DENVER, CO — The American Indian College Fund was set to honor 36 American Indian first-generation scholarship recipients at its 2020 Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship banquet in Albuquerque, New Mexico in late March. Then COVID-19 struck, causing the event to be cancelled to protect students and their communities. “Knowing that Native students would be faced with even greater challenges to stay in school, the Coca-Cola Foundation will continue to work with the College Fund to help scholars in the program meet their immediate needs to ensure they complete the semester during these unprecedented times.”

The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded more than $5 million to the College Fund since 1990 to fund the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship, with the goal of helping students who are the first in their families to attend a tribal college or university. To date the scholarship has assisted more than 400 first-generation Native Americans in their college education. The scholarship is renewable throughout students’ tribal college careers if they maintain a 3.0 grade point average and are active in campus and community life. 

The following scholars are being awarded scholarships through the program:

  • Annie Evans, Salish Kootenai College
  • Rose Mary Antone, Aaniiih Nakoda College
  • Kaylee Begay, Little Priest Tribal College
  • Thomas Berryhill, Haskell Indian Nations University
  • William Bouschor, Bay Mills Community College
  • Shanae Burshia, Fort Peck Community College
  • David Butler, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa College
  • Jacob Claymore, United Tribes Technical College
  • Kristen Dean, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College
  • LeVonna Graham, Chief Dull Knife College
  • Chyann Haas, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College
  • Tammy Hammer, Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College
  • Ella Hoffman, Nebraska Indian Community College
  • Martin Horn, Stone Child College
  • Michael Howling Wolf, Northwest Indian College
  • Michael Iceman, Red Lake Nation College
  • Elizabeth Lukee, Institute of American Indian Arts
  • Tiana Martinez, Haskell Indian Nations University
  • Christy Max, Sisseton Wahpeton College
  • Anna Old Crow, Little Big Horn College
  • Dwayne Ortega, Tohono O'odham Community College
  • Gwendolyn Owletuck, Ilisagvik College
  • Ashley Peters, College of Menominee Nation
  • Tevin Phillips, College of the Muscogee Nation
  • Curtis Rainey, Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College
  • Faith Roy, White Earth Tribal and Community College
  • Kylie Rutherford, Blackfeet Community College
  • Shawna Semmens, Leech Lake Tribal College
  • Shinaya Todacheenie, Diné College
  • Kaylie Trottier, Sitting Bull College
  • Loren Tsosie, Navajo Technical University
  • Robert Upton, Turtle Mountain Community College
  • Tada Vargas, Oglala Lakota College
  • TiShai Yazzie, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
  • Leslie Young, Cankdeska Cikana Community College
  • Sarah Zephier, Sinte Gleska University

About the Coca-Cola Foundation—The Coca-Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants to support sustainable community initiatives —from water to women’s empowerment, from community recycling to wellbeing—around the world.

About the American Indian College Fund—Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 30 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer" and provided $7.72 million in scholarships to 3,900 American Indian students in 2018-19, with nearly 137,000 scholarships and community support totaling over $221.8 million since its inception. 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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