September 21, 2018
DURANT, Okla. –Examples of Choctaw Nation support of education are visible from Head Start to higher education. For the latter, among the most prestigious and helpful opportunities are Chahta Foundation Scholarships. Acquiring one can be a lengthy process, so it’s not too early to start preparation for next summer’s awards. The first step for 2019 Chahta Foundation Scholarships begins in January.
Among these annual awards are the St. Patrick of Ireland Scholarships with winners this year receiving $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000. Other awards included the Payback Scholarships, specific to degree studies in medicine and law. In all, 130 scholarships were presented.
According to the Chahta Foundation, the process starts with the “universal application,” located in the Scholarships portion of the Chahta Foundation website.
“Applications open Jan. 15 and close March 31,” said Colby Hicks, Chahta Foundation Scholarship Specialist.
During this time, applicants fill out the forms, which then are processed and sorted for further review by foundation staff. When the application season ends, applicants are assessed by a sub-committee that narrows them down to the top four or five in each scholarship category. Those applications are sent to the final committee which narrows the list to two or three. Finally, interviews are set up with each of the candidates.
Hicks added, “The interviews add another level of depth to each applicant, because we get to know where each one’s heart is.”
Every applicant is notified of his or her scholarship status by June 30. The banquet with scholarship presentations follows in July.
Hicks shared highlights from the 2018 annual Scholarship Banquet. Held July 13 in Durant, it included the awarding St. Patrick’s Scholarships to three recipients:
· Overall winner was Allison Crowe from Valliant, a Biological Sciences major attending Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton
· First runner-up, Macie Goines from Shady Point, a Biological Sciences major attending Northeastern State University in Tahlequah
· Second runner-up, Rubie Brackett from Durant, also a Biological Sciences major attending Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant.
Payback Scholarship winners named:
· For the Virginia Leflore Scholarship, Duncan Kovash of Durant, attending St. Louis University, pursuing a master’s degree in Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
· Wilene D. Marshall Scholarship, Christopher Sweeney of Ada, attending University of Wisconsin – Madison, pursuing a doctorate in Health Care
· Heritage Medical Scholarship, Callie “Cheyenne” Briggs of McAlester, attending Oklahoma State University, pursuing a bachelor-of-science degree in Health Care/ Nursing/ Registered Nursing
· Heritage Legal Scholarship, Chloe Moyer of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City University School of Law, pursuing a doctorate in Law/Accounting
Seth Fairchild, Executive Director of the Chahta Foundation noted anyone who missed out last season should not be discouraged. The Chahta Foundation always encourages applicants to apply again the following year due to every scholarship season being completely unique. There is always a good chance that an applicant can receive funding to further his or her educational future.
Additional information about scholarships is available by contacting The Chahta Foundation, 3915 N. 1st St., Durant, OK 74701; by phone, 800-522-6170 or 580-924-8280 ext. 2668; or visiting online, https://chahtafoundation.com/.