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Two selected for scholarship awards
3 January 2008

BISMARCK (UTN) – Two students who wrote descriptively about how they are motivated to succeed in college were named recipients of the 2007 Marvin Family Scholarships at United Tribes Technical College.

      Aja Baker (Three Affiliated) Mandan, ND, a student in Small Business Management and Herbert I. Red Horse (Standing Rock) Bismarck, a student in Health Information Technology, were selected in December by the college's scholarship committee.

Aja Baker and Herbert I. Red Horse
Aja Baker (Three Affiliated) Mandan, ND, a UTTC student in Small Business Management and Herbert I. Red Horse (Standing Rock) Bismarck, ND, Health Information Technology, received the 2007 Marvin Family Scholarships. UTN photo.

      The Marvin Scholarships honor the late Winifred and James Marvin, who had resided in the Washburn, ND area. The fund was endowed in 2004 by the generosity of their children: Darlene C. M. Lovell, Harbor City, CA; Danny W. Marvin, Ridgecrest, CA; and Ronald G. and Nancy J. Marvin, Bakersfield, CA.

      Baker and Red Horse were selected on the basis of their GPA and their answers to the essay question: "How does your Native American heritage help you succeed in education?"

      "I believe it's my responsibility as a young Native American woman to prove that…I can succeed in school or working," wrote Baker. She explained that "societal disadvantages" faced by Native Americans motivate her to set higher standards and goals. "I can and will graduate with an Associate Degree in Small Business Management, move on and receive a Bachelor's Degree, and I will open my own successful business. I want to show my brothers and sisters that they can meet and exceed expectations for Native Americans."

      Baker, 20, is the daughter of Jeff Baker and Sandra Gayton. Her extended family lives in and around New Town, ND. She began at UTTC one year ago. For the past seven months she's been putting the service part of her business training to practical use as a cashier at Bismarck's south WAL*MART store. Her role model in business is her father, who owns a coffee shop in Belcourt, ND.

      "I want my younger sisters and nieces to grow up independent and to become strong in the business world," she wrote. "Being Native American makes me strive that much more for my education."

      Baker's ambition is to open her own hair salon; she went to cosmetology school prior to attending UTTC. She is on course to graduate at the end of fall term 2008. After that she expects to go for more schooling, perhaps at a college in South Dakota.

      Members of the scholarship committee felt that both students "put forward very strong answers that demonstrated an awareness of the interplay of heritage and upbringing in education," said Nathan Stratton, UTTC Financial Aid director.

      The admirable qualities they rewarded in Herbert Red Horse were his experience and confidence.

      "Since the first day of school, I was excited because I knew I could succeed," Red Horse wrote in his essay.

      Red Horses' roots on Standing Rock are in the Rock Creek District at Bullhead, SD. However, he grew up in a non-native foster home and spent 16 years in the U. S. Air Force where he became a medic and earned the rank of Staff Sergeant.

      "Out of high school I had no clue what to do. I had no confidence then but my time in the military changed that," he said. "I challenged myself. I volunteered, took lots of courses and training and soon realized that I could succeed."

      His postings included stays in Texas, Alaska and South Dakota. Among his volunteer assignments was a one month recovery mission in Vietnam in 2000 to help search for the remains of a lost U. S. airman.

      Red Horse, 46, is married with four children; his wife is a student in teacher education at Bismarck State College. With his medical experience in direct care, he was interested in the nursing program when he started at UTTC in 2006. But he changed his mind when Health Information captured his attention. Following his almost certain graduation at the end of the current term in May, he expects to enroll in a four year college by first taking classes online.

      "I think it's fun here at United Tribes. I don't worry about failing. I know I'll do well," said Red Horse.

      Both recipients authored handwritten ‘thank you' notes to the scholarship's sponsors. Each received $750, which they acknowledged as very helpful in meeting the costs of education.

      For more information about the Marvin Scholarship and other awards to students, please contact Steven P. Walker, Student Financial Aid counselor, 701-255-3258 x 1355, swalker@uttc.edu.


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