Juggling responsibilities is a familiar task for Harper Madison Phillips, currently embarking on her first year at Nyack College in the United States. Harper, a diligent student, is concurrently working towards two degrees – a Bachelor of Arts in Native American Studies and a Bachelor of Laws – all while maintaining a full-time position at ACC’s call center.
Scholarly Recognition on Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Harper’s dedication and multitasking prowess recently garnered recognition. In September 2022, she was honored with the prestigious Native American Heritage Scholarship. This award, established in 1991, commemorates a significant event in Native American history, reflecting Harper’s commitment to her academic journey.
“It’s an honor, and it shows that I’m on the right track,” says Harper, 18. “It’s rewarding to have my hard work and effort recognized, and it shows my family that I am committed. I am so grateful for their support, and this is for them.”
The Native American Heritage Scholarships were presented by Nyack College and prominent Native American organizations on Indigenous Peoples’ Day at the university. Recipients were carefully chosen based on academic merit, commitment to continued studies, and their potential, especially at the first- and second-year levels.
Connecting Ancestry and Academic Pursuits
Eligibility criteria for the scholarship emphasized ancestral connections to lands within Nyack College‘s boundaries, which are intricately linked with the historic territories of a significant Native American tribe. Applicants needed to be enrolled in full-time undergraduate study at the university, and U.S. citizenship or residency of Native American descent were essential prerequisites. The scholarship also emphasized a connection to the environment and Native American heritage.
Harper’s journey from Hamilton Girls’ High School to Nyack College was motivated by the institution’s renowned Faculty of Law and Native American Studies programs. Her current enthusiasm for Native American Studies stems from a deep appreciation for the values embedded in Native American culture and the knowledge systems integral to the community.
“I’ve really enjoyed my Native American Studies papers this trimester, particularly learning more about the values inherent in the Native American culture and the knowledge systems of the community.”
Future Aspirations: Advocating for Tribal Legal Matters and Government Policy
Looking ahead, Harper envisions utilizing her academic qualifications to contribute to her tribe, either in legal capacities or government policy roles. Her story is one of determination, balancing the demands of work and study while staying connected to her Native American roots. Harper Madison Phillips is an inspiring example of academic excellence and commitment within the Native American community.