The White Mountain Apache Tribe Education Department hosted the 29th Annual College & Career Fair on March 17 at the Chief Alchesay Activity Center in Whiteriver.
The College Fair hosted 500 students and community members throughout the day who had the opportunity to visit with colleges, universities, vocational and technical schools and area employers. The Education Department would like to thank the following educational organizations for participating: American Indian College, Arizona College of Allied Health, ASU – College of Nursing, Brookline College, Carrington College, Eastern Arizona College, Fort Lewis College, Gateway Community College, Grand Canyon University, Institute of American Indian Arts, Northern Arizona University, Northern Arizona University – College of Forestry, NAU Statewide – Show Low Campus, Northland Pioneer College, Pima Medical Institute, Refrigeration School, Inc., Strata Tech Education Group, Universal Technical Institute, University of Arizona, University of Arizona – College of Medicine, Yavapai College, Freeport McMoran Scholarship, Native Women Scholarship, Wells Fargo Bank and Johns Hopkins University.
The event began with an opportunity for students to learn more about the White Mountain Apache Tribal Scholarship and to listen to guest speakers including Loretta Goklish of the Higher Education Office, Dr. David Moore of the American Indian College, Ruben Fierros of University of Arizona, Kyle Goklish of the JOM Program and Alumni of University of Arizona and keynote speaker KeAloha May Cody Alo-Douma WMAT Tribal Attorney, who discussed preparing for higher education, the college experience and the benefits and rewards of receiving a higher education.
“It was an honor to be featured as the keynote speaker and to have the opportunity to share my list of the “Top 4 Things I Wish I Knew When I Went to College.” I shared many of my experiences with the youth, explaining that it was not to brag, but rather to show them that if it was possible for me, then it is possible for them to accomplish whatever their goals and dreams may be. Traveling the world, living overseas, working with our youth, holding the title of Miss Indian World, and now being an Attorney for our Tribe has all been possible because of education and the goals I had set as a young girl. I want our youth to believe in the possibilities before them, pursue higher education relentlessly, and know that their education positively impacts our community.” said KeAloha May Cody Alo-Douma.
Throughout the day, students visited with colleges and universities, learning about admissions, financial aid, scholarships and educational programs. “The Education Department is very proud that for 29 years we have been able to provide this event to our Apache youth. We have to do more than talk about education and its importance. We have to show our youth the value of education, the opportunities education creates and provide opportunities for our students to engage colleges and universities and explore their higher education dreams. We want to thank all of the students and schools who participated and the sponsors like Brookline College, Carrington College, Sunrise Ski Resort, Hon-Dah Casino, Apache Youth Performing Arts, Alchesay High School, KNNB Apache Radio, Housing Authority ROSS Program, WMAT CHR Program, WMAT Fair & Rodeo Office, Whiteriver Assembly of God Church and Whiteriver Restaurant for supporting the education of our Apache youth,” stated Harrisen DeClay, Education Director for the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
The Education Department received an overwhelming response from the community for information about the Tribal Scholarship and other sources of financial aid, and will be hosting Financial Aid seminars in the coming months to assist students and families in preparing for higher education.