January 2023 – Undergraduate
White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation
Fort Apache, AZ
Scholarship: Science Post Graduate Scholarship Fund
School: Tohono O’odham Community College
Degree: Natural Resources
TOCC Dean’s List; 2020-2022
TOCC STEM ambassador; 2021, 2022
TOCC Summer Science Institute Intern; 2021, 2022
Intertribal Council of Arizona Frank Harrison and Harry Austin Voting Rights Essay Scholarship recipient; 2022
American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) Summer Climate Resilience Program Internship; 2022
American Indian College Fund (AICF) Student Ambassador; 2022-2024
Education Forward Arizona Ambassador; 2022-2023
Ecological Restoration Institute Tribal Forestry Student Cohort; 2022
Project DreamCatcher Cohort; 2022-2023
Cedar Creek Cattle Associate Member; 2021, 2022, 2023
Da’go’teeh (Hello) My name is Shannon Taylor; I am White Mountain Apache and Navajo from the White Mountain Apache Tribe (Dzil Ligai Sian N’dee). I reside on the ancestral lands of my mother’s people, located in northeastern Arizona. We have a diverse ecosystem, a wide range of wildlife animals along with the conservation of endangered species. This is my home, community, and family; therefore by obtaining my degree I hope to become a steward of the land and preserve it for future generations.
I graduated from East Fork Lutheran High School and earned my Associate of Arts degree from Northland Pioneer College. I am currently attending the University of Arizona (Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources) and Tohono O’odham Community College, where I will receive my Associate of Science and Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) this year. I am grateful for the opportunity to be here with you today. Ashoog ahéhe’e (Thank You).
The generous contributions made available by the Native Forward Scholars Fund, will allow me to pursue my degree in Natural Resources and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). My educational journey started at a young age, beginning with my parents. They both attended boarding school, though their experience at the boarding schools had both good and bad impacts on their lives. This led them to understand that education is important, and they instilled the importance of education in my siblings and me. Being a first-generation student was a tough experience and I did not know how to apply for scholarships, college applications, federal aid, or other important paperwork. While attending TOCC, I have maintained my GPA of 3.938/4.0 throughout the challenges of lockdowns and quarantines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, lack of advanced technology due to living in rural areas on the reservation, and completing all coursework online via Zoom. The funds provided by Native Forward Scholars Fund helped cover the cost of textbooks, computer programs for the GIS programs, tutoring services, scientific calculator, printing costs, WiFi connection, college applications transfers, official transcript fees, and other miscellaneous items.