Cherokee Nation Foundation Secures Over $2.3 Million For Cherokee Students

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TAHLEQUAH, Oklah. (KFSM) — The Cherokee Nation Foundation is partnering with The American Indian Resource Center to bring more than half a million dollars annually to students in Cherokee County, according to a news release. The four-year federal grant, which is worth $584,000 per year, will address career and college readiness needs of Native students in fifth through the eighth grade, the release states.

“The best investment we can make as a tribe is in our children,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “In the past four years we’ve increased the number of scholarships to our students, established programs to ensure our children are prepared for the workforce, and developed leadership skills in our youth to prepare them for the future. As we continue making education a priority, we are grateful the federal government understands the life-changing impact these programs have on our children.”

The American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) and The Cherokee Nation Foundation collaborated with Cherokee Nation’s education department and the Cherokee Immersion Charter School for the U.S. Department of Education’s grant funding.

According to the news release, the grant will be used to support a holistic approach for career and college readiness, which includes financial literacy, ACT prep, after-school tutoring, career services, job training and leadership development.  Funding also supports a new computer lab at the Cherokee Immersion School, teacher recruitment, college campus tours and STEM-related activities such as robotics programs and summer camps.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to enhance and expand our services to students within the Cherokee Nation,” said Janice Randall, executive director of the Cherokee Nation Foundation. “Our first priority is helping Native youth succeed, and we are far more capable of doing that by partnering with organizations that have a similar mission.”

AIRC is managing the grant and they expect to serve nearly 2,000 students by the beginning of October 2015.

For more information, contact Cherokee Nation Foundation at (918) 207-0950.