Scholarships benefit Choctaw Nation students - - No One Gets You Closer

Scholarships benefit Choctaw Nation students

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DURANT, Okla. -- The Chahta Foundation awarded scholarships to deserving recipients at its annual reception on Friday.  Scholarships made possible by donors are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Choctaw community.

It wasn't long ago that the foundation offered a single scholarship award.

"I just remember back a few years ago, we were only able to give out $2,000 in scholarships,"  Executive Director Seth Fairchild said. ""This year, we've given over $300,000."

Twenty-three scholarships are available, each for a unique accomplishment.

"All the way from seniors in high school to doctoral-level students," Fairchild explained. "If you are Choctaw seeking some sort of secondary education, we have a scholarship for you to apply for."

Chahta Foundation scholarship luncheon

Future Northeastern State student Brittany Conley's award shows just how diverse these scholarships can get.

"I was affected by breast cancer in my family, so I wrote a short essay question about my grandma, who is a survivor for seven years now," she said, adding that she feels fortunate to be able to share her excitement with her elder.

"It meant a lot to me when I got the call that I received the scholarship," Brittany said. "I knew when I told her it was going to mean a lot to her, too. I'm glad that something good can come out of such an awful situation."

Devin Leslie's scholarship will help him through medical school. He plans to return the favor.

"Yeah, that's kind of what this scholarship is about, just kind of giving back service to the Choctaw people and just kind of the Choctaw community after medical training," he said.

Each award given is a careful investment to strengthen the Choctaw Nation.