to say thank you so much for helping me get closer to achieving my goals. This scholarship means so much to me because it means that I do not have to depend on my family to help me financially. Right now it is hard enough for them, so this scholarship will help me tremendously. This scholarship is more than just a scholarship; it is an opportunity for me to prove to myself and my family that I can achieve my goals if I work hard.”