Education Northwest has had the honor of working with many Native educators, students, families, and community members throughout our history. These partnerships reflect one of the core values of our organization, equity, and guide us toward our vision of an excellent and equitable education for all. We believe that healthy Native communities are essential to the health and well-being of our region, and we remain committed to this effort.
The Steven R. Nelson Native Educator Scholarship is part of this commitment. This scholarship strives to increase Native representation in the field of education by providing financial support, mentoring, and internships for Native students in the Northwest who are pursuing an advanced degree in education, education policy, leadership, technical assistance, research, or a closely related field. We view this scholarship as an opportunity to create long-term partnerships that will improve our ability to meet the needs of Native communities.
Our former colleague Steve Nelson dedicated his career to working with Tribes, communities, and schools to improve American Indian students’ success in academics and in life. This scholarship honors his work by providing selected students with as many as two years of annually renewable scholarships. Awardees will receive a maximum of $3,000 each year, and we will award as many as five scholarships per year.
• Reside in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington.
• Be a member or descendent of a federally recognized, state recognized, or terminated American Indian Tribe; a member or descendent of an Alaska Native village, council, or corporation; a Native Hawaiian; or a Pacific Islander from a U.S.-affiliated Pacific Island jurisdiction (specifically, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, or Palau). • Be accepted to or enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program (by fall term) in an accredited institution of higher education, either in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington for on-campus programs or in an accredited online institution in the United States. For online programs, the degree area must also be accredited according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) accreditation database. Additionally, maintain a course load that allows for timely completion of the graduate degree (within three years for a master’s degree). • Pursue a field of study in education, education policy, leadership, technical assistance, research, or a closely related field. • Have graduated from a four-year, regionally accredited institution of higher learning (before fall term). • Complete an essay that answers the questions: 1. Why am I pursuing an advanced degree in the field of education, education policy, leadership, technical assistance, research, or closely related field? 2. What are my post-graduation goals? 3. How have I and will I contribute to strengthening my own community and/or rural or Native communities as a whole? • Submit three letters of recommendation (excluding letters from immediate family members), with at least one from a community member who can attest to the candidate’s Native heritage and their commitment to the designated course of study and to serving rural and/or Native communities after attainment of the degree. • Begin school as a full- or part-time student no later than the fall semester immediately following the award.