Halaqa – With the January 31 scholarship deadline approaching, the Cherokee Nation Foundation looks to highlight its frequently applied scholarships, including some in education and art.
One such scholarship is the Audie Baker Memorial Scholarship, which is open to Cherokee Nation nationals majoring in special education at Northeastern State University with a minimum average of 3.0 points.
“This is an amazing opportunity at NSU, and this is for a special education teacher,” said Janice Randall, executive director of the Cherokee Nation.
Art scholarships include the Anna Bell Mitchell Memorial Scholarship and the Bill Rabbit Legacy Arts Scholarship, both of which are one-year scholarships.
“In the past, these were at Northeastern University, but they can be[used]anywhere,” Randall said.
“These are the people we’d really like to get some new applicants for.”
Another scholarship that can lead to a career is the Cherokee Nation Businesses Scholarship which is offered to CN students studying in the fields of Accounting, Finance, Engineering, Corporate Law, Marketing and Mass Communication.
“They can’t actually work for Cherokee Nation because we want to get some new leads for people who want to serve Cherokee Nation at Cherokee Nation Businesses,” Randall said.
CNF officials said that CNF grants fall into three different categories: funded by private donors, which are usually created in memory of someone; tribally funded, which is often associated with a particular tribal area; and institutionally funded, which is often endowment from a university.
“We started endowments about five years ago,” Randall said. “If someone donates between $5,000 and $25,000, the foundation matches that and every year we give 5% of the donation.”
With nearly 30 scholarship opportunities listed on the CNF website, Randall said the institution continues to grow the number of scholarships it offers and added that it is competitive in selection.
“Our scholarships are competitive. That’s what people don’t understand. They think that whoever applies to us will get that. Whoever gives the money decides the guidelines, we don’t.”
CNF officials also note that if a student receives one of the foundation’s scholarships, they can often apply for other scholarships from different entities.
Randall said it’s important for the CNF to offer these opportunities because the institution receives “many” calls from parents or guardians looking for a way to help reduce the costs of higher education.
“With COVID, a lot of people have lost their jobs and had to move or different things, and they are just looking for anything that helps them get a better start in life,” she said. “And of course, we feel like going to college is the way to do that.”
Aside from scholarship opportunities, CNF also provides ACT prep classes for students in grades 10-12, test support for the Oklahoma Standard Test for students in grades 5-8 and teams with Junior Achievement of Oklahoma to help students within the tribe book financial literacy through Participation in JA BizTown where students have work experience in various professions.
If students need help applying for scholarships, Randall said they can contact the CNF office at 918-207-0950.
“They can call our office at any time, day or night, and we answer the phones, we’ll guide them through and help them in any way we can,” she said. “Also, if they are looking for other scholarships, we sometimes know about other places. This is our goal to help them anytime they need it.”
To view CNF scholarships, visit https://cherokeenation.academicworks.com.