TUBA CITY, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation honored 147 high school students for their exceptional academic excellence by awarding them a Chief Manuelito Scholarship.
Ten students are Tuba City High School Warriors.
The 2017 Chief Manuelito Scholars are: Charles Henderson, Kandice Tanner, Tia Folgheraiter, Sophia Honahnie, Aaron Troglia, Naismith Butler, Aliceson Begaye, Danisha Nez, Jared Keams and Alexis Watchman.
The Chief Manuelito Scholarship was established in 1980 to provide monetary educational support to enrolled Navajo Nation high school graduates to help with direct college expenses.
Seven-thousand dollars is provided annually to each recipient to cover educational expenses while he or she is attending college or university.
Along with exhibiting high ACT and SAT scores, the scholarship winners also must have an overall high final GPA and have completed both Navajo language and Navajo government classes required for graduation.
The final awards ceremony for all the winners was held at San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico.
Tuba City Unified School District Governing Board President Ron Begay said on behalf of the governing board and himself, he was proud to recognize and acknowledge the winning Chief Manuelito scholars from Tuba City High School.
“We want to recognize and thank their parents, their teachers who have been able to do exceptionally well with their academic preparation,” he said. “Congratulations to each of our students and their families for this outstanding honor.”
Chief Manuelito was a Navajo tribal advocate for higher education. He was in favor of long range future endeavors for his people and for unifying the rich historical tribal past with present day technology and learning.
Students from reservation high schools and serveral off-reservation schools like Mesa High School are eligible for the Chief Manuelito award. They must meet not only the high overall GPA standard but also take Navajo language and Navajo government classes.
For the off-reservation schools like Mesa High, this means more concentrated effort to complete the requirements but the language and government classes can be completed through an online subscription for Navajo Rosetta Stone for about $75 dollars and the Navajo LR examination is $50.
The government class portion can also be completed online through American Academy, an online school that serves college age students and supplements high school diplomas.
The Navajo government course is about $120
Charles Henderson, 18, a Chief Manuelito winner this year was also the Salutatorian for his 2017 TCHS graduating class.
Henderson plans to attend Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff this coming fall and is interested in using his Manuelito award for a bio-medical career and hopes to become a pharmacist.
“I credit so much of my science interest to Effie Hyden, my science teacher at Tuba City High,” Henderson said. “Ms. Hyden would expect so much of us, challenging us to learn and find out new information about all of the sciences. She really inspired me to think of not only how do I help my community but how do I advance the sciences for all people. I am deeply honored to have been awarded a Chief Manuelito scholarship.”