Sherry Salway-Black, Elsie Meeks, Tawney Brunsch and Tanya Fiddler at the airport in Rapid City, South Dakota.

My Native American Heritage

This year for Native American Heritage Month, I have been reflecting on my own Native American heritage. I am Oglala Lakota through my father and German American through my mother – and I’m blessed with this lineage. However, since it is Native American Heritage Month, let me focus on that side. I was the only one of four siblings born on Pine Ridge Reservation in … Continue reading My Native American Heritage

The University of Montana AIBL chapter received the Chapter of the Year award in 2016.

How AIBL Challenges and Inspires Native Business Students

American Indian Business Leaders (AIBL) was organized in January 1994 and was recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization in 1995 on the University of Montana campus in Missoula, Montana. Michelle Henderson (Assiniboine) was a graduate student in the MBA program and wrote her thesis on AIBL. She approached School of Business Administration Dean Dr. Larry Gianchetta to be the chair of her thesis committee. The original idea evolved from … Continue reading How AIBL Challenges and Inspires Native Business Students

What is an ‘Indian Giver?’

Do you remember during your childhood when someone gave you something but then took it back? The person might have been called an “Indian giver.” The term was always hurtful for me because I knew firsthand the generosity of American Indian people. At our ceremonies, it has always been a custom to have what we call “giveaways,” a tradition of honoring and respecting others by … Continue reading What is an ‘Indian Giver?’

Cracks in ‘Talent Pipeline’ Pose Risks for Employers, College Students With Disabilities

The following previously appeared in the Huffington Post and has been reprinted with permission. As the leader of a national organization focused on employment for people with disabilities, I routinely have the privilege of visiting places that are doing some remarkable work to advance the issue. My travels of late took me to two notable college campuses: Edinboro University, just outside of Erie, Pennsylvania, which has … Continue reading Cracks in ‘Talent Pipeline’ Pose Risks for Employers, College Students With Disabilities

Taking the Long View

Eight years ago a young man named Miguel was in his last year of Philadelphia’s Northeast High School when his teacher referred him to the Marriott Foundation’s Bridges from School to Work (Bridges) program. Like thousands of public school seniors across the country receiving special education services, Miguel’s postsecondary options seemed both daunting and uncertain. He needed the targeted interventions that a program like Bridges … Continue reading Taking the Long View

A Recipe for Success, Part 2

In honor of National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month, we bring you the second in a two-part series on the Johnson Scholarship Program. Now in its 26th year, the program provides scholarships for students with disabilities and a network of support services to enhance student success. Research shows that there is a great gap between educational expectations and reality for students with disabilities. A 2006 National … Continue reading A Recipe for Success, Part 2

A Recipe for Success

In honor of National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month, we bring you the first in a two-part series on the Johnson Scholarship Program. Now in its 26th year, the program provides scholarships for students with disabilities and a network of support services to enhance student success. What if scholarships weren’t really about the money? As a private philanthropic foundation, the Johnson Scholarship Foundation invests to obtain … Continue reading A Recipe for Success

Connecting Past and Future: Indigenous Business Leaders in Context of Community

Community is the key. Our identity, our sense of belonging and sense of self all start with community. We grow up understanding ourselves in reflection of, and react to, community. From our families, to extended families, to other families that walk and talk like us, to other groups that are completely different, community defines who we are, and who we aren’t. Most Americans take for … Continue reading Connecting Past and Future: Indigenous Business Leaders in Context of Community

City Music youth with staff. Photo by Mike Spencer.

Summer Youth Program Empowers Students to Confront Important Social Justice Issues

City Music, Berklee’s youth development and outreach program, delivers tuition-free, high-quality contemporary music education to young people in grades 4-12 who are from underserved communities. During this past summer, City Music brought together 15 at-risk teens, who were referred by the City of Boston’s Department of Youth Engagement and Employment, for a summer of learning and self-actualization. These students, most of whom were new to … Continue reading Summer Youth Program Empowers Students to Confront Important Social Justice Issues

Improving Canadian Indigenous Student Success: Three Martin Family Initiative Projects

Of the approximately 1.5 million Indigenous People in Canada, 50 percent are under the age of 25 — they are the youngest and fastest growing demographic in the country. A real concern for Canada is the low Indigenous high school graduation rate; the non-Indigenous high school graduation rate is about 90 percent while the Indigenous rate is about 50 percent. The Martin Family Initiative (MFI), … Continue reading Improving Canadian Indigenous Student Success: Three Martin Family Initiative Projects