Although they make up a small percentage of students in the country, Native American youth observe many challenges resulting in educational disadvantages.
One group, the Cherokee Nation Foundation, takes action to provide a more even playing field for Indigenous youth. The foundation announced they’re providing $400,000 in scholarships for Cherokee high school graduates and university students for the upcoming year.
The Cherokee Nation Foundation is excited about the considerable amount of money, resulting from more people donating to the cause than ever before. That said, the foundation saw more donations this year than years prior, noting an 80% jump from last year.
Investing In The Next Generation
The increase in scholarship funds is certainly no small achievement. But the Cherokee Nation Foundation is doing more.
For example, the Council of the Cherokee Nation approved a proposal to boost tribal investments, resulting in even more money for the tribe’s youth and their education. The increase in donations ensures that there will be enough support for Cherokee youth living on and off the reservation.
Donations Serving Multiple Purposes
In order to receive a scholarship from the Cherokee Nation Foundation, students must fill out an application. The application process judges students’ academic achievement, community involvement, and future plans to serve the Cherokee people.
Therefore, the scholarships serve as a way to combat two ongoing problems in Native American communities; educational disadvantages and maintaining a strong sense of community.
The Cherokee Nation’s Goals
The Cherokee Nation Foundation’s primary purpose in offering numerous scholarships is to benefit the tribe in the long run. When Cherokee students succeed and have more educational opportunities, the whole Nation benefits.
Also, as the number of Cherokee students pursuing higher education increases, it leads to more successful business enterprises. Additionally, it inspires students to give back to the communities that shaped them when they receive scholarships and other support.
What Is The Cherokee Nation Foundation?
The Cherokee Nation Foundation is a non-profit and charitable organization offering countless competitive awards to tribe members. Most notably, the foundation contributes to Cherokee youths’ educational future in ways more significant than other tribes.
On top of that, the organization makes financial literacy courses, college and job readiness programs, and ACT prep courses available. Still, the Cherokee Nation Foundation isn’t the only tribe program designed to assist students.
That said, the Cherokee Nation Education Department provides over $15 million each year in scholarships to Cherokee students across the United States. The Cherokee Nation strives to make educational opportunities for all of the youth in the tribe, no matter where they live.
Establishing Long-Term Growth
Education is highly regarded by the Cherokee people and has been a valued piece of their culture for hundreds of years. So, the Cherokee Nation Foundation’s efforts aim to align the tribe’s values with their actions.
These actions help ensure the next generation also sees education as something essential for long-term success and growth. Another aspect that deserves attention is how the foundation offers an incredible amount of support in an area where Native Americans face disadvantages.
For years, statistics show that Indigenous youth struggle at disproportionately higher rates than their counterparts. High school dropout rates are much higher, and fewer Native Americans pursue a college education because of financial circumstances.
Overall, the Cherokee Nation Foundation is creating generational change through the massive number of scholarships they give.