Student Stories - Samantha

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American Indian College Fund 8333 Greenwood Blvd. Denver, CO 80221

STUDENT STORIES Samantha (Wampanoag Tribe) Samantha is purusuing a degree in law from Harvard Law School and hopes dedicate her career to fighting for justice on behalf of Native people, who have historically lacked adequate representation.

“Completing my education means creating a future where young Native women and girls can see that they belong side by side with some of the Nation's brightest legal minds.”

As the first member of the Wampanoag Tribe ever to attend Harvard Law School, Samantha is beginning a new chapter in her peoples’ relationship with the school, whose history of colonialism and assimilation dates back to the 1600s. Founded with the intention to “educate the English and Indian youth of this country in knowledge and godliness,” Harvard’s legacy has long symbolized the injustices Native people have endured for centuries. “(Harvard) stands as a relic of New England's colonial framework, which pushed my community into the backdrop of our own homeland,” Samantha says. Yet a legal education from one of the nation’s top universities will provide Samantha with the means to potentially undo past injustices and protect the rights and privileges of her people. “None before me had the opportunity to fight with a legal education behind them, Samantha says. ”Instead, they relied on strangers to debate our past, present, and futures in the courtroom.” Furthermore, she believes her education will open doors for other Native students and help to mend her tribe’s relationship with the university. “It means a step towards healing for my community and inspiring generations to follow,” she says. The scholarship she received through the American Indian College Fund is helping Samantha dedicate herself fully to her studies so she can thrive in her career. “Kutaputush (thank you) so very much for this scholarship. Your generous support of my education has touched my heart in a way that words can hardly express. I always aspired to be a positive role model, but I never could have imagined how far I would come with the opportunities afforded to me by the support of my family, community, and people like you.”


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Trey (Winnebago)

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Through your support of the American Indian College Fund, you have the power to propel Native students to brighter futures so they can make a difference in their communities.

“If I can decrease diabetes among Native people by teaching them to grow their own food that is organic and healthy, then I am going to do just that!”

More than half of College Fund Scholars are the first in their family to attend college. Your generosity is vital to their success as they pursue degrees in law, science, medicine, engineering, and others that are essential to helping Indian Country thrive.

Jasmine (Menominee)

Only 15 percent of Native people 25 years and over have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, which is less than half the national average. The College Fund is dedicated to reversing this trend. In 2020-21, we provided scholarships to nearly 3,000 Native students. Please visit to learn about the many ways you can help Native students succeed in education and beyond.

Public Administration College of Menominee Nation “My education is directly driven by my desire to protect my people and help the community thrive. As Menominees, we are taught that we have a sacred responsibility to the land. I believe that my education will allow me to be a more useful part of the effort to preserve our pristine forests and mighty Wolf River.”

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The American Indian College Fund invests in Native students and their communities through scholarships, student internships, student success initiatives, and support for the 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities (TCUs).

Phone: 303-426-8900 Toll Free: 800-776-FUND

Address American Indian College Fund 8333 Greenwood Blvd. Denver, CO 80221

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