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Native Woman Program offers grants

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News from the Jeannette Rankin Foundation

MISSOULA — The Jeannette Rankin Foundation, the national organization dedicated to transforming futures through education, is launching the Native Woman Program for Montana Indigenous students. In its inaugural year, the program will award up to 60 education grants, called Scholar Grants, to women 25 and older attending Montana Tribal colleges.

“We are thrilled to announce the Native Woman Program,” said Michele Ozumba, president of the Rankin Foundation. “Jeannette Rankin, elected by Montanans as the first woman to serve in the U.S. Congress, was far ahead of her time in so many areas. She was a social advocate and strongly believed in the need for recognition and education of First Americans. This program furthers her legacy while providing a significant boost to Indigenous women students who have started their education journey.”

The $2,500 individual Scholar Grants are unrestricted. Unlike traditional scholarships, they will be awarded directly to students empowering them to use the funding wherever it is most needed to reach graduation.

“Women students who are 25 and older are often juggling family, work and school. The wonderful thing about a Rankin Foundation Scholar Grant is that recipients can use it in any way they need, such as childcare, housing, transportation, technology, books or other living expenses. This agile funding, plus support services from the Rankin Foundation Scholar community lift women and their families making the path to graduation possible,” said Ahwahnee Williams of Ronan, who is a current Rankin Foundation Scholar and the Native Woman Program Coordinator. She is also a student at Salish Kootenai College working toward a bachelor’s degree in Tribal historic preservation.

The Rankin Foundation is now accepting applications for the Native Woman Program at Indigenous students who meet the following requirements are invited to apply: identify as a woman/nonbinary; are over the age of 25 by June 1; and can show proof of enrollment in a Montana Tribal College, Tribal affiliation and Pell/SNAP eligibility. Grants will be awarded on a first come first served basis through May 2023.


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