Freeport-McMoRan recognizes Navajo Code Talkers with new higher education scholarship
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Just ahead of National Navajo Code Talkers Day on Aug. 14, Freeport-McMoRan Foundation expanded its Native American Scholarship program with Education Forward Arizona for a second time, providing an additional $3 million to create 100 scholarships in honor of the Navajo Code Talkers, with a goal of helping more Navajo students graduate with a higher education credential by 2026.
The scholarship program was expanded to acknowledge and honor the selfless service of 400 Navajo Code Talkers during World War II. The Code Talkers used the Navajo language to create an unbreakable code for radio and telephone communication, which is credited for helping the U.S. win the war.
The Freeport-McMoRan Foundation recently announced the creation of the Navajo Code Talkers Scholarships at the National World War II Museum’s American Spirit Awards Gala in New Orleans, where the remaining living Code Talkers were honored, two of which were in attendance. Only three Code Talkers are still alive today: Peter MacDonald, John Kinsel Sr., and Thomas H. Begay.
“The Navajo Code Talkers represent an important and proud part of both Navajo and American history — and we are pleased to honor them with this named scholarship program that we hope will enable Navajo students to build a prosperous future for themselves, their families, and their community through education,” said Tracy Bame, Freeport-McMoRan Foundation President. “The Navajo Code Talkers Scholarship program is open to all Navajo students who have a desire to achieve a higher education, serve their community, and inspire others through their own selfless acts to create a better future – as the Navajo Code Talkers did.”
As the scholarship administrator, Education Forward Arizona manages the application process by selecting and awarding the scholarship recipients and distributing the funds to each school. The nonprofit organization recently selected the first cohort of 50 Navajo students as inaugural Navajo Code Talkers Scholars for the 2022-23 school year. Students were chosen based on their impressive applications, accomplishments, future goals, and passion and desire to serve their community. They will receive scholarships of up to $6,000 annually and support services to help them succeed in pursuing and completing a postsecondary certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree. The second cohort of 50 students will be selected in the summer of 2023 for the 2023-24 school year.
In addition to the scholarships, each scholar will receive support services from Education Forward Arizona Success Advisers, which are key to ensuring students can successfully navigate their educational path, persist through higher education, and graduate with a degree or credential. These support services include mentoring sessions, enrollment counseling, academic tracking, financial aid advice, peer networking, professional development, and more.
“There are so many students across our state who are in need of financial assistance to help them to pursue a college degree,” said Education Forward Arizona President and CEO Rich Nickel. “Supporting students is at the heart of our work and we know it’s the best lever for improving students’ lives and the quality of life for all Arizonans. We are very thankful to The Freeport-McMoRan Foundation for its investment in scholarships for Native American students in Arizona.”
Information provided by Freeport-McMoRan Foundation.