ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Futures for Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of American Indian students and families, recently awarded a combined total of $6,000 in scholarships from the Bayard LeRoy King Scholars Fund to two high-school juniors and one senior. The three scholarship winners, Brandon Barton, T'Neale L. Barney, and Tia M. Yazzie, are all mentored students in Futures for Children's Friendship Program. The Friendship Program matches American Indian children with mentors from around the world to encourage the students' academic achievement and to foster cross-cultural friendship. These three students have demonstrated dedication to superior academic standards in pursuit of higher education. Each scholarship winner received $2,000 to be used for college-related expenses.
Junior winner Barton (Navajo) from Pinon High School has been a student in the Friendship Program since 2009. He was invited to Futures for Children's headquarters in Albuquerque, N.M. where Herbert Manheimer, Director of Program Field Staff, presented him with his certificate and scholarship. In his application essay, Barton wrote, "The opportunity of a good education can help me to accomplish my goals in life." He plans to attend college where he hopes to improve his "knowledge, leadership, self-discipline," and to gain independence. He writes, "The leadership skills I can learn will help me to return to my community to help my people."
Junior winner Barney (Navajo) from Tohatchi High School was also invited to Albuquerque recently to receive her scholarship. A student in the Friendship Program since 2007, T'Neale wrote, "Futures for Children and my mentors [in the Friendship Program] are very important in my life. They have encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams, increased my self-confidence, and helped me with financial assistance for my education." She plans on studying zoology in college.
Yazzie (Navajo) from Pinon High School, the winner in the high school senior category, was presented with her award during an assembly at her school. Yazzie writes, "...even as I quaver at the thought of stepping into the world with all of my newfound independence, I also feel a strange and powerful sense of responsibility. To my nation, community, and family, I have an obligation." She has been in the Friendship Program since 2006 and has received invaluable guidance from her mentors: "Like my parents, my mentors also encourage my academic pursuits. When I receive a letter from them, I know that there are people who believe in me. In their letters, I read about a world that exists outside the one I know."
Futures for Children intends to award scholarships to American Indian students through the Bayard LeRoy King Scholars Fund each year. To learn more about Futures for Children and its programs that serve American Indian communities, please visit FuturesforChildren.org.
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