D'ALENE, Idaho American Indian students at North Idaho College
have done something no other group has ever done at the school.
They have established a scholarship program to help fund a college
education for future students and they continue to add to that fund.
fall the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho donated $2,000 to the American
Indian Student Alliance. Rather than use it for attending a conference
or some other activity, the students decided to establish a scholarship
program. During the remainder of the school year they held several
functions that earned the club another $2,000. They recently presented
a check in that amount to the North Idaho College Foundation which
manages all scholarship programs for the college.
glad the club is doing this, that we've created this, not for us
but for the people that will be following us," Antonia Bancroft,
Navajo, said. Antonia is a member of AISA. "It amazes me that students
realize it's not benefitting us but future students. I think that's
really cool and that the students realize that."
Melting Tallow, Blackfeet/Blood, is the American Indian student
advisor. She said there were 139 students at the school last year
who were enrolled descendents and that only 14 percent of them receive
funds from their tribes to help with college education. Some of
those others do receive some financial aid but many do not.
financial aid, if you're younger than 24, you have to include your
parents income. If you do that and are middle class the student
won't be able to get a Pell Grant. The only thing they'll be eligible
for is a student loan. What happens is that parents can't afford
tuition and books and so forth so the students have to rely on loans.
You see students taking out a lot of loans for community college
to be able to attend school."
students are the ones who created this and the ones who
are backing this. I'm so proud of them."
major fundraiser is planned for this fall and golfers in the region
should take note. On Oct. 1 there will be a four-person scramble
with a shotgun start beginning at 1 p.m. at Circling Raven Golf
Club. [www.cdacasino.com/golf.html] The cost is $100 per person
which includes golf, golf cart, use of the driving range, and a
dinner afterward. There will also be an auction and raffle during
Coeur d'Alene Casino and Circling Raven Golf Club are sponsoring
this and they're putting their funds and efforts to help the scholarship,"
Evanlene said. "They will keep half the proceeds to help cover their
expenses but the other half will be turned over to the American
Indian Student Alliance."
Carden, Colville, is another club member and avid golfer. "I hope
the golf event fills up and becomes a great annual thing and turns
out to be very successful. It's good to see there's going to be
something left behind after I leave to help other students."
hoped that between golf and the auction the club will receive close
to $10,000 which will go into the scholarship fund. If the club
can raise $10,000 or more before Feb. 1, 2011 it will receive another
$10,000 from the American Indian Education Foundation Challenge
Grant. If that should happen the scholarship fund would suddenly
jump to about $24,000.
applied for the grant with the foundation and have just been awarded
that grant," Evanlene said. "That's a big goal. We are not putting
any money out for the fall of 2010 but in the spring of 2011 we'll
start giving it out in scholarships. Students will be able to apply
for the scholarships and we'll have a committee to make that determination.
We want to lessen the amount of money that students take out for
student loans. That was their (the club's) vision.
students are the ones who created this and the ones who are backing
this. I see that in a lot of Native students. They're always looking
into the future. How can I help today for the generations coming?
I'm so proud of them."
event is being called the Che'nshish Scholarship Scramble. Che-nshish
means assisting or giving to others in the Coeur d'Alene language
and was suggested as an appropriate name by Carden.
of respect, a student and myself went to tribal council and asked
permission to use the name so we're going to change the scholarship
name at the foundation to that name. The next check we present to
the foundation will have that name on it: Che'nshish Student Scholarship,"
sign up for the golf event, call Circling Raven at (800) 523-2464.