NSU, Cherokee Nation foundations partner to expand scholarship opportunities

(Tahlequah, Okla.)—- Five Cherokee students participating in the language immersion program at Northeastern State University have been awarded new scholarships thanks to Cherokee Promise Plus.

The collaboration between the Cherokee Nation Foundation and the NSU Foundation is an extension of a language initiative called the Cherokee Promise. The goal of the program is to develop language fluency among certified educators and establish Cherokee components in public schools within the 14 counties of the Cherokee Nation. Through such efforts, the Cherokee language will be preserved and its use encouraged.

“This is an exciting new opportunity for Cherokee students,” said Peggy Glenn, director of development and executive director of the NSU Foundation. “Every dollar contributed by NSU will be matched by the Cherokee Nation Foundation. These funds will help cover tuition and housing expenses for students invested in the preservation of the Cherokee language.”

To be a Cherokee Promise Scholar, students must maintain a permanent residence inside the Cherokee Nation’s 14-county jurisdiction, maintain a 2.7 cumulative grade-point average, participate in the tribal self-help program and live on campus during the school year. The permanent 14-county residence requirement is lifted for Cherokee Promise Plus Scholars.

“These students are Cherokee citizens but perhaps live outside the nation’s jurisdictional area,” Glenn said. “Cherokee Promise Plus scholarships can help Cherokee students who want to participate by meeting some of the expenses not covered due to that ineligibility.”

Five students currently are Cherokee Promise Plus scholars and an additional 30 are Cherokee Promise Scholars. As part of the partnership, the Cherokee Nation funded renovations of the third floor of the Haskell Hall Annex at NSU, which is reserved to facilitate Cherokee immersion. Cherokee Nation Foundation has contributed $13,000 to Cherokee Promise and Promise Plus programs this 2011-2012 academic year.

“The preservation of our language is essential to keeping our Cherokee culture alive,” said Kimberlie Gilliland, executive director, Cherokee Nation Foundation. “These students are impacting our history, and we plan to do everything we can to support their devotion to the Cherokee language.”

Contributions to the Cherokee Promise and Promise Plus funds are welcome. For information about making donations call the NSU Foundation at (918) 458-2143 or visit the NSU Founation web site.  

Published: 11/28/2011 8:02:03 AM

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