BLOG POST BY BRIDGET NECONIE, DIRECTOR OF SCHOLARSHIPS – INDIGENOUS EDUCATION INC.

Welcome back to the academic school year!  It is a great day to be a Native person in higher education.  We applaud and give thanks to everyone in the Cobell community of students, educators, counselors, tribal leaders and parents who all work together to build the next generation. The past year at IEI has been an amazing experience and we continue to accomplish all we can.

Each year brings new beginnings.  Every circle around the sun teaches life lessons.  The search for new opportunities creates access, expands your repertoire, and brings about change. Lessons learned bring personal and professional gains, advances our cause, and instills a deeper appreciation for knowledge, meaning, and the wonders of life.  Not all people have opportunities or access to achieve higher education as only about 7% of the total world’s population has a college degree.* Scholars are destined to be among this important group of world citizens!

The times in which we live often require that we actively participate in the development of our nations. Likewise, with that privilege comes responsibility.  As you know, primary education in k-12 intends to prepare young to be thoughtful contributing citizens.  High School graduation is a milestone, cause for celebration and promotion to the next level.  From undergraduate to the PhD we continue to grow and develop skills and talents to complete the journey started.  Your life as a student in a private, public, or tribal college is what you make it! You determine your future in any area of study you wish.  Through your accomplishments, your curiosity is satisfied and you build a strong foundation of resilience while making dreams come true.

Higher Education is certainly and agent of change for our society; institutions are a place and space to explore where your diversity is unique and valued. Critical thought and comparative study reminds us to be inclusive and to resolve social issues.

Cobell Scholars are no exception.  They are a growing group of superstars learning, teaching, researching and practicing in all fields from education to healthcare and beyond.  They see into the future with focus to maintain and reach clear and achievable goals.  They display strong interests in concentrated areas and show signs of individual success.  Cobell Scholars work alongside faculty, staff and their peers to bring their thoughts, ideas and perspectives together to find ways to address and solve problems.  The Cobell Scholar is a perceptive, well-informed student.  They are resourceful, sophisticated, have a strategy to succeed, and take care of themselves.  The staff at IEI is confident that all scholars will go on to become leaders in their fields.

The entire scholarship staff at IEI is passionate about the work we do to honor Elouise Cobell.  We are all encouraged to reach a higher level of excellence and our spirits are elevated each day by you, the Cobell Scholars.  We encourage all scholars to contact and reach out to us for more information, guidance and advice on scholarships throughout the year.  We hope to connect with each of you on a variety of topics through our social media networks and we urge scholars to access our media content on Financial Aid, Wellness and to be inspired to contribute your voices and to share stories of Going Home, Giving Back and Social Justice in Indian Country.  We welcome and value community input and feedback anytime.  Finally, we are always here ready to supply you with additional resources that you need to advance or spark your interest in the work that we do!  Have a wonderful 2017-2018 school year!  *http://www.100people.org/statistics_100stats.php?section=statistics

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