Over the past 10 years, the Morgan Stanley Tribal College Scholarship Program has provided much-needed financial support for students pursuing degrees in business or related programs at the nation's tribal colleges and mainstream institutions. Another dimension of this longstanding partnership is the Morgan Stanley Career Development Program which awards scholarships to Native American students at four-year institutions who have an interest in the financial services industry. The career development portion of the program encourages Morgan Stanley scholars to participate in a summer internship at Morgan Stanley offices throughout the United States. Recently, these two programs provided thirty-two academic scholarships to American Indian students pursuing their educational goals. The scholarship recipients attended fifteen different tribal colleges in our nation and six mainstream institutions. In recent years, the Morgan Stanley Tribal College Program has provided funding for scholars who proudly represent twenty-four Indian nations assisted by the generosity of Morgan Stanley.
Lisa is the first to admit that she is a late bloomer. She says less than five years ago the idea of going to college was a foreign concept to her. At that time, Lisa had not even graduated from high school, let alone considered getting a degree.
“Education was not something that was discussed or promoted in my home growing up. We were more worried about where our next meal was going to come from. So when I left my mother’s home at the age of sixteen I was not concerned with finishing school. My only goal at the time was to find employment and put a roof over my own head, and for the next 12 years that is exactly what I did. During those 12 years I got married and gave birth to two beautiful children. As my children started to grow, like most parents I began to wonder about their future. This caused me to reflect on my own future and how my lack of education was going to impact my children. It was then that I realized how important education was. At that moment I decided I was going to start with myself,” Lisa says.
In the summer of 2006 she received her GED and immediately enrolled in Portland Community College. In the winter of 2009 she received an associate of arts degree. Lisa is now a senior working on a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in finance and accounting a 3.82 grade point average at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.
Lisa is also active with her church, is a team parent for her children’s basketball teams, and volunteers at her local Native American Youth Center tutoring math students and working in the office. She plans to become a certified public accountant and work for a Native-focused nonprofit organization that provides tax advice to the Native community.
A big believer in education, Lisa says it is central to development and the key to individuals attaining their highest goals while reducing poverty and inequality and laying a stable foundation for personal growth.
“With the assistance of the Morgan Stanley Scholarship I am able to attend a college that I am certain is properly preparing me to enter into the workforce as an educated, trustworthy, and competent certified professional accountant. This scholarship has assisted in bringing my degree that much more into focus and my ultimate goals that much more into plain view. Scholarship programs such as these are crucial for people like me who might otherwise have to struggle that much more financially, resulting in expended energy and time that could otherwise be put to better use with my family, community and my education. Thank you Morgan Stanley, for helping me to keep my focus exactly where it should be,” Lisa says.