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 with a degree in business administration.
Sherry's journey took her a long way from her home in Anchorage, Alaska, where she worked for a tribal consortium that managed the Native hospital.
Sherry also traveled a great distance psychologically—away from her people, family, and friends—to be the first person in her family to seek and earn a college degree.
As an older non-traditional student, it wasn't always easy. When Sherry first enrolled in college, she was also raising her teenage son. Juggling the role of mother and student wasn't easy, but Sherry's dedication to excellence as a student made her an outstanding role model. As Sherry's own journey as a student was ending and she was preparing to embark upon a new journey as a professional in her Native community in Alaska, her son began a journey of his own when he followed in her footsteps and enrolled at Haskell as a freshman.
"This has been an incredible journey...I learned so much that goes beyond the classroom. I have had the opportunity to meet students from so many tribes across the U.S., and had the honor of learning a little bit about each of the different cultures... I plan on returning to my community. There is a great need and there are awesome opportunities for professional Natives to take the leadership positions of entities that represent us. The American Indian College Fund has been an integral part of my school financing these last three years and has helped me to stay in school to realize my dream," Sherry says.