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Success Stories

  • Erika
    Erika is an enrolled member of the Chippewa-Cree tribe in Rocky Boy, Montana who grew up caring for a younger brother and sister while her mother worked. “My mom, siblings, and I moved around a lot because my mom was constantly looking for employment,” she says. “It was very hard for us financially and there was only enough money to pay for basic necessities such as rent, food, and utilities… Some months we had to depend on my grandparents to help us out.”
  • Jeff
    American Indian College Fund scholar Jeff (Lummi) is working as an intern this summer with the Lummi tribe’s natural resources department. In June 2010 Jeff completed his associate’s degree in applied science at Northwest Indian College’s main campus. He’s currently a year and a half away from attaining his bachelor’s degree in environmental science. James hopes to use his knowledge and degree to pursue graduate work, and is considering both law and marine biology.
  • Joaquin and Anjelica
    Joaquin and Anjelica
    Jicarilla Apache/ Pueblo of Santa Ana
    Academic achievement is a family affair with this brother-sister duo of Joaquin and Anjelica (Jicarilla Apache and Santa Ana Pueblo).
  • Joel
    New MBA Joel Smith (Caddo) Pays Success Forward
  • Justin
    Nez Perce
    We recently had an opportunity to sit down with newly appointed Northwest Indian College (NWIC) President, Dr. Justin Guillory. He was enthusiastic and eager to share his thoughts on the value of community-based education, athletics, family, tribal sovereignty, and his professional and academic journey.
  • Kenora
    Hunkpapa Lakota, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
    Kenora was the mother of two children, ages two and four, when she made the decision to move 500 miles away from her home in Minneapolis to enroll at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. Kenora was always interested in both math and science, and chose to study business because “I wanted a career that would allow me to provide for my family.
  • Kristan
    Tohono O’odham
    Kristan has been attending college for the past few years, but within the past two she has dedicated herself to attending full-time. This is no easy task, as she has a husband and three children, ages 14, 11, and 2. Because family life is so important to Kristan, she says she tries to structure her life around her family and be involved with her children's education as much as possible, because “I feel that this is the foundation of who they will become later in life.” She says by attending college, she is also trying to set the example of the importance of higher education to them. “I hope that they witness the hard work and sacrifices it takes to attend college AFTER establishing a family, whereas it seems to be more flexible to attend college right after high school,” she says.
  • Lonnie
    Sicangu Lakota
    Lonnie (Sicangu Lakota) completed the next big step towards his path as a leader by enrolling in law school. After two years of active leadership as the only American Indian to serve with the Youth and Family Services Policy Council as treasurer and member of the Board of Directors, Lonnie realized, “Leaders must be willing to take on tasks that allow them to step outside of their comfort zone in order to assist others. Leaders also have a responsibility to be a voice for those who are not often heard.”
  • Lynn
    Oglala Lakota/Crow Creek Sioux
    Lynn’s experiences are the embodiment of her Lakota name, “She Helps Her People.” Lynn is a 2010 master's degree graduate of Oglala Lakota College (OLC); a Lakota language teacher; a health technician for diabetes prevention at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Indian Health Services; and volunteers at a youth detention center.
  • Marian
    White Mountain Apache
    Marian grew up on the Fort Apache reservation in Arizona, where she was adopted by her aunt when I was about two years old. She says she spent her younger years wondering why she was adopted and why her biological mother didn't try to get her back. She decided to put all of her energy into school and excelled.