New initiative from the American Indian College Fund and AT&T to help about 200 Oklahoma students graduate high school and succeed in college
Okmulgee, Okla. August 4, 2017 —Congressman Markwayne Mullin, AT&T and the College of the Muscogee Nation joined together to celebrate AT&T’s recent $600,000 contribution to the American Indian College Fund, the nation’s largest American Indian scholarship organization. The contribution will support approximately 200 Oklahoma Native American and low-income students as they work toward high school graduation and advancing their education or joining the workforce.
The College Fund initiative’s goal is to increase the number of American Indian and low-income students who graduate from high school. By partnering with tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) as well as high schools located on or near Indian reservations, the College Fund connects students to programs and supportive services that will help them finish high school, persist in higher education and thrive in the 21st century knowledge economy. AT&T’s $600,000 contribution will span two years and serve a total of about 700 Native students in three states — Arizona, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
In Oklahoma, impacted TCUs and high schools include College of Muscogee Nation in Okmulgee, Wilson High School, Okmulgee High School and Morris High School.
The College of the Muscogee Nation identified Morris and Wilson High Schools as ideal partners for the grant program because both have a large Native American population and close proximity to CMN.
“American Indians face many unique challenges to getting an education, and Native youth experience some of the lowest high school graduation rates nationwide,” said Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund. “This support from our longtime collaborator AT&T will allow the College Fund to help more students earn a high school diploma, access postsecondary education, and learn about their language, culture, and history.”
“This contribution will allow the College of Muscogee Nation to reach many more Native students in our efforts to improve the high school graduation rate and help students think about what their postsecondary experience could look like,” said Robert Bible, President, College of Muscogee Nation. “We look forward to working with the College Fund and AT&T on this important initiative to increase Native student success in Oklahoma.”
“By connecting more Native students to educational opportunities that help them graduate high school, the College Fund and College of Muscogee Nation is helping put these students on track for personal, academic and career success,” said Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2). “It’s great to see what’s possible when private, public and non-profit groups work together to tackle this issue and leverage their resources and expertise to effect change. I’m honored to be here to celebrate AT&T’s contribution, which will help increase opportunities for these students.”
The contribution from AT&T seeks to help Native students overcome barriers to education and deliver evidence-based interventions that help students stay on track to graduate and reach their goals beyond high school. The company has contributed $7.5 million over the last five years to support education in the Native community.
“AT&T has a long history of supporting Indian Country and the College Fund, and we’re proud to be a part of initiatives that are improving Native communities’ quality of life by creating the leaders and workforce of tomorrow,” said Steve Hahn, president, AT&T Oklahoma. “This contribution continues AT&T’s commitment to supporting and connecting Native American communities and building a diverse pipeline of tech talent.”
In addition to the College Fund contribution, AT&T also announced a $450,000 commitment to George Washington University in Washington D.C. to establish the AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy, its first-ever public policy center dedicated to indigenous learnings. The contribution builds on AT&T’s support of the GW Native American Political Leadership Program, which provides a semester in Washington, D.C. for Native American college students. AT&T also supports the GW Native American INSPIRE Pre-College Program, which brings Native American high school and college students to the GW campus for three weeks to learn about intergovernmental relations between tribal governments and the federal government.
Other examples of the company’s commitment to enhancing the education and quality of life for Native American youth include:
- Murrow Indian Children’s Home, a program that recruits inter-tribal elders and trains them to serve as foster grandparents and cultural mentors to children living at the Murrow Indian Children’s Home in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
- The College Fund internship program works with AT&T to identify and recruit candidates from tribal colleges and universities for internships.
- Seminole State College’s President’s Leadership Class provides freshmen and sophomore students educational and cultural experiences to better prepare them for the workforce upon college graduation.
- Project Circle Teacher helps low-income Native American high school students at reservation schools receive instruction in mathematics.
- Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation funds books and school supplies for graduates of the Indian University of North America Summer Program in South Dakota.
- National Center for American Indian Organizations works to advance the economic interests of Indian Country.
- Oyate Networking Project helps fund school supplies for 500 Native American students on the Pine Ridge Reservation.