The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) of Minnesotadonated $585,000 to the American Indian College Fund (the Fund), helping it to meet a three-year challenge grant from the Johnson Scholarship Foundation (JSF) in a record six months. As a result, JSF, which pledged to match up to $750,000 over three years to establish a scholarship endowment for American Indian business students, announced it will pay the entire grant pledge now.
The donations and the matching funds will be placed into an endowment for scholarships for Natives pursuing business or entrepreneurship degrees to encourage business development in Native communities. Scholarships will be available in 2013.
Native college students who are outstanding sophomores or in their junior year or higher, members of a federally recognized U.S. Indian tribe with documented financial need, and are majoring in business administration, accounting, finance, marketing, and tribal administration are eligible to apply. The scholarships are renewable for up to three years.
“The American Indian College Fund has helped thousands of young Indian people get an education. We are happy to be able to encourage our Indian students to continue their education so that they can help their people. Having an educated and qualified Indian workforce for the future is very important for all tribes in maintaining their sovereignty,” said SMSC ChairmanStanley R. Crooks.
With this new grant, SMSC contributions to the Fund total more than $2.4 million in recent years.
Malcolm Macleod, President of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, said, “The Johnson Scholarship Foundation is proud to act as a catalyst for this endowed scholarship project for the benefit of Native American college students who demonstrate financial need. It speaks to our mission to assist American Indians to obtain education and thereby empower themselves.”
Richard B. Williams, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “We are thrilled to announce the success of this matching campaign. The overwhelming support of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, which has placed helping other Natives paramount, combined with that of other donors and the generosity of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation will ensure that Natives can succeed in business to impact their communities and economies and better their lives for generations to come.”
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