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Shealynn

Amiskapi Pikuni (Blackfeet)

The pandemic motivated me in ways I never thought were possible. Growing up I was just a kid on the rez, adopted by my grandparents who raised me. Before COVID I was working as an LPN, but my experiences during the pandemic inspired me to want so much more for my family, my children, my community, and for all Indigenous peoples. In addition to losing one of my beloved parents to COVID, as a healthcare worker I experienced first-hand the devastation COVID caused in Native communities, including not only the huge gaps in reservation-based healthcare infrastructure, but also the lack of health-related research specific to Indigenous peoples – research that could have saved lives.

It's hard for me to talk about all the losses in our communities and the impact COVID continues to have on our people, but those feelings are also what drive and motivate me. I was able to complete my bachelor’s degree and am now working on my Nursing PhD at UCLA as a Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellow. My ultimate goal is to use my education to lay the groundwork for the founding of research centers centered in our Indigenous ethical standards to improve the health disparities within Native communities nationwide. When I envision what the future could look like for my children, my children's children, my nieces, my nephews, and future generations of Indigenous peoples, I think we are capable of everything. We have such brilliant youth within our communities, but we lack resources. Currently there is an emergence of Indigenous scholars in environmental sciences, business, the arts, media, and now health – including me. For that I thank you. I am fulfilling dreams I didn’t think were possible, all because of you.

Our Purpose

We have one unwavering purpose – increasing the number of American Indians who hold college degrees. Currently only 15% of American Indians have a college degree – less than half the national average. Every year, we empower more than 4,000 American Indian students to start and stay in school, complete their degrees and launch careers that benefit us all. We have provided 153,890 scholarships and $283.7 million to support American Indian communities. We intend to double our impact in the next five years. Join us and help a student today.

 

About Us

We are the nation’s largest and highest-rated American Indian nonprofit organization changing the face of higher education today – one American Indian at a time. We provide more scholarships to American Indians than anyone else, and we’re the only organization that enhances this individualized financial support by funding accredited, tribally controlled colleges and universities and contributing to programs that ensure student success — starting before the first day of preschool and continuing beyond a student’s first day of their first career job.

 

Our Commitment To You

The College Fund is committed to accountability.
We consistently receive top ratings from independent charity evaluators.

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It's time to show up for Native students!

Thousands of Native students heard us say "No" this Fall. That's too many lives to put on hold. And even more urgently, we’re on track to have TWICE as many Native student applicants by the end of the year.

It has never been more important for Native scholars to earn their degrees. 74% of College Fund scholars use their educations to give back to their communities, making them stronger and more sustainable.

Let’s say “Yes” to Native students. Our work starts now.

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