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Success Stories

  • Sabrena Sabrena
    White Mountain Apache
    Sabrena has strong feelings about the importance of education. “Education is the key. I see poverty and debt casting a shadow over my tribe,” she said. “I want to become an accountant so that one day I can be the treasurer of my tribe."
  • Salome Salome
    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
    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
    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.
  • Sky Sky
    Tohono O'odham
    For many tribal college students on American Indian reservations, choosing an education at a tribal college is often about being close to the community where they grew up. Tohono O’odham Community College (TOCC) student Sky walks a few meters between home and his classes to carry the knowledge he has for and about the O’odham people. Sky started his freshman year of college in Tempe, Arizona, many miles from the desolate, rural reservation of his home in Sells. Sky left the state university after that first year out of Barbaquari High School for reasons he describes as enduring a tough transiition from going to class in a place with lots of people gathering in an auditorium that you can’t identify with to returning home to take classes with a couple of students and enjoying a personal relationship with the instructor.
  • 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
    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."

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