Leadership training for student scholars includes advocacy, marketing, and PR 

DENVER, CO— The American Indian College Fund selected and trained 11 new student ambassadors for its 2022-23 cohort. Now in its eighth year, the College Fund Student Ambassador Program gives Indigenous students the leadership and communications skills to create greater visibility of Native Americans and an understanding of the importance of their diverse cultures.

With 42 percent of the Native American population today under the age of 24, the College Fund sees an opportunity to educate the next generation of young Native leaders to realize their potential. Student ambassadors help the College Fund create greater visibility about higher education and the work the College Fund, Native students, and tribal colleges are doing to create a better future for Native peoples and communities. College Fund student ambassadors represent the College Fund and their institutions in media interviews, at cultural events, in their communities, and on their campuses. Student ambassadors also receive advocacy training to help them spearhead action for issues impacting Native communities. 

The College Fund hosted a multi-day training program for the student ambassadors in Denver, Colorado. Students participated in in-person workshops for leadership development, public speaking, interviewing, writing, and social media training. 

The 2022-23 American Indian College Fund Student Ambassadors include:

  • Stephanie Robinson (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation), Salish Kootenai College.
  • Julianna Benge (Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud Indian Reservation), Sinte Gleska University, Fort Lewis College, and University of South Dakota.
  • Charles Bush (Oglala Sioux Tribe), Oglala Lakota College.
  • Randy Estrin (Ketchikan Indian Community and Central Council of Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska), Haskell Indian Nations University.
  • Monique Hoswoot (Navajo), Diné College and Navajo Technical University.
  • Nathaniel Houle (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota), North Dakota State University.
  • Arika Peacock (Navajo), Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute and University of Arizona.
  • Chantel Pewewardy (Comanche Nation), Rose State College.
  • Mahpiya Win Spotted Tail (Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud Indian Reservation), Sinte Gleska University.
  • Shannon Taylor (White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation), Tohono O’odham Community College.
  • Shealynn Wells (Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana), University of North Dakota. 

About the American Indian College Fund

The American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 32 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided $15.5 million in scholarships and other direct student support to American Indian students in 2020-21. Since its founding in 1989 the College Fund has provided more than $259 million in scholarships, programmatic and community support. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit www.collegefund.org.

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