If you have received a tribal scholarship recently, I’m sure you are extremely grateful for the financial relief it provides. If you’re lucky, you might have encountered the band of devoted employees behind each check. Charles Clark, Spring Cleveland and Kristen McGirt in the CPN Tribal Rolls Department have demonstrated incredible patience and attention to detail as they processed endless applications for tribal olls scholarships.

At the CPN Housing Department, Scott George and Raychel Swenson learned more than you’d ever care to know about lead-based paint and environmental assessments in order to comply with the strict regulations of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and provide housing scholarships.

Over in CPN Employment and Training, Kandi Cumbie worked tirelessly with students to meet unmet need with higher education grants.

As someone who benefitted from tribal scholarships for several years, I cannot thank these individuals enough for their dedication to our tribal members pursuing higher education. With their blessing, however, it’s time for a change. CPN will continue its commitment to students by ushering in a new era of scholarships.

In an effort to simplify the scholarship process, we will consolidate the tribal rolls, housing and employment and training scholarships into one single CPN Tribal Scholarship that will be administered by the CPN Department of Education. The scholarship application will be available online in a user-friendly student portal. Our hope is that by streamlining everything into one scholarship application and one award, students will find the process easier and less burdensome.

I can almost hear the questions about this new process forming, but for now, I’ll humbly ask for your patience. We understand that funding college is serious business, so we want to work out all of the administrative details on our end before we implement the new system. Fortunately, you won’t have to wait too long for answers, as we plan to announce details about the new process at the Family Reunion Festival this summer. The CPN Department of Education will have an information booth set up on the Festival grounds, so I encourage you to please stop by to ask questions and create a student profile. If you can’t make it this summer, please watch the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Facebook and Twitter accounts and the Hownikan for more updates. Finally, if you would like to be contacted when new processes and deadlines are announced, please email that request to college@potawatomi.org.

We are proud of all of you smart, talented CPN members who pursue your educational goals, and we are excited to add scholarships to our efforts to support you in every way we can.

In that vein, I would also like to congratulate the first class of Potawatomi graduates who utilized the CPN-St. Gregory’s scholarship program since its signing in 2015.

Here’s hoping for many more!