Supporting Civic Engagement Projects

With support from the Alternative Break Program, students and alumni work to expand higher-ed opportunities for Native students in New Mexico

After taking Dan Press ’64’s spring 2013 class, “Approaches to Contemporary Native American Education,” offered through the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, a group of students wanted to do more to address the 50 percent high school graduation rate within America’s indigenous communities. These students developed AlterNATIVE Education, a week-long peer-education and mentorship program that encourages Native high school students to consider higher education. With the help of Undergraduate Student Life’s Alternative Break Program, they spent two weeks during summer 2013 and three weeks during summer 2014 working in five Native communities in New Mexico.

“We believe that through discussion, mentorship and knowledge, we can empower young Native people, ourselves included, to be agents of change in Native communities.”

Fantasia Painter ’13, who spent two weeks volunteering with AlterNATIVE Education, which she co-founded while a student

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