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Published June 04, 2018
Some Native students do not have the opportunity to learn about the University of Wyoming because of the distance to the campus in Laramie. But a UW summer program changes all that.
Forty-one students, representing 10 high schools from three states, will participate in the second annual Native American Summer Institute at UW June 10-16.
Participants will engage in academic and career exploratory tracts; stay and eat in the UW residence halls/dining hall; meet and connect with UW faculty, staff and current Native students; and have fun in exploring the UW campus and the local southeast Wyoming area, says Reinette Tendore, coordinator of the Native institute. She is UW’s first Native American Program adviser under the Dean of Students Office.
The program is sponsored by the American Indian Studies Program and the Office of the President.
Tendore is leading the effort to help young people from the Wind River Indian Reservation and other Native American students become acquainted with Wyoming’s university -- and encourage them to attend college.
The summer institute includes a week of activities focused on college preparation; academic, career and cultural exploration; personal and community development; and recreational and other activities. The students are staying in UW’s residence halls, with supervision and guidance from UW faculty and staff members, along with leaders from the Wind River Indian Reservation.
The summer institute participants will experience a wide cross section of UW’s academic offerings. Among some of the activities include the science of growing food; creative writing; computer science and engineering; health care careers; physics and chemistry; theater and dance; visual arts; animal genetics; astronomy; and scheduled field trips.
Tendore says this summer’s program has secured more funding from different entities from across campus, which will help to offer more leadership workshops and to bring in Native youth motivational speakers.
She adds that the main focus is to help recruit more Native students to UW.
“Programs are designed to bring Native students to campus to familiarize them, not only with Laramie, but the university campus to give them a better concept of college. By bringing Native students to campus and to stay in the dorms, it gives them a feeling of what college is like,” Tendore says. “The more that they are exposed to experiences like this, the more they are able to transition from the reservation or their Native home and communities to the University of Wyoming or any university. The opportunity is to help them see what college is like, and it won’t be as much of a culture shock when they get here and it’s not unfamiliar for them.”
For more information about the Native institute, call Tendore at (307) 766-8988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In conjunction with the summer institute, a Health Science Pathways program also is being offered June 10-15 for up to 12 Native student participants. The program is an advanced health curriculum for high school/GED graduates.
Participants will take part in academic workshops with first-year college-level material in various health disciplines, such as nutrition, nursing, public health and communication disorders.
A joint program with Native American Summer Institute participants also is part of the health science program. The program will include activities such as leadership development, a trip to Curt Gowdy State Park, a movie and dance.
For more information about the Health Science Pathways program, email Tarissa Spoonhunter at Central Wyoming College at email@example.com. Transportation will be provided from Central Wyoming College to UW.
Participating Native American Summer Institute students, listed by schools, are:
-- Fort Washakie High School: Christina Brown and Cheyla St. Clair.
-- Hardin (Mont.) High School: Gabriella Lopez and Shaunita Nomee.
-- Kelly Walsh High School (Casper): Lea Miller.
-- Lander Valley High School: Jonathan Coando, Taylee Dresser, Cynthia St. Clair, Monique Whiteplume and Zariah Whiteplume.
-- Laramie High School: Britney Bennett, Martin Brown, Rhaelle Curry, Hudda Herrera, Esai Jaime and Chet Russell.
-- Noli Indian School (San Jacinto, Calif.): Shania House.
-- Riverton High School: Jade Bell, Alessa Brown, Winter Ridgely, Miracle Seminole, Nakowa Seminole and Lakya Topaum.
-- Sherman Indian School (Riverside, Calif.): Angel Behan.
-- St. Stephens Indian School: Steven Antelope, Taryn Howe and Patton Teran.
-- Wyoming Indian High School: Maurice Gardner, Mary Harris, Corwin Howell, Jacob Lebeau, Joshua Nomee, Halle Robinson, Jalen Schamp, Kirkland Shakespeare, Skyla Shakespeare, Christin Singer, Shyloh Underwoood, Elizabeth Valdez, Artissa Warren and Summer Watan.