Native American group to help students, community

Native American group to help students, community

Friday, August 27, 2010

Media Contact

College Director of Communications
417.447.2655 publicinfo@otc.edu
Steve Koehler
Coordinator of Publications (417) 447-2666 koehlers@otc.edu

Native American students attending Ozarks Technical Community College can now find support and opportunities through a new campus organization.

The Four Corners Native Association has formed to offer members educational activities, a chance to share cultural heritages and leadership opportunities for the estimated 500 Native Americans on campus.

“We started organizing last spring. A lot of people signed up at the spring picnic,” said Amy McKee, the group’s president. “We are trying to get our feet on the ground with events and meetings.”

Sadie Hopper, one of the organizers and an advisor in the OTC Financial Aid office, said she found more than 300 Native Americans have applied to OTC in the last two years.

“I soon found many more who had not self-identified when applying,” she said, adding that in the past two years, about 30 students representing 15-20 different tribes had applied for Native American scholarships offered through their tribes.

“By creating a sustainable Four Corners Native Association, we hope to encourage more students from this demographic to apply for admission to OTC and for financial aid,” Hopper said.

The group is open to not only OTC students but also students from Drury University and the general public. The first general meeting will be Tuesday, Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. in the student lounge area outside Student Services on the second floor of Information Commons West.

McKee said the group will work towards improving communications between people and communities for future collaboration with agencies and programs.

“It’s not just a student organization. We want staff and faculty and members of the community who want to learn about Native American heritage to join and attend the meetings and events,” she said.

“Students can get the information they need and have a place to go. Our goal is to help each other and be a resource.”

For more information, contact Amy McKee at am0161861@otc.edu.

Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications for Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at koehlers@otc.edu.