Karlie Kloss and Teach for America team up to help 1,000 girls learn to code

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Karlie Kloss’ passion for coding hasn’t faded. And to prove it, the 25-year-old model and entrepreneur is taking her nonprofit coding program to the next level.

After taking a coding class herself, Kloss launched Kode With Klossy in 2015 in the hopes of making coding lessons more accessible to young girls and inspiring them to pursue careers in the tech industry. Now, the program is expanding its reach by launching 50 coding summer camps in 25 cities across America.

As a result, Kode With Klossy will be able to serve 1,000 girls this year between the ages of 13 and 18. The nonprofit is also partnering with Teach For America in a new initiative to train educators, so they can bring coding curricula back to their own communities.

“I initially took a coding class because I wanted to understand what this language I kept hearing about was,” Kloss said, explaining that she didn’t originally set out to start a nonprofit.

But after realizing what a powerful role coding plays in creating technologies that can transform society, she knew it was something she wanted to expose others to.

“I realized coding is amazing and thought, ‘How did I not have access to these skills sooner?'” she said.

“I wanted to offer that experience and that kind of learning to other girls who also might not have access to it,” she added, “because it’s going to continue to be relevant in the world that we live in.”

A day in the life of a Koder

The 1,000 girls that will get the opportunity to attend Karlie’s coding camps this summer will ultimately learn how to build a mobile app or website by the end of the two-week program.

Kode With Klossy currently teaches different “tracks,” including back-end and front-end development, allowing kids to learn the fundamentals of programming languages such as HTML, CSS, Ruby, and Javascript.

“This year we’ve also got a really exciting new track on Swift, so the girls at our camps not only learn the ABCs of code, but real-world examples of tech that touches our lives today,” Kloss said. “They’re learning what a loop is or how to interpolate using concepts or ideas that touch their lives, like Instagram, Twitter, or Postmates.”

Continue onto Mashable to read the complete article.

5 Tips For Winning Scholarship Applications

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TFS Scholarships

Scholarships are a great way to pay for college, and unlike loans they don’t need to be repaid. But winning scholarships takes time, dedication, intensive research, and hard work—especially for essays. It’s deadline time for college applications, so it’s important to start the search for free money now!

The Internet has made the search easy and free, and scholarship databases like Tuition Funding Sources (TFS) offers access to 7 million scholarships and $41 billion in financial aid. Start by filling in the registration; then with a click, the site searches to find any scholarships for which you might qualify. The more information you provide about yourself, the more matches TFS can make.

Undergraduate and graduate students can search for scholarships that fit their interests. The majority of scholarship opportunities featured on TFS Scholarships come directly from colleges and universities, rather than solely from competitive national pools – thereby increasing the chances of finding scholarships that are the best match for students. Each month TFS adds more than 5,000 new scholarships to its database, maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education.

Richard Sorensen, President of TFS, suggests these tips when applying for scholarships:

  1. Apply for smaller scholarships

Many students look for scholarships that offer big awards but those are also the most competitive. Scholarships with smaller awards are easier to obtain because fewer students are competing for them. These scholarships can help with college costs such as books and living expenses.

  1. Customize your essay

Scholarship judges can tell if you’ve adapted a previously written essay to meet their criteria. Customize your application and use the beginning of your essay to showcase your personality and set yourself apart. Remember, the time you are spending to tailor your essay can be rewarded with a college debt free future.

  1. Submit scholarship applications early

Meet the deadlines and don’t wait until the due date. If the organization asks you to mail the application, don’t try to email it and if there is a maximum word count limit, don’t go over it. Most scholarship providers receive more qualified applications than available funds, so reduce your chances of being disqualified because you didn’t follow their requirements.

  1. Follow your passion

Apply for scholarships that fit your passion and interest. TFS has scholarships for everyone. The more personal the scholarship the higher your chances of winning!

  1. Increase your submission rate

The more applications you submit, the greater your chances are of winning scholarships. Treat applying for scholarships as a part-time job. Organize your free time and try to work on submitting one scholarship application every week and more during weekends. Remember if you spend 100 hours on submitting applications and win scholarships for $10,000 that is a really good part-time job!

TFS has been helping students for over 30 years and offers more than 7 million individual scholarships and more than $41 billion in aid. Visit tuitionfundingsources.com to learn more.

Linda Brown, Center Of Brown v. Board Of Education, Dies At 76

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Linda Brown was the young girl at the center of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that would end legal school segregation.

Linda Brown, the young girl at the center of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case, died on Monday at the age of 76.

Brown’s sister, Cheryl Brown Henderson, confirmed the death to the Topeka-Capital Journal. Peaceful Rest Funeral Chapel of Topeka independently confirmed Brown’s death with HuffPost.

“Sixty-four years ago a young girl from Topeka brought a case that ended segregation in public schools in America,” Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer tweeted Monday. “Linda Brown’s life reminds us that sometimes the most unlikely people can have an incredible impact and that by serving our community we can truly change the world.”

It was Brown’s father, Rev. Oliver Brown, who sued the Topeka school board to allow his daughter the right to attend an all-white school in the Kansas capital city. Four other school segregation cases were combined with Brown’s to be heard by the Supreme Court, but the justices’ unanimous ruling was named for Brown.

Brown, who was also known as Linda Carol Thompson after her marriage in the mid 1990s, was forced to attend an all-black school far away from her home even though an all-white school was only blocks away.

Brown told MSNBC in 2014 that she remembered the embarrassment of being separated from her neighborhood friends and the long walk to the bus stop.

“I remember a couple of times turning around and going back home because I — you know, it was a small town,” she said. “I got really, really cold and would get home and be crying. And mother would, you know, she would try to warm me up and tell me it would be all right and everything.”

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Brown. In its decision, the court overturned the 1896 “separate but equal” ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson, marking the case as one of the biggest legal victories of the civil rights era. It was due to Brown v. Board of Education that the federal government could force states to integrate schools, allowing children of color the opportunity for an equal education to white children.

Brown credited her father and the other families who took their cases to court for removing the “stigma of not having a choice” during a 1985 interview for the PBS documentary series “Eyes on the Prize.”

“I feel that after 30 years, looking back on Brown v. The Board of Education, it has made an impact in all facets of life for minorities throughout the land,” Brown said during the interview. “I really think of it in terms of what it has done for our young people, in taking away that feeling of second class citizenship. I think it has made the dreams, hopes and aspirations of our young people greater, today.”

Continue onto the HuffingtonPost to read the complete article.

Power Up: Computing Student Publishes Hand-Drawn Game on Google Play

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women in information technology

Prior to taking the game modification development course taught by University Lecturer D.J. Kehoe last spring, computer science major Angela Vitaletti ’18 had never developed or programmed a videogame before.

“I would always bite off more than I could chew, and never finish,” said Vitaletti, who is from Middlesex and transferred to NJIT from Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania. “I took game mod as a way to motivate myself because it has real deadlines and projects that D.J. helps make achievable.”

To guide the learning process and create a culture of accountability, Vitaletti worked side-by-side with Kehoe to determine her individual project deliverables.

“We feel that this approach is a good analogue for working in industry and gives students a sense of ownership of the work that they do,” said Kehoe, who graduated from NJIT in 2009 with an M.S. in computer science. “It’s nice to give students portfolio-building projects that they can feel proud to show off.”

Upon completion of the course, not only was Vitaletti armed with work samples for her portfolio, she managed to publish a game on Google Play.

It’s called Doodle Doo, a digitally hand-drawn mobile game that puts players’ short-term memory to the test. The scribbles that live inside students’ notebooks inspired the concept. Offering four levels of difficulty, Doodle Doo personifies the youthful joy and reckless fun of high school, where wacky hijinks and tomfoolery abound.

Level one requires you to memorize which students hurled paper balls behind a teacher’s back before the pesky pupils scatter back to their seats, while level four transports you to a gymnasium during a power outage. When the lights come on, you must remember and identify what has disappeared from the space.

“The scenarios are ridiculous, but a lot of fun,” said Vitaletti, who drew the entire game by hand, down to the font. And while she’s ear-to-ear smiles now, the journey to complete Doodle Doo was often challenging.

“I spent nearly every single day developing the game,” she recalled. “I would spend hours trying to work out what seemed like a simple problem. There were a lot of times I wanted to give up. But I didn’t. I kept going.”

This display of perseverance, along with salable skills, project management experience and a strong work ethic, is exactly what Kehoe wants the students to take away from the course.

“The game development projects are substantial and daunting,” he admitted. “But after getting through them, our students can face a large project and complete it.”

Continue onto the New Jersey Institute of Technology Newsroom to read the complete article.

Katsuko Saruhashi turned radioactive fallout into a scientific legacy

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Katsuko S.

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Japanese geochemist Katsuko Saruhashi, whose research helped reveal the insidious spread of radioactive fallout from the US nuclear testing ground in the Pacific. If she were still alive, today would have been her 98th birthday.

In 1957, Saruhashi became the first woman to receive a PhD in chemistry in Japan. Her work focused on measuring the molecules in seawater, like carbon dioxide, oxygen, and also radioactive molecules like cesium-137. Just 12 years before she received her PhD, the United States dropped atomic bombs that devastated the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the US continued to unleash a torrent of radioactive fallout in the Pacific as it tested bigger and bigger bombs. By 1958, the US had exploded 67 nuclear devices around the Marshall Islands — leaving a long legacy of contamination behind.

Saruhashi worked at the Central Meteorological Observatory in Tokyo to develop more sensitive methods of measuring radioactive fallout. It was a challenging task, says Toshihiro Higuchi, a historian at Georgetown University and expert on Cold War science. “The amount of fallout that we are talking about is really tiny, and then we are talking about the vast ocean,” he says.

Saruhashi and her colleagues discovered that fallout didn’t disperse evenly in the ocean. The concentrations of radioactive cesium near Japan, for example, were much higher than the concentrations along the West Coast of the US. The team proposed that the high levels were because Japan is downstream of the Pacific nuclear testing ground. But others suspected that the measurements might be off, Higuchi says. “There was a controversy over her argument that the radioactive fallout in seawater was more than what they used to think.”

To settle the dispute, the US Atomic Energy Commission funded a lab swap. Saruhashi took a six-month leave of absence from her work at the Central Meteorological Observatory in Japan and visited Scripps Institute of Oceanography. There, she and oceanographer Ted Folsom compared their methods and discovered that Saruhashi’s technique was spot-on: the two teams’ methods produced almost identical results.

Saruhashi worked to support female scientists, and in 1958 she co-founded the Society of Japanese Women Scientists, which pushed for nuclear disarmament and peace. “She was very conscious of the social responsibility of scientists in general,” Higuchi says. Saruhashi died in 2007. But she left behind a legacy of scientific research, including an award called the Saruhashi Prize for top natural scientists who are women. “She was a trailblazer,” Higuchi says.

Read the complete article on The Verge

How to Avoid Scholarship Scams

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University

It’s no secret that scholarships are a great way to find free money for college. While it’s now easier than ever to search for scholarship opportunities online, easier navigation on the internet also makes it easier for online scammers.

Unfortunately, many families have fallen victim to scholarship scammers who are stealing millions of dollars from families every year. Your goal is to get money for college, and it shouldn’t cost you anything to apply for scholarships.

The good news is that there are red flags to look out for to avoid becoming the victim of a scholarship scam. A general rule of thumb – if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Learn the signs to protect yourself against being defrauded and find scholarships that are right for you. Here are 3 tips to avoid scholarship scams:

  1. Be cautious of fees: Applying for scholarships should not cost money. Be cautions of scholarships with application fees and never pay to get scholarship information. Scholarship databases are free and readily available online. Be on the lookout for phrases like “Guaranteed or your money back.” Scholarship websites can’t guarantee that you will win a scholarship because they’re not deciding on the winner. Legitimate scholarships won’t require an upfront fee when you submit the application.

TFS Scholarships

  1. Protect your data: Never reveal financial information such as your social security number, credit card numbers, checking information or bank account numbers to apply for scholarships. Scholarship scammers could use this information to commit identity theft.
  1. Get a second opinion: If you’re still unsure, talk with trusted organizations about which websites they recommend. School counselors, librarians, financial aid offices, and local community organizations have knowledge and tools to guide you in the right direction.

To help cut through the clutter, TFS Scholarships provides free educational resources to ease the academic journeys of students and families around the country. Sponsored by Wells Fargo, TFS Scholarships has been helping students for over 30 years and offers more than 7 million individual scholarships and more than $41 billion in aid. Visit tuitionfundingsources.com to learn more.

Dr. Cynthia Lindquist of Cankdeska Cikana Community College Named 2017 American Indian College Fund TCU Honoree of the Year

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Ceremony Also Honors 34 Tribal College Students of the Year

The American Indian College Fund honored Dr. Cynthia Lindquist, President of Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Ft. Totten, North Dakota, for her outstanding contributions to American Indian higher education as its Tribal College and University Honoree of the Year. Dr. Lindquist, along with 34 American Indian scholarship recipients named as Students of the Year, were lauded at a reception hosted by the College Fund in Bismarck, North Dakota.

The program, sponsored by the Adolph Coors Foundation, awarded Dr. Lindquist a $1,000 honorarium and each student of the year a $1,200 scholarship.

Lindquist says she never set out to be a college president. “College was a dream for me as a high school kid. I was the oldest of 13 kids, and there was no money for college,” she says.

But thanks to her parents and both sets of grandparents raising her with a strong work ethic, college is exactly where she landed.

After graduating from high school Lindquist went to work for Sioux Manufacturing Corporation (SMC) as a secretary clerk in Ft. Totten. When the company was established, it was managed by white men from the Brunswick Corporation. But her tribe, the Spirit Lake Dakota, set the goal to train tribal members to become leaders in the company. She saw an opportunity for a higher education.

“I left being a secretary/clerk to get an undergraduate degree at University of North Dakota, and lo and behold, who was there but Karen Gayton Swisher and David Gipp (Who later became fellow tribal college presidents)! I was in college with other Indians!”

Lindquist says at the time there were not many other American Indian college students. But she persisted with her coursework from the 1970s to early 1980s, and returned to SMC with a bachelor’s degree in 1981. She became a manager.

“After five-six months, our chairman at the time, Elmer White, asked me to work for the tribe as the Health Director Planner. And that is how it all began. I was in that role for seven years. I got to know all about Indian health and health systems,” she says.

She went on to earn her master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis on Indian health systems from the University of South Dakota. For two-and-a-half years she studied while working and driving every two months to Rapid City, South Dakota—a 9- to 12-hour commute, depending on the weather.

“It was really intense. We got stuck in blizzards, you name it.” But she found that the opportunity for interacting with other Natives in the program were better this time: 15 of the 30 people in the program were Native, including Lynn Davis, the wife of Carty Monette, the former founding president of Turtle Mountain Community College.

native american woman

Like many of the people in her cohort, Lindquist says, “We never aspired to our roles. We were in the right place at the right time. Opportunity opened up. The self-determination movement was beginning around the late seventies and early eighties, and Indian Health Service (IHS) was working hard to establish Indian health programs.” Lindquist’s health career path eventually took her to doing Indian health work at the national level for IHS, working on a traditional medicine initiative for the agency. She was also the first political appointee for IHS, working as a Chief of Staff for the Director for the Clinton administration before returning to North Dakota, where she was appointed by Governor Ed Schafer as the Director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission.

At the time of this interview, Lindquist had just returned from Washington D.C. for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium meetings at which tribal college presidents, faculty, staff, and students from across the country visited Capitol Hill to speak to elected officials to request funding support for TCUs and Native higher education.

Lindquist said, “When I reflect about last week, I realize we have come so far. Our students have a level of sophistication they didn’t have before. We do well to stress this while also emphasizing their culture, language, and Native values and what they mean. Education is really about being informed, seeing other sides, digging for information, while respecting other opinions and ideas and remaining grounded in our spirituality. Being Dakota means having a spiritual foundation, no matter what that is.”

During the time Lindquist was studying community medicine and rural health at Grand Forks working to establish an Indian health pathway to medical school, she was recruited by two tribal elders to apply for the position of president at Cankdeska Cikana Community College in her home community.

The transition was a logical one. In addition to hard work being a family value, education is, too. Lindquist’s mother was on the CCCC Board of Regents and was also a CCCC graduate “way before I became president.” Lindquist also had experience there, having taught classes when she was the tribe’s health director/planner.  She jumped at the chance.

“I have been there ever since. I love being back home, with my family, and with my Mom, who just turned 88 on Friday,” she said.

Things happen for a reason. Lindquist says her health care background equipped her perfectly for her role as a leader in a Native-serving higher education institution. “If people don’t have some concept of health and well-being, they cannot be a college student. You have to be physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy, and ask, ‘Am I a good role model?’”

Lindquist went on to earn a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of North Dakota in 2006. She used her educational path and healthcare grant-making experience to grow her campus. “I put in for every grant from multiple funding sources. I quadrupled the size of my campus in 15 years,” she says.

When she started at the college, it was housed “in a typical leftover federal building. The white walls were dirty and the building contained asbestos.” She wondered who would want to go to school there. After learning that abandoning the building was not an option due to financial investments the federal government and American Indian College Fund had made in it, she set to work cleaning it up.

“We made the renovations look seamless and tied the old in with the new,” she says. The campus buildings are now all connected, a necessity in the cold northern North Dakota winters.

In addition to physical growth, the college also doubled the number of graduates from when she started, maintains a reserve account, and has maintained spotless audits.

As a leader Lindquist says she is most proud of her college’s good data and transparency. “The community college belongs to the people. We want integrity there. We want to practice what we preach and give back to the community.”

Her employees share her commitment. Lindquist says they are devoted, resourceful, and efficient. “Ideally we should have one-third more employees, like a grant writer, a data specialist, and a transfer specialist. But we have good, qualified people. Our teachers drive 40-50 miles one way from small farming communities around the reservation. And when we have 40 graduates every May, we are as proud as could be. Many would not be college students without Cankdeska Cikana Community College.”

“There is a lot of historical trauma in our community. The suspicion of education in our communities still lingers. Slowly we are breaking it,” she says. She credits integrating prayer, culture, and language for that.

 

The role of a tribal college president isn’t just a job, it is a way of life for Lindquist. In addition to focusing her work on the Dakota way of life, her personal life reflects that, with a focus on prayer and family. She enjoys spending time in ceremonies and with her extended family of three children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She also enjoys gathering with other tribal college presidents, “Talking to each other, energizing each other, and helping keep things in perspective,” she says.

 

Lindquist’s Dakota name, Hoton Ho Waste Winyan, means Good Voice or Good Talk Woman, and was bestowed upon her in honor of her great grandmother. “To carry a Dakota name implies you speak the truth and from your heart,” she says.

And she carries it well.

“It’s good work. I am humbled and I am glad I am home and I am glad I got the experiences to be able to do what I do. It’s a privilege to do this work and know I have a team supporting me, all with the goal of student success.”

The 34 students named as Students of the Year are a testament to the hard work of the tribal college presidents as well as their individual commitments to education. The scholars honored include:

 

Aaniiih Nakoda College Shauntae St. Clair
Bay Mills Community College Alea Ward
Blackfeet Community College Lana Wagner
Cankdeska Cikana Community College Nicole Brown
Chief Dull Knife College Rebecca Cook
College of Menominee Nation Adam Schulz
College of the Muscogee Nation Dakota Kahbeah
Diné College Jordan Mescal
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Jeroam DeFoe
Fort Peck Community College Justin Gray Hawk Sr.
Haskell Indian Nations University Cody Lanyate
Illisagvik College Amber Downey
Institute of American Indian Arts Charlie Cuny
Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College Joshua Robinson
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Com. College Melissa Knop
Leech Lake Tribal College Alicia Bowstring
Little Big Horn College Yolanda Turnsplenty
Little Priest Tribal College Kellen Kelsey
Navajo Technical University Ashley Joe
Nebraska Indian Community College Cornelia Farley-Widow
Northwest Indian College Frank Lawrence
Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College Caley Fox
Oglala Lakota College Jamie White Face
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College Patrick Nahgahgwon
Salish Kootenai College JoDawna Tso
Sinte Gleska University Pauline Jackson
Sisseton Wahpeton College Deborah Anderson
Sitting Bull College Kaylie Trottier
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute Martinez Wagner
Stone Child College McKenzie Gopher
Tohono O’odham Community College Diana Antone
Turtle Mountain Community College Samantha Bercier
United Tribes Technical College Austin Cree
White Earth Tribal and Community College Corey Weaver

About the American Indian College Fund

Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for more than 28 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided 6,548 scholarships last year totaling $7.6 million to American Indian students, with more than 125,000 scholarships totaling over $100 million since its inception. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators, and received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit www.collegefund.org.

 

The American Indian College Fund Names 35 Native American First-Generation Scholars to Receive Coca Cola Foundation Scholarship

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The American Indian College Fund and the Coca Cola Foundation honored 35 American Indian scholarship recipients at its 2017-18 Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship banquet at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium Student Conference in Bismarck, North Dakota.

The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship was established for students who are the first in their families to attend college. The scholarships are renewable throughout the students’ tribal college careers if students maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average and show strong participation in campus and community life.

The following tribal college and university students were honored at the banquet for the 2017-18 academic year:

  • Aaniiih Nakoda College-Thomas Medicine Bear
  • Bay Mills Community College-Alea Ward
  • Blackfeet Community College-Laura Kipp
  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College-Lisa Jackson
  • Chief Dull Knife College-Cross Bearchum
  • College of Menominee Nation-Sabrina Hemken
  • College of the Muscogee Nation-Lucille Briggs
  • Dine College-Felisha Adams
  • Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College-Julie Isham
  • Fort Peck Community College-Jeromy Azure Jr
  • Haskell Indian Nations University-Thomas Berryhill
  • Ilisagvik College-Sarah Chagnon
  • Institute of American Indian Arts-Lashawn Medicine Horn
  • Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College-Joshua Robinson
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College-David Butler
  • Leech Lake Tribal College-Alicia Bowstring
  • Little Big Horn College-Marissa Roth
  • Little Priest Tribal College-Shamika Benally
  • Navajo Technical University-Dolly Goodman
  • Nebraska Indian Community College-Vandy Merrick
  • Northwest Indian College-Sheila Cooper
  • Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College-Tammy Hammer
  • Oglala Lakota College-Lindsay Masquat
  • Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College-Jennifer Arnold
  • Salish Kootenai College-Irene Augare
  • Sinte Gleska University-Johnna Waln
  • Sisseton Wahpeton College-Raegina Renville
  • Sitting Bull College-Kaylie Trottier
  • Sitting Bull College-Helen Wilkinson
  • Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute –Genevieve Waquie
  • Stone Child College-Jennifer Wolf Chief
  • Tohono O’odham Community College-Ashley Jose
  • Turtle Mountain Community College –Shania Jeanotte
  • United Tribes Technical College –Brittany Whitebird
  • White Earth Tribal and Community College-Shelly Weaver

About the American Indian College Fund

Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for more than 28 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided 6,548 scholarships last year totaling $7.6 million to American Indian students, with more than 125,000 scholarships totaling over $100 million since its inception. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators, and received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit www.collegefund.org.

Mae Jemison: Diversity In STEM Isn’t A Nicety, It’s A Necessity

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The first African-American woman in space discusses her agricultural science initiative.

Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, knows firsthand the importance of exposing kids to STEM topics early. She also knows the significance of having kids see themselves in movies, on TV, and in certain careers.

“It means making sure that people get those images that show they have those things available to them,” Jemison told HuffPost.

Jemison is collaborating on “Science Matters,” an initiative to encourage kids of all ages and backgrounds to pursue agricultural science from pharmaceutical and life science company Bayer and youth development organization National 4-H Council. Jemison, a physician and chemical engineer, knows the field of agricultural science can sound intimidating, but she and Jennifer Sirangelo, CEO and president of the National 4-H Council, have set out to change that.

Digging into agricultural science can be as simple as asking, “Where does my food come from?” An increasingly popular way to kick-start this sort of interest is through urban gardens, Jemison explained.

“There’s nothing more exciting to see something growing ― and you can eat it!” Jemison said. “That’s something parents can do with their kids as well.”

Sirangelo agreed, noting that agricultural science is more than horticulture and animal science and has huge applications for our future.

“The need to produce more food with fewer resources over the coming decades is going to push our science even further,” she told HuffPost.

As Jemison put it, we need to prepare our kids “to not just survive, but thrive.”

Bringing more children into STEM topics like agricultural science isn’t enough, though. Diversity is imperative, especially for women and people of color, groups underrepresented in these fields, Jemison said.

“We’re losing talent and we’re losing capability by not including them,” she told HuffPost. “When people think about why it is important to have a diversity of talent in a field, they think of it as a nicety. No, it’s a necessity. We get better solutions.”

Continue onto the HuffingtonPost to read the complete article.

A Wrinkle in Time creators encourage girls to channel their inner warriors, pursue their dreams

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a wrinkle in time movie poster

HP joined Ava DuVernay and Reese Witherspoon to celebrate Black Girls Code and its mission to boost women of color in tech.

Everything starts with a story. Just ask Sasha Williams, a 16-year old with big dreams. On Feb. 24th, Williams didn’t just get a selfie — she got a hug and words of encouragement from Ava DuVernay, the directing powerhouse whose work, from 13th to Selma, tackles inclusion and racial division head on and continues to find new ways to define the art of storytelling.

The occasion was an event organized by HP, Disney and Nissan to bring together girls from Black Girls Code, a nonprofit that nurtures the tech skills of girls of color, to celebrate the release of DuVernay’s big-budget film, A Wrinkle in Time. With seven chapters in the U.S. and South Africa for girls 7 to 17, Black Girls Code runs after-school programs, summer camps and hackathons where local groups build projects ranging from websites to robots.

Giddy and tearful, Williams was electrified by her encounter with the director. “I’ve always looked up to [Ava]” says the young California native, who hopes to one day become a virtual-reality game designer. “And now, for her to take on this story about a little black girl trying to become a warrior, about being who you are, it’s just really inspiring.”

Williams wasn’t the only one energized by the moment. At the event, part coding challenge/part affirmation, 40 or so girls were treated to the first public showing of the film, as well as talks with several of the movie’s stars, including Storm Reid, who plays the story’s hero, Meg Murry; Reese Witherspoon; Chris Pine; and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

A movement to create the leaders of tomorrow

“Just like a lot of you, my daughter just wanted to be able to create the games she was engaging in,” said Kimberly Bryant, the founder of Black Girls Code, while leading a panel at the event. She began BGC in 2011 out of frustration when her then-12-year-old daughter, Kia, started going to tech programs and camps — and found she was the only black girl in the room. It was a scenario that Bryant, who had a successful career in biotech, knew all too well. “My frustration grew into a movement that now, hopefully, will help all of you become the leaders that much older engineers like myself will look up to in the coming years.”

Continue onto the HP Newsroom to read the complete article.

Odette Harris named America’s second female African-American neurosurgery professor at Stanford

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Odette Harris M.D. ’96 has made history by becoming America’s second African-American female professor of neurosurgery.Stanford’s department of neurosurgery announced her promotion on Tuesday.

Harris joins Lu Chen as the second female professor in the department of neurosurgery at the School of Medicine.

Harris, who specializes in traumatic brain injury, has served as the director of brain injury in the department of neurosurgery and the associate chief of staff of polytrauma and rehabilitation at the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Health Care System since 2009. Harris is also a Clayman Institute Faculty Research Fellow and was awarded the William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship Award from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Harris said she developed a passion for the physical sciences and chemistry while studying at an all-girls high school.

“All those cliches about girl schools and empowering girls and women, I think they’re true,” Harris said in an interview with Stanford Medicine.

During her undergraduate years at Dartmouth College, Harris said she sought to surround herself with “strong women.”

It was not until she attended Stanford School of Medicine that she said she experienced a “turning point both in terms of gender and race.” Harris was the only black woman in the School of Medicine’s class of 1996. She was also one of only two women during her neurosurgical residency at Stanford University Medical Center.

Nonetheless, Harris described her experience in medical school and residency as a positive one.

“My mentor was a white man who is blond and as East Coast as can be,” Harris said. “His skin color was irrelevant, as was mine to his experience of mentoring me.”

Continue onto Stanford University’s Newsroom to read the complete article.