According to Tada (Cheyenne River Sioux), if you knew her just five years ago, you would never have guessed that she would be achieving the incredible success she’s experiencing today. “In fact, if you knew me, you would probably bet money that it was only a matter of time before I was on another downward spiral,” she says. “Statistically, I should not be here right now.”I

Tada overcame many obstacles such an addiction to alcohol, being homeless, and the consequences from those choices, to becoming one of our most promising scholars. With the support of her college, Oglala Lakota College, and through scholarships from the American Indian College Fund, Tada has gained a lifetime of exceptional experiences in just a few short years.

Tada has been selected as a Tribal College student representative to inform Capitol Hill of the importance of Higher Education in Tribal communities for the past three years. She also completed a 2017 summer internship at the National Institute of Health in the National Human Genome Research Institute. Furthermore, this past October, Tada was selected by the British Council to participate in the Future Leaders Connect program, to tackle global issues along with 49 other participants from across the world. Tada’s policy issue is addressing food sovereignty concerns in tribal communities, by incorporating her research on the genetic health of bison on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

When asked what inspires her, Tada says “I share my story with other Native people to encourage them that this is not an unachievable dream.” She adds “Your history does not define your destiny.”

Every day, Tada is grateful to the College Fund and its generous donors: “You invested in what was a very troubled individual,” she says, “and provided me the opportunity