Seven Generation Paths to Success Explores Possibilities for Native American High School Students

Posted: Wednesday, July 20th 2016 at 3:54 AM

One of Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) strategic goals is to become the nation’s leading university serving Native Americans. The Johnson Scholarship Foundation supports that goal. The W. A. Franke College of Business’s (FCB) Center for American Indian Economic Development (CAIED) provided the perfect environment to bring these two together.

CAIED offered Seven Generation Paths to Success (7G PS) to Native American high school students so that they could learn about the many opportunities available to them at NAU. This four-day college recruitment program provided students with an overview of university resources, information on business and hospitality careers, and participation in the Seven Generation Money Management (7G MM) game

Last year’s inaugural session was a partnership between NAU Native American Student Services (NASS) and CAIED, called NAU Pathways to Success [full story HERE]. Through this year’s sponsorship by the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, two sessions were offered and we were able to increase each by one day. This funding also allowed a capacity of 20 students per session.

The first session June 7 – 10, 2016 had 17 students participating from Coconino, Flagstaff, Hopi Junior Senior, Mountain View, North, Parker, Shonto Preparatory, Navajo Preparatory, Tuba City, and Window Rock high schools, representing three tribes. The second session July 5 – 8, 2016 had 18 students participating from Coconino, Dobson, Flagstaff, Granite Hills, Greyhills Academy, Hopi Junior Senior, Leupp Schools, Parker, Tuba City, Yuma, Window Rock, and Winslow high schools, representing five different tribes. The participants from the two sessions came from Arizona, California, and New Mexico. 

Using Gabaldon Hall as their home base, the students arrived on Tuesday to meet the four NAU student mentors who would serve as their point of contact through the week. Day One began with a Welcome and Introductions by FCB’s Dean Craig Van Slyke. Activities through their stay included team-building experiences at NAU's Challenge Course, touring campus, open court at the Health and Learning Center (HLC), and off-campus activities including movie night at Harkins Theater and a tour of Walnut Canyon just outside of Flagstaff. By the end of the day, participants were no longer the shy and quiet individuals they had been at registration!

Throughout Days Two and Three, representatives from FCB’s Career Development Office (CDO), the Office of Academic Services (OAS), Business Communication Center (BCC) and the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management’s (SHRM) advising staff gave the students presentations about how a business or hospitality degree could help kick start their career. They learned about NASS in the Native American Cultural Center (NACC). Participants expressed “feeling at home” during their visit to the NACC. Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation and the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid opened their eyes to financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

On the evening of Day Three, the students learned money management skills by playing 7G MM and then wrapped up the evening with a peer discussion guided by their NAU mentors, Ethan Hansen (CIS; also a JSF Scholar Recipient), Emerald Blackhair (Criminology), Rebecca Prizznick (Music), Elijah Lee (HRM), and Quentin Cadman (Math). Mentors had the opportunity to share with the participants about their own personal college experience such as the importance of studying, being disciplined, not hesitating to ask questions, and experiencing culture shock. Recent graduate Collen Dineyazhe (’16 ACC and JSF Scholar) spoke about his college life experience. He encouraged the participants to study hard, to be disciplined, and to be active in student organizations on campus.

On the final morning, parents, guardians, and counselors returned to join the students for an information session by NAU Admissions and Orientation as well as the awarding of their Certificate of Completion. They expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity for their children to enjoy and experience college life and to get them thinking about college. A Colorado River Indian Tribes Education Counselor (and former JSF Scholar from Gonzaga University) was excited to learn that the 7G PS summer program was funded by the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. She did not want to miss out on this wonderful opportunity for her own child.

In both the June and July sessions, participants expressed the wonderful time spent on the NAU campus and shared it with CAIED.

“The 7G PS program taught me how to go to college and what you must do first before attending.”
–(Colorado River Indian Tribes),
7G PS Session 2 participant.

“I just wanted to take this time to thank you very much for all that have done for not only me, but for all of us that attended the Seven Generation Paths to Success…What I like most? The Seven Generation Money Management game. ” –HJSHS (Hopi), 7G PS Session 2 participant.

“[7G PS] showed me how college life would be, how to manage my money, and make me feel at home….[NAU] is a very beautiful place knowing you have all designs with different cultures, histories , and memories.” –TCHS (Navajo), 7G PS Session 2 participant.

“I would like to thank you for providing my housing and my food for the 7G PS program. I would also like to thank you for providing calculators and materials for the [Seven Generation] money management game. The game has taught me about money and has opened my eyes to the world of college and living on my own. I really love NAU and the 7G PS has persuaded me to attend NAU.” –GHHS (Viejas), 7G PS Session 2 participant.

“I would like to thank you for allowing me to be able to have this incredible experience. I have learned many new things over these past few days thanks to you.” –PHS (Choctaw/Havasupai), 7G PS Session 2 participant.

“To the organizations who funded the Seven Generation Paths to Success, thank you for making it possible for us (youth) to be able to come out to NAU campus. We appreciate all that you’ve done to get us to come out here. The 7G PS taught me different skills, social, teamwork and leadership skills.” –Leupp Schools (Navajo), 7G PS Session 2 participant.

“I have learned a lot throughout the last week I have been participating in the program (7G PS). I would deeply thank you on creating this program to have Native Americans have an awesome experience. This was also a great experience over the summer and I have an interest in the business field.” – (Navajo) FHS

“I didn’t know anything about the business major. Thanks to your foundation, I got a better view about business, and I also got to experience college life, and what are some possible classes I could take. I have learned many things, and I’m very thankful for this opportunity…” – (Navajo) CHS

“Thank you for making the Seven Generation Paths to Success and money management possible. I had a wonderful time being a participant and getting a feel of the college experience. I am now motivated and willing to finish high school and college to come to NAU. Thank you for creating the money management game. I had a lot of fun but it was really challenging.” – (Navajo) CHS

The 7G PS summer program is a great opportunity for high school students to help motivated them and getting them thinking about their future, whether they are thinking about college or not. To experience what college life could be like in 4 days and 3 nights was all it took. The program provided the necessary knowledge to help them understand the importance of maintaining their GPA, taking the required courses, and knowing the best options for them to consider while in high school. Each of the participants were unique in their own ways, but they share the same drive to succeed in school, and coming to 7G PS was the motivation they needed to stay that course.

Learn more about the Johnson Scholarship Foundations previous involvement and support of the FCB and CAIED HERE.

Categories: seven generation paths to success 7g ps 7g mm seven generation money management johnson scholarship foundation summer 2016 2016