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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 pursuing 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 achievements, Tesia has received the Howard Yackus Memorial Award and the NextGen 30 Under 30. In October 2015, she became the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s first Director for its new Education Department, which aims to prepare for the next seven generations by helping tribal members identify and reach their educational goals regardless of age or location. 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.