Gifted Native American College Students
To say our Native American students are gifted is an understatement, not to mention a play on words…
Every year we send holiday stockings to students who receive American Indian Education Foundation (AIEF) scholarships, as well as to their children under 10. These stockings are filled with an assortment of fun and useful items. Our students over the years have been very grateful for these holiday packages – it makes them feel special and know that we truly do care about them.
For 2013, we sent holiday stockings to 149 AIEF scholars and their families whose response was once again warm and positive. One of our students, Maka M., was not only grateful for the items in her stocking, but she also expressed her gratitude for the financial assistance and mentoring she received through AIEF, a program of National Relief Charities.
Maka has been an AIEF scholarship recipient for a couple years. She recently began attending college in northern Arizona, having previously attended in Alaska. It was a big move for her, but the transition was made easier through the support of various individuals and organizations, AIEF among them.
In a long email addressed to me personally, Maka stated in part, “Thank you for the winter package! Much thanks, I appreciate everything you guys do to support me in my academic endeavors.” She also shared with me exuberantly about how useful some of the items in her stocking were and how she sees herself succeeding in college… through her own perseverance to graduate and through the assistance of others. Support is key to educational success for Native American students and students everywhere.
Maka also had a message for Native American students, a point made very clear in her many “thank you’s” to AIEF throughout the semesters:
My advice to students in high school is to really work on academic achievement. By the time you graduate, your academic success will be instrumental in attaining scholarships that will help with the exorbitant expense of college!
As I sit this holiday season and ponder Maka, and the many, many gifted Native American students we have been able to assist, I am reminded of something else she said: “Now is the time to go forth and set the world on fire.” We are inspired by Maka’s gratitude and success and honored that AIEF is able to assist in the pursuit of her dream to obtain a college education.
Happy holidays to Maka and to all our AIEF students, and good luck with your finals!