American Indian College Fund Starts Scholarship to Benefit Female Indian Veterans and Children of Army PFC. Lori Piestewa

American Indian College Fund
Tuesday, 1 April 2003

The American Indian College Fund announced it has established a college fund in honor of Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, who is believed to be the first American Indian woman killed in combat. Piestewa, a Hopi Indian from Tuba City, Ariz., died in southern Iraq. She was a single mother with a son, 4, and a daughter, 3.

The scholarship will go toward any remaining unmet financial needs for college that her children have when they become college age, after taking into account other scholarships that have already been established for them. Any remaining funds will be used to underwrite an annual scholarship to a tribal college or university for a female American Indian military veteran.

The Fund said it will designate all donations from its own employees over the next five years to the Lori Piestewa Memorial Scholarship Fund, plus it will use other organizational money for a one-time match of up to $2,000 to those employee contributions. Employees of the Fund annually donate about $2,000 of their own salaries - through payroll deduction - toward scholarships for American Indian students. It is likely the Piestewa Memorial Scholarship Fund will total $4,000 by the end of this year from employee contributions and the match, and approximately $12,000 by the end of the five years.

In announcing the memorial, Richard B. Williams, president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, noted that the idea came from the organization's own employees.

"They wanted to do this as a symbol from our own employee group, all 36 of us, as a way of honoring her and remembering her sacrifice. Thus, we are not actively seeking general public contributions to this memorial but, of course, outside donations would certainly be accepted if made in her name," he said.

Established in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has spent more than a decade helping increase educational opportunities for Native students. The organization supports more than 6,000 scholarships each year. The Fund also supports endowments and developmental needs at the nation's tribal colleges, as well as public awareness.

For more information, or to contact American Indian College Fund, see their website at: www.collegefund.org

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