Students in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle are invited to submit applications for the first Poarch Creek Indian Community Scholarship through March 31.
Created by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in June 2015, the $1 million scholarship fund ensures two scholarships will be awarded annually to one male and one female residing in Alabama or the Panhandle of Florida. In its first year to be awarded, selected students are expected to receive up to $6,000 each.
Being able to help change someone’s quality of life, and in turn raise the profile of a community, makes the education component incredibly important to the tribe, Tribal Chair and PCI CEO Stephanie Bryan said.
“There’s a quote that I oftentimes refer to,” Bryan said. “‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ Of course that’s Nelson Mandela’s quote, but I often tell the youth here within the tribe that it’s about opportunity. Take advantage of every opportunity you can that will help with the quality of life with you and your families.”
“We can move mountains with a good quality education,” she continued. “When you educate an enormous radius of students, then guess what: they may be that nurse that takes care of you in Pensacola, Florida, even though you live in Atmore or Poarch, Alabama. It’s important that we use our funds wisely to educate and to make these individuals much stronger to sustain the next generations. It’s important that we look out for the now but really what we as leaders are doing is for the next seven generations.”
Bryan said the Poarch Band of Creek Indians are determined to make sure students of all backgrounds are afforded similar opportunities.
“To be able to offer a scholarship that may go to a child that would not have been able to experience such opportunity is very humbling to me,” Bryan said. “It’s very heartfelt to see that we can do and build relationships with committees and organizations like Community Foundation so that we can change maybe that one person’s life and make a difference so that they obtain their college degree and they get a good job and are able to provide for their families.”
Each recipient must be a full-time student in Fall 2016 with a minimum 3.0 GPA and must be a resident of Alabama or one of the following counties in Florida: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington or Gadsden. The recipients must also exhibit community involvement.
To obtain an application, click here.
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