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4 Students Awarded College Scholarships from the Morongo Band

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians has awarded four Native American students from California with $40,000 in college and graduate school scholarships
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This year four students were awarded the Rodney T. Mathews Jr. Scholarship, which is unique because it is open to any enrolled member of the more than 100 federally recognized tribes in California. It is awarded by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians as a way to support the next generation of tribal leaders.

“Native Americans continue to face challenges in acquiring a college education and they remain one of the most underrepresented groups in colleges and universities,” Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin said in a press release. “Through our Rodney T. Mathews Jr. Scholarships, Morongo has provided $380,000 to nearly 40 Indian students across California to counteract those trends. It’s especially gratifying to see so many of our past scholarship recipients returning to tribal communities to use their new skills and education to improve Native American lives.”

Each scholarship winner received a $10,000 scholarship. The 2015 recipients are:

Shanice Britton of the Round Valley Indian Tribes. Britton attends UC Davis. She is majoring in biological science, and aspires to become a veterinarian on her reservation.

Morongo Band of Mission Indians

Shanice Britton, of the Round Valley Indian Tribes, is one of four Rodney T. Mathews Jr. Scholarship winners.

Shayna McCullough of the Yurok Tribe. McCullough attends Humboldt State University. She is studying social work with a minor in American Indian education. She plans to get a master’s degree in social work and become a youth specialist in her tribal community.

Morongo Band of Mission Indians

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Shayna McCullough, of the Yurok Tribes, is one of four recipients of the Rodney T. Mathews Jr. Scholarship.

Cara Owings of the Tolowa De-ni’ Nation. Owings attends Humboldt State University. She is studying for an MBA, and plans to work in the economic development field with California Indian Nations.

Morongo Band of Mission Indians

Cara Owings, of the Tolowa De-ni’ Nation, is one of four Rodney T. Mathews Jr. Scholarship recipients.

Ish-KayshTripp of the Yurok and Karuk tribes. Tripp attends Humboldt State University. He is studying to be an environmental resources engineer with a minor in Native American studies. He hopes for a career improving cooperative public/tribal lands management practices.

“From a young age, I decided that I would graduate from college despite any obstacles, but paying for college has been the most difficult obstacle to overcome,” said Britton. “Fortunately, the generous scholarship support from the Morongo tribe has given me the opportunity to continue my education. I will continue to work hard toward my degree and return home and help my tribal community.”

Owings said the scholarship “has allowed me to make my academic dreams a reality. The continued support from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians throughout my academic journey has provided me with the energy and encouragement that I needed to continue on with my education. Shu'-'aa-shii~nin-la' Morongo, and the family of Rodney T. Mathews.”

The scholarship is named in honor of Rodney T. Mathews Jr., a Morongo tribal member and Hastings Law School graduate who walked on in 2004 after serving as a judge pro tem for more than a decade.

Candidates for the scholarship must be full-time students at an accredited college or university, complete 60 hours 60 hours with a designated California Indian agency and be actively involved in the Native American community.