Eight students in grades 7-12 sat in a circle, discussing how to prepare for college. While discussing what excited each student most about college, Kiana Montero, an 11th-grader in the White Mountain Apache Tribe, spoke up.
“The new people and opportunities,” Montero said confidently.
The daylong conference engaged students in a conversation about college readiness with topics ranging from financial aid to academic preparedness.
For Montero, the conference provided her with an opportunity to learn about the college process.
“My parents didn’t go to college, and I want to be the first in my family to graduate from college,” said Montero.
Programs such as the RECHARGE conference serve an important role empowering American Indian students to attend college. The conference provides resources about higher education to students who might not otherwise receive this information.
“Many of the students here would be first-generation college students,” said Michael Begaye, director of the American Indian Student Support Services at ASU. “They often need guidance to navigate the complicated maze of forms and applications for college, financial aid, scholarships, etc.”