The following submission comes from a CPN student who has worked with the CPN Department of Education during the application process to college. If you are a Citizen Potawatomi and would like assistance, advice or information about higher education opportunities, please contact the CPN Department of Education at, 405-275-3121 or visit

Three Generations of Potawatomi Visit the University of Notre Dame

By Alex Weishan

I am honored to be a tribal member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. I am also a high school senior in San Diego, California and just wrapping up the whirlwind that is the college application season. I started this journey last fall when I took the SAT and began the arduous process of filling out college applications and fine-tuning my college essays. During this period, I also contacted the CPN Department of Education, who provided advisement and connected me with admissions officers for my prospective schools.

Fast forward to March of this year, as the college acceptances began rolling in, my hard work paid off as I was accepted into all six universities that I applied to! I whittled it down to two universities, UCLA and the University of Notre Dame.

I had the honor of traveling to Notre Dame in late March with my parents and my grandparents; one of which is my 86-year-old Potawatomi grandmother, Nadine Weishan (Vieux/Bertrand/Melot). As many of you know, Notre Dame has a deep connection to the Potawatomi. It was a thrill to visit spots on the campus with a rich history to our Potawatomi ancestors.

Making this trek from San Diego to South Bend, Indiana, with three generations of Potawatomi, was the highlight for me. I am incredibly happy that I was able to make this trip with my Potawatomi father and grandmother. I also want to thank Tesia Zientek, education director, in the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Department of Education for her support and guidance.

Update: Following the submission of this article, Alex reached a decision and in the fall of 2017 will attend Notre Dame. As he wrote to CPN Education Director Tesia Zientek, he’ll “become a Domer for life.”