Honoring Native American Heritage Month
November is Native American Heritage Month, and to honor it, the HipSilver Team honors our Founder, Gail Bruce.
Gail is a founding board member of the American Indian College Fund, a non-profit that first recognized the need for economic support to enable more Native Americans to attend – and complete – college. When she began this journey over 3 decades ago, only 9% of American Indian and Alaska Native adults aged 25+ held college degrees. Today, that number has increased by more than half, to 14%.
Since its 1989 inception, the AICF has awarded over $237 million in scholarships to over 100,000 Native students in need. They attend Tribal Colleges and Universities, which the AICF helps to support, by strengthening and broadening curriculum to include Cultural and Environmental programs. The AICF continues to have tremendous impact: 54% of students are first-generation college graduates.
Gail remains active as a Trustee Emeritus; her compelling work for the Fund “changed her life forever.” As AICF President and CEO Cheryl Crazy Bull reminds us: “The results are worth it. A higher education is equated with improved rates of employment, self-esteem, and health outcomes, creating a healthier and happier future for individuals, families, and communities.”
As we salute our CEO and Founder Gail for her tireless devotion to what has become one of the top-rated non-profits in the country, we invite you to read the personal profile of a young Cheyenne River Sioux woman named Tada – whose life was also changed forever by the AICF – in one of our previous blog posts.
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