CNF Scholarships also available to UKB members
BY TRISTA VAUGHN
TAHLEQUAH – United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians college students have until Jan. 31, 2019 to submit their applications for the Bill Rabbit Legacy Art Scholarship and the HP Engineering Inc. Scholarship.
The two scholarships are offered through the Cherokee Nation Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides educational opportunities for Cherokee students.
The Bill Rabbit Legacy Art Scholarship is one of the longer running scholarships within CNF and gives $500 per semester to a student pursuing a degree in fine arts or art education.
“Traci Rabbit, who’s father is Bill Rabbit, started a scholarship for students who are studying arts in memory of her late father,” said Janice Randall, Cherokee Nation Foundation Executive Director. “Traci uses her own money to fund for this scholarship. She is very open to however the student uses the money, whether it be towards tuition, books or anything. They can spend it however they need to complete college.”
Rabbit will build a one-on-one relationship with the student as a mentor after they are selected.
“In 2014 when this scholarship was first offered, one of the recipients changed their major and let their art go,” said Randall. “Rabbit hated to see it happen and thought mentoring the student could avoid the problem happening again. She wants to encourage them and help them in any way possible. Sometimes these students just need someone to give them a little motivation.”
The applicant must be enrolled in an accredited four-year, post-secondary institution pursuing a degree in fine arts or art education with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The accepted focuses include drawing, painting, sculpture, pottery, traditional bead work and textiles.
The applicant must submit three pictures of artwork for review for the scholarship, which is renewable for UKB members and Cherokee Nation citizens residing within the Cherokee Nation jurisdictional area.
The HP Engineering Inc. Scholarship awards $5,000 per semester to an undergraduate or graduate student who has declared either an electrical or mechanical engineering major in an ABET-accredited engineering program.
“The student has the option for a one-day job shadowing of someone at HP Engineering Inc., in Arkansas,” said Randall. “This gives the student the perspective of possible jobs the student could do in the future if they like what they are majoring in.”
Applicants must have completed at least 60 credit hours or be an enrolled junior, senior, master’s or terminal doctorate student.
When applying for CNF scholarships, Randall said she believes that extracurricular activities can make a student stand out.
“Extracurricular activities are always something we look at while reviewing all applications,” said Randall. “If the applicant loves to do volunteer work and helping others, I would recommend including it in there. Our job is to find students who will benefit from these scholarships and hopefully come back and work for the tribe.”
To apply for the scholarships, UKB students must sign up on the CNF website for an account and confirm it through the email link sent by the system.
“The student then creates a general application and the computer program forwards them to scholarships they are qualified for,” said Randall. “Also the students have to have a person to give them a good reference. The computer system sends out an email to the person of reference that includes a checklist they need to complete and submit.”
Randall recommends that students applying have a good relationship with their reference and can maintain contact with them to assure the checklist sent is completed. Failure to do so could affect the student's scholarship process.
CNF also offers services to students who come across problems while trying to submit their applications. UKB students will also need to have copies of their tribal card and transcripts ready to submit when applying.
“Students who apply for any of these scholarships are just looking for a little bit of help,” said Randall. “Sometimes they have to work and it takes away from their studies. Any extra money the student can bring in, it is going to help them to devote more time to study and be serious about college.”
For more information about the scholarships and the application process, call CNF at 918-207-0950 or visit their website at www.cherokeenationfoundation.org/scholarships.