Coke awards Native American scholarships
Growing up on an American Indian reservation in Fort Defiance, Ariz.,
Brian Yazzie watched the members of his community go without adequate
health care because they could not communicate with medical professionals.
“Back home, there are still people who don’t speak English
but use our native tongue,” said Yazzie, a member of the Navajo
Nation. “When they go to the hospital, the doctors only speak English.”
Yazzie, 24 and a junior at KU, plans to become a pharmacist and return
to the reservation to help bridge that gap. Thanks to the Coca-Cola Native
American Scholarship Program, he has just received the financial support
he needs to pursue a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy.
Established by the Coca-Cola Foundation through a $30,000 gift to the
KU Endowment Association, the Coca-Cola Native American Scholarship Program
provides financial assistance to three students who transfer to KU from
Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence.
Haskell students whose interests are outside programs offered sometimes
transfer to other universities to complete their degrees.
Haskell students, who are accustomed to paying just $105 per semester
for tuition, books, and room and board, often face financial hardship.
In addition to Yazzie, Christopher Drymon, Northpoint, Ala., sophomore,
and Felicia Impson, Supai, Ariz., junior, have been selected to receive
Coca-Cola Native American Scholarships. Drymon, a member of the Navajo
and Osage nations, wants to earn his bachelor’s and master’s
degrees in math at KU. He would like to practice code breaking.
Impson, a member of the Havasupai Nation, is working toward a degree in
social welfare. She plans to pursue a career with Indian Health Services.