Alanna, a recent graduate from SIPI, has not had an easy life, but she has met life’s challenges with optimism, determination, and hard work.
Alanna juggled two jobs to pay the bills while attending college to provide a better future for herself and her young son. These challenges were difficult enough, but Alanna faces an additional hardship—her son struggles with bipolar disorder.
Alanna says her son’s condition is the hardest thing she has ever had to endure, but she is committed to getting him the best care possible. She has joined support groups for parents with children with this illness and works with his teachers to help them understand her son’s limitations and what to expect from his behavior, while guiding him to ensure that he gets a good education.
Despite her challenges outside of the classroom, Alanna graduated with honors from SIPI in May 2010, earning her associate’s degree in liberal arts. She now attends the University of New Mexico, where she is studying to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing. In her spare time, Alanna volunteers at her son’s school.
Without a scholarship from the American Indian College Fund, Alanna says that her goals would be harder to achieve. “My goal is to pursue my field of oncology and work at a hospital or private healthcare facility. I am determined not to let my financial situation get the best of me or change my goal of getting my degree,” Alanna says.