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Success Stories

  • Salome
    Salome
    Tlingit
    Salome (Tlingit) was separated from her mother at a young age. Her father was destitute, and she grew up homeless. Despite her uprootedness, Salome says she has always had an inquisitive nature, and entered the Institute of American Indian Arts to seek stability through education, despite not having graduated from high school. She earned high academic honors, and graduated with an associate's degree.
  • Savanna
    Savanna
    Crow
    Savanna (Crow) was raised in the traditional way amongst her people. Crow is her first language, and she keeps her culture alive by participating in the ceremonies of her tribe, including hand games and dancing in the traditional Crow style.
  • Shera
    Shera
    Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
    Shera is a first-generation college student. As a young woman in high school, she showed academic and civic promise. She was involved with the Future Business Leaders of America and the National Honor Society. Outside of school, she volunteered at the summer youth camp at her church as a mentor.
  • Sherry
    Sherry
    Yupik Eskimo
    They say every journey gives birth to another. Sherry (Yupik Eskimo) had the pleasure of seeing the fulfillment of her journey, culminating in graduating from Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas magna cum laude (3.97 GPA) with a degree in business administration.
  • Shirley
    Shirley
    Crow
    Many people consider starting college later in life. These students juggle many responsibilities: children, work, and studies, and sometimes there isn’t enough money to meet all of their obligations. That is where the American Indian College Fund can help.
  • Stephen
    Stephen
    Cheyenne River Sioux/Iroquois
    When Stephen (Cheyenne River Sioux/Iroquois) speaks, he radiates joy. Stephen, a 2009 Oglala Lakota College graduate and a Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship recipient with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, says a college education at Oglala Lakota College helped him discover his culture so that he could provide for his family in a way that allows him to walk the path he was meant to walk.
  • Tallie
    Tallie
    Comanche
    Tallie has always seen herself as a healer. When she entered Leech Lake Tribal College in Cass Lake, Minnesota, Tallie’s goal was to get her associate’s degree with a science emphasis before moving on to nursing school.
  • Tammy
    Tammy
    United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee
    Tammy, who grew up in Oklahoma, was always a good student but never thought of going to college. “Nobody in my family had even gone to college and I seriously didn’t think it was an option for me, because it was not an option for many people around me. Where I come from the idea of college was not real for me, and wasn’t until my mother made it real for me."
  • Terra
    Terra
    Red Lake Band of Chippewa
    Terra, a student at Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) in Minnesota, was selected as a Student Ambassador for NASA. A liberal education major with an emphasis in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math), she was recognized as one of NASA’s highest-performing interns. Terra represented NASA at education and outreach events at schools and universities to inspire other students to pursue STEM careers. Terra was the only student from a Minnesota college or university to receive this honor for 2011.
  • Terry
    Terry
    Comanche Nation
    Terry (Comanche Nation), a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) graduate in the Department of Dramatic Writing at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and American Indian College Fund Mellon Fellow, had her work brought to the stage in the Words Afire! New Works Play Festival at the University of New Mexico Center for the Arts in Albuquerque.