HOPI Ariz. - Through a collaborative partnership and the generous support of sponsors including Peabody Energy, Merrill Lynch and others, the Hopi Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) along with the Hopi Tribe Grants & Scholarship Program (HTGSP) hosted a "Hopi Summer Send Off" on Aug. 9 in Kykotsmovi, Ariz.
Attended by over 140 students, parents and community members, the event provided resources and information on Financial Aid, Financial Literacy, Time Management, On Campus Resources and concluded with a panel discussion of current students sharing their perspectives on what new and future students can expect to face when they leave for college.
HEEF Executive Director LuAnn Leonard stated, "often times we find our students face unique obstacles in the process of applying to colleges and universities, whether it be filling out federal financial aid forms, tribal scholarship applications or managing their finances for the first time. By partnering with our tribal scholarship department, HTGSP, we hoped to have created an event where we can motivate, encourage and most importantly provide as many resources and tools for our students to succeed as they embark on their educational journey."
Following the sessions, attendees were treated to a barbecue style dinner with messages from former U.S. Attorney Diane Humetewa and Hopi Tribal Chairman LeRoy Shingoitewa. Both Humetewa and Shingoitewa reflected on their educational journeys and the challenges they faced. As professionals and leaders each encouraged the students continue their education and would do the best they can in their capacity to help them succeed. Representing Peabody Energy, the major sponsor for the event, Randy Lehn also expressed their support for the educational endeavors of the Hopi people.
The HEEF and HTGSP were also pleased to announce the scholarship recipients of the newly created Jean Charley-Call Nursing Scholarship and the Arizona Public Service (APS) Hopi Scholars Program. On hand to present them with their scholarships, Jean Charley-Call reflected on her years of service as a nurse and how she was honored by her family that she would be able to make a direct impact on the lives of the two recipients, Lynette Quanimptewa and Ryan Carl.
Speaking on behalf of APS, Evelyn Casuga, Program Manager of Community Development, remarked on the importance of education and the commitment APS has made to ensure constituents throughout the Arizona community, which APS serves, are provided the necessary tools and support in order to achieve their educational dreams. Casuga along with other APS representatives then announced the 2011 APS Hopi Scholars recipients, who were Martin Manuel, Angel Cruz, Sheridan Rogers, Lynette Quanimptewa, Annalese Nasafotie, and Samantha Sekaquaptewa.
LuAnn Leonard stated, "We are pleased to be able to recognize not only the students who are the recipients of the scholarships, but also the Call Family and APS who have helped make it possible for the creation of the scholarships. Without their generosity and investment in our community we would not be able to provide such opportunities for our students."
HEEF Executive Director, LuAnn Leonard and HTGSP Program Administrator Kathlene Sumatzkuku both agree that this event for Hopi students was greatly needed. Sumatzkuku shared, "Although prepared for the academic work, at times Hopi students find themselves unprepared for the pressures of college life and the culture shock associated with life off the reservation. For many Hopi students, college is the first time away from home, first time working, managing a checking account and their time. Further, for students who are contemplating college, navigating the maze of paperwork for admissions and financial aid can be just as daunting."
Both added, "We were pleased with the attendance and look forward to providing information and resources in future events for our students and community members."
The HEEF is a non-profit entity of the Hopi Tribe. For more information contact HEEF via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.hopieducationfund.org The HTGSP can be reached at 1-800-762-9630 for more information