Angelique Albert, MBA
Chief Executive Officer
Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes
Angelique is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and has dedicated her professional career in service to tribal communities. As the Chief Executive Officer of Native Forward, she leads the Nation’s largest scholarship provider to Native students which has provided over $350 million in scholarships to students from over 500 Tribes in all 50 states. Under her leadership, she has significantly increased the revenue and net assets of the organization leading to greater impacts on Native scholars and Tribal communities.
She has over 25 years of experience as a Tribal leader in nonprofit, philanthropy, business, and government industries. Prior to her work at Native Forward, Angelique served as the Executive Director of Salish Kootenai College Foundation and Associate Director of the National American Indian Business Leaders Organization. Her roles in philanthropy, include the Lead Native American Program Officer for the Beaumont Foundation of America, and External Grant Reviewer for the Case Foundation. She has owned her own business and assisted in running various Tribal enterprises. Angelique’s early career began by serving her own Tribe as a Legal Intern, Court Appointed Special Advocate, and Chief Juvenile Probation Officer.
She currently serves as a member of the Obama Foundation’s MBK Alliance Advisory Council. Additionally, she serves as an executive officer on the board of the Southwest Association of American Indian Arts (SWAIA) and is an Advisory Member of Gonzaga Universities MBA-AIE Program. Angelique has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services and a Master of Business Administration with a special emphasis in American Indian Entrepreneurship from Gonzaga University.
Christa Moya, MCRP
Director of Scholarship Operations
As the Director of Scholarship Operations, Christa manages and directs all aspects of student services and financial aid operations. She also supervises Outreach, Academic Empowerment, Leadership, and Alumni relations programs for Native Forward and the Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMSP). Her passions include developing innovative approaches to delivering programs and services to GMS Scholars, as well as assisting scholars with exploring positive educational experiences through program support, outreach, and advocacy.
Christa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminology and a Master of Arts in Community and Regional Planning, both from the University of New Mexico. Christa is an active participant in the organization’s community outreach activities and represents Native Forward scholars on the Gates Millennium Scholars Advisory Council and Gates Foundation Domestic Scholarship Provider Partnership.
Chief of Staff
Erin joined the Native Forward staff in April of 2011 working with students in the GMS program. Constantly inspired by the students she worked with, she enjoys celebrating the successes of Native Forward and its students. Erin is now the Chief of Staff and is responsible for various projects, and processes and coordinating the CEO’s calendar and travel. Erin brings a background in customer service to Native Forward. She draws on this experience to lead the administrative team in providing support to staff.
Sara LaBarge, M.S. Ed.
Director of Strategic Partnerships and Interim Marketing Director
Pōsōh! My name is Sara LaBarge, I am an enrolled member of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. My Menominee name is Sāwānoh Kēsēkokīw, which means Southern Sky Woman. I was born and raised on the Menominee Reservation in Northeastern Wisconsin.
I joined Native Forward Scholars Fund in 2015. Equity, especially in higher education, for Native people is a passion of mine. I currently serve as the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Native Forward. It is my role to provide oversight of our fundraising strategy to support the organization’s long-term sustainability goals. To achieve this, we partner with the federal government, corporations, foundations, Tribes, and individuals to deliver transformational scholarship programs, culturally relevant student support services, and programming.
Before joining Native Forward, I served as an academic advisor at the College of Menominee Nation (CMN) for several years. During my time at CMN, I was fortunate to serve on the college’s Institutional Effectiveness Council. Fast forward to today, I serve as the Vice-Chair of the College’s Board of Trustees. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Saint Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, in 2008. I also earned my Master of Science in Education in Higher Education Administration from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in 2011.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, fishing, reading, and golfing.
Elisa Gonzales-Phillips, MBA
Elisa joined Native Forward in 2020 as a Controller. She has served as a nonprofit accountant in New Mexico for the last 12 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College and is currently pursuing her Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern New Hampshire. She enjoys running, crafts, and spending time with her three dogs.
Marveline Vallo Gabbard
Scholarship Operations Manager
As the Scholarship Operations Manager, Marveline is responsible for the oversight of Native Forward scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and graduate-level students throughout the country. She assists with the application processes, responds to academic inquiries including financial aid issues, and assists with outreach efforts.
Marveline is from the Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico. She earned her Bachelor of University Studies from the University of New Mexico. She’s been with Native Forward since June 1998 and enjoys working with Native American students in pursuing their educational goals. Prior to joining Native Forward and where she began her higher education career, Marveline worked with the Pueblo of Acoma Higher Education Program.
Michael Bates, M.Ed.
Scholarship Operations Manager
As Scholarship Operations Manager, Michael works with undergraduate, graduate, and professional students throughout the country and is responsible for the oversight of Native Forward scholarships. He assists with the scholarship application process, advises on scholarship requirements and responsibilities, and facilitates the resolution of academic and financial aid issues. Michael provides overall support for scholarships, programs, and outreach efforts.
Originally from Locust Grove, Oklahoma, Michael joined Native Forward in May of 2015. He was named a Gates Millennium Scholar in 2008. Michael holds a bachelor’s in science education and a Master’s in School Administration, both from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Scholarship Operations Assistant
Alshana Jake joined Native Forward in November 2020. She’s part of the Navajo Nation and grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Alshana is the first point of contact for Native Forward and a helper to other departments. She enjoys making and creating art through different mediums and spending time with her family and dogs.
Scholarship Operations Assistant
JT joined Native Forward in 2021 as a Scholarship Coordinator. JT most recently served as the sole mail controller for the Lovelace Health System for the last three years. He has an associate degree in Communication, Geography, Liberal Arts, and Integrated Studies from Central New Mexico Community College and is currently finishing a Business Management degree from Western Governors University. In his free time, JT enjoys traveling, cooking, board games with friends, and spending time with his spouse and three dogs.
Daryan Singer, MPS
Student Programming Manager
Daryan joined Native Forward in 2021 as the Mentoring Program and Research Specialist and has since been promoted to Student Programming Manager. Daryan’s experience includes over three years of student mentoring, public advocacy, and research. She continues to be highly motivated and invested in tribal communities’ current and uprising generations.
Originally from Shonto, Arizona, Daryan remains rooted in her traditional Navajo upbringing. She attended the University of Arizona, earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and American Indian Studies, and obtained a Master of Professional Studies in Indigenous Governance with an emphasis on Indigenous education policy. In her free time, she enjoys sewing traditional wear, running, and spending time with family.
Kakiley Workman, M.S.
Scholarship Operations Manager
I grew up in Stilwell, Oklahoma, and graduated high school in 2014, where I was named a Gates Millennium Scholar. I earned my Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2019. I was a scholarship advisor for the Cherokee Nation College Resource Center. While there, I earned my Master of Science in Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration and graduated in December 2022. I am excited to start this new position as one of Native Forward’s Scholarship Operation Managers and continue to work with Native students through their higher educational journey.
Sara Barnett, M.Ed.
Associate Director of Student Programming
I am a citizen of the Muscogee Nation, residing in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and I currently serve as the Associate Director of Student Programming at Native Forward Scholars Fund. From 2015 to 2023, I served as the Director of the Center for Tribal Studies at Northeastern State University. Prior to that, my professional experience includes educational outreach and developing student support programs in secondary and higher education settings, as well as nearly two decades of grant writing experience that includes private and state/federal grants. My specialty and passion are centered around the development and administration of educational programs specific to low-income/first-generation college students and retention strategies for American Indian students.
I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Developmental Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice (2004) and a Master of Education in School Counseling (2006) from Northeastern State University, both funded by the Gates Millennium Scholars Program. I am currently pursuing my doctorate in Adult and Lifelong Learning (Ed.D.) at the University of Arkansas.
Pueblo of Laguna & Mojave
As a Grants Manager, Adrian focuses on grant management, compliance, development, and reporting. She is from the Pueblo of Laguna and joined Native Forward in January 2018. She is currently working towards her Bachelor of Science in Earth & Planetary Science with a concentration in Physics at the University of New Mexico. Adriann is passionate about helping her Native American community, on and off the reservation, and is happy to be a part of Native Forward, helping Native American students reach for higher education.
Alumni Engagement Manager
Kiowa, Pawnee, Choctaw, and Navajo
As the Alumni Engagement Manager at Native Forward, Antonia is determined to identify, cultivate, and reinforce individual partnerships to expand the scope of financial support opportunities for Native students. Antonia is a citizen of the Kiowa Tribe with ancestry from the Pawnee, Navajo, and Choctaw Nations. She is actively involved in her tribal traditions, the Kiowa language revitalization program, and the traditional ceremonies in which she was raised. Antonia is loyal to the value of community and enthusiastically serves on the Indigenous Community Engagement Board for CS (Computer Science Indigenous Community of Learners United to Develop, Excel, Succeed) at The University of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic Behavioral Health Advisory Council.
Before joining the Development Team under Strategic Partnerships, Antonia served as Coordinator of American Indian Programs and Services at The University of Oklahoma. In that role, she was an advisor to the American Indian Student Association and the AT&T Native Scholars Program, where she implemented programmatic strategies that enhanced the visibility of tribal nations on campus, increased cultural competency in students, staff, and faculty, and led Indigenous student efforts in promoting their identity. Antonia also worked as a representative for the Cherokee Nation, where she helped implement and enforce the Indian Child Welfare Act in various state courts across the U.S. She attended the University of Oklahoma and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2015 and continues to create artwork while pursuing her mission in the advancement of Indigenous students.
The increasing need for sound cultural competency and effective communication in rapidly changing circumstances for Indigenous people has motivated Antonia to continue building individual strategies to improve her approach to professional and firsthand experiences. Through her work in multiple capacities and life experiences, she promotes a vision to elevate Indigenous people now and leave an impact on future generations. Antonia enjoys creating art, speaking her language, traveling, and sharing space with family and friends.
Gabriel joined Native Forward in July 2022 as a Data Analyst. Previously, he managed a large scholarship program and the Salesforce database for a college access nonprofit and has experience in college admissions and financial aid at multiple universities in South Texas and Oklahoma. His past positions showed him, that even small scholarship awards can make a large difference in college affordability for students, and good data is vital in using scholarship funds to make the most impact in communities. He hopes to help Native Forward continue to thrive by contributing to a strong data foundation. Gabriel enjoys road trips with his wife, coffee, and restoring vintage computers.
Jessica is a UNC-Pembroke Alumnus, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in American Indian Studies and Criminal Justice. She resides in Lumberton, North Carolina with her husband Gregory and their three sons: Ethan, Nakoma, and Wyatt. Bullard has always had a passion to help others which is noticeable from her years of civic engagement in the community. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Pembroke Area Chamber of Commerce, and was formerly on the Robeson County Art Guild Advisory Board, and the Julian T. Pierce Memorial Committee.
Bullard has gained a wealth of knowledge with over 10 years of chairing and fundraising for events. She has discovered that a career in philanthropy, can be both rewarding and meaningful. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, fishing, camping, kayaking, the arts, traveling, and shopping. Bullard aspires to continue to support her community and tribe and aid it in any way to help it continue to grow.
Jessica’s most recent role was as a foundation director at a Higher Education Institution in North Carolina. She is a Lumbee Tribal member and comes to our organization ready to make meaningful contributions toward our vision of meeting the unmet need of every Native student.
Parker Duff, M.A.
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Marketing & Communications Specialist
I joined team Native Forward in April 2022 and brought over two years of experience in the news industry. I love writing, copyediting, and creating stories for digital platforms. At Native Forward, I proofread press releases, website content, social media, and more while addressing internal and external marketing requests and inquiries. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in History from the University of New Mexico in 2019. I am back in college, working towards my master’s in Strategic Communication and Digital Strategy at the University of Oklahoma. I served nine years in the U.S. Navy as a second-class petty officer. I was an aviation structural mechanic and earned my qualifications on the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler. When I’m not catching up on the news, my favorite hobbies include sewing, birding, and watching true crime documentaries and Dateline.
Britney A. King, MFA
Social Media & Graphic Design Specialist
Diné and Chippewa-Cree
I joined Native Forward in 2022 as a Social Media and Graphic Design Specialist. I am from Church Rock, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and part Chippewa Cree from the Rocky Boy Reservation in Montana. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Art Studio with an emphasis in video and feminist studies, a UX/UI Design Certificate, and a Master of Fine Arts in Experimental Art & Technology from the University of New Mexico. Before joining Native Forward, I was a UX/UI designer. In my free time, I enjoy concerts, billiards, and spending time with my seven dogs.
Assistant Marketing Director
I am a native New Mexican with a marketing and public relations background, working with businesses and nonprofit organizations across New Mexico and Arizona. In 2015, I received my degree in business administration from the University of New Mexico. Most recently, I worked at Sunny505 as a project manager for clients across different industries. Before that, I was a marketing contractor and consultant for InEight Software Solutions, Hypur, and the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Before contracting and consulting, I worked at the Better Business Bureau, serving New Mexico and Southwest Colorado, and interned at the New Mexico Hospitality Association. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading a good book, watching a good TV show or movie, and looking at art.
Taylor was born in Ontario, Canada, and moved to the United States in 2003. He joined the Native Forward in 2021. Taylor’s responsibilities include accounts receivable, general ledger reporting, and assisting with audit procedures and state compliance. He attended Ohio State University: Fisher College of Business where he earned his bachelor’s in business administration specializing in accounting. An avid gamer, he enjoys both video and tabletop games in his free time.
Denise joined Native Forward in 2022 as an Accounting Assistant. She is from El Paso, Texas, where she attended UTEP and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Accounting and a minor in Computer Information Systems.
Denise loves to read anything from novels and plays to comics and manga, as well as everything in between. When she doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found drawing, crocheting, watching films, or updating Wikipedia to her favorite series.
IT Support Specialist
Donielle joined Native Forward in March of 2023 as an IT Support Specialist and brings over 11 years of IT experience with him. He graduated from ITT Technical Institute (ITT Tech) in 2012 with a degree in Applied Science. Doniellle also attended Community College of Denver. He is passionate about technology, food, hiking and traveling.
Angel M. Burnside, PHR
Human Resources Manager
Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes
I am a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and currently reside on the Flathead Reservation in beautiful Northwest Montana. I started with Native Forward Scholars Fund in October 2023 as the human resources (HR) business partner for all departments within the organization. I am a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and an active Society for Human Resource Management member with over 20 years of experience implementing and managing HR programs in multiple industries, including Tribal corporations. I love to travel and consider myself a foodie. I frequently travel to my hometown of San Francisco, the foodie capital of the U.S., where I can be found eating my way through its culturally diverse food landscape.
Administrative Services Assistant
I am Navajo and come from Kirtland, New Mexico. I am currently residing in Albuquerque with my husband and our son. I am an undergraduate student at New Mexico Highlands University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in elementary education to be a teacher. I am the newest addition to the development team at Native Forward, and I am so excited to work at an organization dedicated to Native American higher education. As a development assistant, I will do my best to support fundraising efforts through organization and known effective processes. I am passionate about helping Native American students and doing what I can to grow our funding and make goals attainable for our scholars.
Administrative Services Manager
Born and raised in New Mexico, I currently reside in Albuquerque with my husband and three children. I’m passionate about helping the community and making a difference. As the Administrative Services Manager, I support internal cross-departmental partnerships, ensuring Native Forward Scholars Fund runs smoothly to continue positively impacting Native scholars. Most of the time, you will find me hanging out with my family, having fun, and attending my son’s soccer games.
Administrative Services Assistant
Yá’át’ééh! Greetings! I am of the Many Goats clan and was born for the Hoey-Combed Rock clan. My maternal grandfather is of the Ute People Division of the Red-Running into the Water clan, and my paternal grandfather is of the Tobacco People clan. I am from Teec Nos Pos, Arizona, but I currently reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico, focusing on completing my academic pursuits. I am an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and a third-year student at the University of Southern California (USC), majoring in journalism.
As a Native student navigating the world of academia, I understand the challenges faced by fellow Native peers across the nation pursuing higher education. Thus, it is a complete privilege to be able to join Native Forward Scholars Fund as the Administrative Services Assistant to provide all departments with administrative services to support the organization’s day-to-day operations to uplift and empower our Native American students.
Previously, I served as a Legislative Staff Assistant for the Navajo Nation Office of the Speaker and the Co-Founder/Co-Executive Director for the Native American Student Assembly (NASA) at USC. I am passionate about utilizing traditional Native American storytelling techniques in the journalism field to share the stories of Tribal communities across the U.S. and uplift the voices of our people. When I am not in elder mode, I enjoy running, reading, and watching horror movies I have no business watching. I am also an avid skincare lover.