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Success Stories

  • Kenora
    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
    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
    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
    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.
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    San Carlos Apache
    Insects are not high on many people's list of loves, but Melinda happens to love them. She graduated from Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas and earned a master's degree from Purdue University. A member of the San Carlos Apache tribe from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Melinda says what really “bugs” her is that if it was not for the American Indian College Fund, she would have been unable to complete her education studying the creatures that give most of us the shivers.
  • Nora
    Nora
    Sicangu Lakota
    Nora Antoine, a Ph.D. Leadership and Change student at Antioch University and a 2013 Mellon Faculty Enhancement Doctoral fellow, has upcoming dissertation work focused on engagement of full-time faculty to explore professional relationships among TCU faculty.
  • Patricia
    Patricia
    Dine/Navajo
    Patricia (Navajo) is a student that gives her community a reason to smile—literally. As a dental hygiene major, Patricia plans to work on her reservation to help reduce high rates of oral decay and disease.
  • Quinn
    Quinn
    Blackfeet
    Quinn is deeply involved in her reservation community on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, with a large extended and immediate family rooted there. She lives on 11 acres of land with her parents and five siblings, which is also inhabited by a variety of animals. In addition to her connection to the land and its creatures, Quinn is involved in traditional aspects of her culture, including making traditional bead work and traditional clothing for her family
  • Robert
    Robert
    Crow
    Robert knew he had to turn his life around. Graduating from Little Big Horn College made it possible for him to help himself and others in his tribe as a licensed addition counselor. Robert works in Crow Agency, Montana, where he incorporates his own experiences with alcoholism and his education and training at his job in the wellness center there to help others fight the disease that plagues many Indian communities
  • Russell
    Russell
    St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
    Russell has earned a bachelor’s of science degree in criminal justice from Minot State University, a master’s degree in management from the University of Mary, and began his journey at UTTC. (He later earned his Ph.D. through the Mellon Foundation Faculty Career Enhancement (Doctoral) Fellowship). He credits his tribal leaders, family and friends for their support as he made a geographical change in his life to be among other Indian people.