Each year, the Center for Native American Youth partners with Columbia University to offer one full-tuition and residential scholarship for a Native student to attend the Columbia Summer Program for High School Students. This 6-week summer program gives students the opportunity to explore a course of study that matches their interests in an intensive, collaborative environment, while experiencing life at an Ivy League institution in New York City.
The 2016 recipient of the CNAY-Columbia Scholarship award is Maria Walker. Maria Walker is a high school junior from the White Mountain Apache Tribe. She currently holds a 3.53 GPA at her high school in Whiteriver, Arizona and is interested in learning more about economics. Maria’s mother passed away at a young age, but always instilled in her and her younger brothers the importance of working hard to obtain an education. In addition to stepping up as a big sister and taking care of her younger siblings, Maria pushes herself to achieve excellent grades, play sports, attend college classes, and take advantage of opportunities that enhance her academic experience. Maria says that it is her mother’s memory and courage that motivates Maria to excel in all she does. Maria hopes to study business, finance and economics at Columbia University this summer. Click here to read Maria’s scholarship application essay.
CNAY’s partnership with Columbia University is one of the many ways in which our organization seeks to provide tangible opportunities for indigenous youth to succeed as students, young professionals, and future leaders.