|When tribal colleges nominate a student for the prestigious Student of the Year scholarship, sponsored by the Adolph Coors Foundation, they look at the road those students have traveled to gain success.
Student of the Year awardees are outstanding academicians, leaders, and role models within their schools, and their communities. But the road to that success has not always been easy. Harriet (Standing Rock Sioux), an environmental science major completing her bachelor’s degree program this year at Sitting Bull College (SBC) in Fort Yates, North Dakota stands tall amongst this year’s honorees.
Harriet, a single mother, has juggled raising her children with her studies, work, and extra-curricular activities. In addition to maintaining a 3.4 in her rigorous and research-intensive coursework, Harriet is very active within her tribal college and local community. She is a member of The Wildlife Society, serves as the vice-president of the SBC Ecology Club, and as secretary for the SBC’s American Indian Higher Education Consortium Student Congress.
As if Harriet’s school and volunteer work are not enough to keep her busy, she also operates her own small business on the Standing Rock Reservation and in line with her degree interests, she is employed at SBC under a Brownsfields Grant from the federal government to conduct training for environmental cleanup efforts.
|Harriet’s ambition and dedication to higher education have inspired her three children to pursue their college degrees at SBC. Harriet’s daughters Jalisa and Shantelle are pursuing their bachelor’s degrees alongside their mother, making studying a family affair by enrolling in a few of the same classes with her. Both young women are outstanding scholars in their own right. Jalisa was nominated by SBC’s president and accepted into the American Indian College Fund’s Embrey American Indian Women’s Leadership Project. And Harriet’s son is currently enrolled in a certificate program at SBC, where he will pursue a college degree next year.
It is no doubt that in seeking to further her own career and abilities, Harriet’s leadership and success has inspired the next generation of American Indians in her family to achieve their higher education. Harriett graduated on May 10, 2012 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science.