Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) granted $50,000 to the American Indian College Fund to continue the Nissan Corporate Scholars Program. The program has provided scholarships to Native scholars attending tribal colleges and mainstream universities for 18 years.
The renewed grant will support students studying engineering and business disciplines, including accounting, finance, sales, marketing, human resources, communications, public relations, or information systems. Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 grade point average, be enrolled in college full-time, and demonstrate leadership in and a commitment to their American Indian communities. Preference is given to renewing Nissan scholars.
“Nissan recognizes the value of cultural diversity, and our company is committed to supporting education initiatives throughout the United States,” said Robert Wilson, Nissan’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion. “We are pleased to support the Native students in our Corporate Scholars Program, confident that they will use their education to strengthen their communities and develop their own potential.”
Nissan North America also regularly sponsors the American Indian College Fund’s annual gala. This premier fundraising event helps raises both awareness of the tribal colleges and American Indian students’ needs, while also raising critically needed funds for scholarships to help students in Indian Country achieve a higher education.
Brian is a third-year honor’s student whose education combines his love of cars and desire to start a business back home in his community on the Lake Traverse Reservation, where he was born and raised. Brian is currently working on earning an associate’s degree in computer systems technology. After he graduates he plans to enter a technical school or university to pursue a degree in automotive technology.
Brian sees a need at home for creating an auto repair business, and plans to open his own shop and create jobs, while also working for his tribe, managing and maintaining their computer network at his tribe’s headquarters.
Without a scholarship, Brian says he would have to wait until he could save enough to go to school. “Every cent that I get will be greatly appreciated because every little bit helps to get where I want to be in my life. Growing up on the reservation, there is a high dropout rate, and a lot of my school friends didn’t even make it through high school. Now that I am finishing up my second year in college, I realize how hard it was to get here and everything I had to overcome. Finding ways to pay for school is one of those obstacles that you are faced with while trying to get a good quality education. Receiving this scholarship greatly helped with overcoming that obstacle.”
When he isn’t studying or in class, Brian finds time to volunteer by serving food to the elderly and Women’s Circle and participating in community clean-ups.