November 2019 Student Highlight
Despite serving over 300 tribes all across the country, the vast majority of the applications we get are from Navajo students, and we never tire of reading their bios. We feel honored when they introduce themselves to us in Diné and recite their clans, giving us a beautiful glimpse into their culture. Our November Student Highlight is an incredibly resilient Navajo woman and we feel so proud to serve her as she works to lift herself up through education.
Shí éí Bridgett Abeyta yinishyé. Kinłichíí’nii nishłį́, Ta’neeszahnii bashishchiin, Mą ’íí deeshgíízhíníí dashicheii, Naakai dashinalí. Ákót’éego diné asdzáán nishłį́. Colorado Springs kééhasht’į́. Canyon Diablo déé’ naashá.
My name is Bridgett Abeyta. I am of the Red House Clan, born for the Tangle Clan. The Coyote Pass Clan are my maternal grandfathers and Mexican are my paternal grandfathers. That is what makes me a Navajo woman. Colorado Springs is where I reside. Canyon Diablo is where I am from.
I am originally from the Navajo Nation in Arizona, where I attended boarding school as a child. I dropped out of high school and received my GED in the spring of 2004, one month after having my first child. After my brother was KIA in Iraq while serving for the Army I went through a prolonged depression. I lost custody of my children and found myself homeless. During this time, I also lost my mother. I was in a terrible situation, but I kept hearing my grandparent’s words coming back to me. They would reiterate the importance of education. They emphasized that it was the only way to a better life.
In the spring of 2017, I enrolled in classes at Pikes Peak Community College. I was still homeless and living out of my car, but I was more determined than ever. I proved my determination when I made the President’s list that same semester. I had a cumulative GPA of 3.75 and completed 60 credits before transferring to the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs in the Fall of 2019. My goal is to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree and graduate with honors. Another goal is to apply for law school. I would like to study Indigenous Law. My personal experience with the lack of application is what interested me. I am also considering adding a business minor to my Psychology major. I was also recently elected as the secretary for the Psi Chi Honor Society, a leadership opportunity I’m excited to partake in.
This scholarship will help me overcome some of the financial burden of tuition, textbooks, and housing. By ensuring that my education is financially secure, I will be able to focus on maintaining a high GPA. This scholarship will also allow me to take advantage of the leadership opportunity as the Psi Chi Honor Society secretary. As a non-traditional student, I understand that I must work twice as hard for the same academic success as my peers. The challenges that I’ve had to overcome have left me with an unwavering sense of resilience and determination.