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Tesia Zientek is a Citizen Potawatomi Nation tribal member. With financial help from a prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 2009 with her Bachelor of Arts in English. After graduation, Tesia spent two years teaching and running an afterschool program in Puerto Rico before deciding to pursue her passion for education through graduate study. In 2013, she graduated with her Master of Arts in Education Policy from Stanford University. To celebrate her educational and employment-related achievements, Tesia was recognized in 2013 for the Howard Yackus Memorial Award. In October 2015, she became the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s first director of its new department of education. Since 2012, Tesia has also served as Potawatomi Leadership Program advisor, helping to restructure and implement curriculum for the Harvard Honoring Nations Award-winning internship program.