Submitted 2024-03-16

My parents divorced twice in my childhood; however, remained supportive of my brother and I in our athletic and academic pursuits. I attended Oakland University straight out of high school in 2016 and graduated a semester early in December 2019. My bachelor’s degree is in Environmental Science with a specialization in Environmental Sustainability & Resource Management. I also have a Spanish Language minor. While at university, I studied abroad in Bonaire, receiving a travel stipend, I studied marine biology and scuba diving. My last summer at university I was a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates intern and worked in the genetics/molecular biology laboratory at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. The Honors College required for our graduation to complete a thesis which I did and presented on at Oakland University as well as in Washington, D.C at the Emerging Researchers National Conference. After college, I worked for Roscommon County for three years starting as a Gypsy Moth Survey Crew member then teaching myself GIS that way, I could be the county’s GIS coordinator, Address Issuance Specialist, and processor of property splits/combinations. During this time, I was also a front of the house restaurant manager. Desk work was not what I had envisioned myself doing so when I was offered a biologist position at the Oklahoma aquarium in the Shark/Mammal division, I took it. A lack of staffing led me to become a Recreation Leader for Chandler Park of Tulsa County which I enjoy being however, I do not believe it to test/push me daily so I would like to pursue an AAS in Cardiac Sonography to continue serving the community/population as best I can. I continually meet new challenges in life appreciating the opportunity to adapt, grow, and be shaped into the strong native woman I am.

My educational goals are learning as much as possible to be an asset to everyone I come into contact with including my supervisor, colleagues, friends/family, and the general public/community. I enjoy learning a variety of topics such as environmental science, marine biology, scuba diving, GIS, and managing. My career goal is to find something that matches my lifestyle which I think Cardiac Sonography would provide for me with four 10-hour shifts so that I can pursue scuba diving, volunteering, community engagement, and other hobbies. I have always enjoyed public service and putting the community first. I would like a stable/in-demand career that is constantly evolving (technologically, etc.). My goals formed from my family, who are the most important people in my life, specifically my mom and dad who instilled in me the value of education, hard work, and perseverance.

I will use my education to impact the world by financially being able to continue pursuing what I am passionate about: Environmental Science. With this new degree, I will be able to afford to take scuba diving classes again and get more certifications that way I can teach diving to the future generation to support conservation and understanding of our natural world by another means of exploring it. Ideally, I will be a Cardiac Sonographer that services the Native Community similar to my mom who is a Registered Nurse for the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (our) tribal clinic. I will also continue to show that hard work, perseverance, passion, dedication, and the quest for knowledge can provide anyone including an Indian woman with the ability to do whatever they set their mind to in life and have all the experiences they want. This is especially important to me since my aunt and her children have not gone on to pursue higher education so I would like to set an example for my younger cousins and continue to be someone my brother looks up to. Giving back to Indian Country is important to me because these are my people, history, and how I identify. I want to support the change and growth of us as a Nation, so we are not a thing of the past but rather a strong presence and people in the future.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I genuinely appreciate this opportunity to go back to school, learn a new skill, continue serving/giving back to the community, and assist my own family. Obtaining this scholarship would make it a lot easier financially, enabling me to focus on school entirely rather than working two or more jobs to maintain my house, assets, and assist my family members (specifically my brother who has lived at my house after finishing his bachelor’s degree at Saginaw Valley State University and my mother who is a RN at our Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians tribal clinic and has had numerous surgeries as well as health issues recently).