Annual Cherokee College Prep Institute Connects Students to University Representatives from Across the Country

CNF partners with Northeastern State University to host weeklong camp

Published July 25, 2018

CNF partners with Northeastern State University to host weeklong camp

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Foundation recently hosted 35 high school juniors and seniors at its annual Cherokee College Prep Institute last week.

Students worked closely with 14 university reps from across the nation to explore schools of interest, research scholarship opportunities and navigate the application process.

“For some students, this is their first look at opportunities in higher education, and our staff works hard to help them consider all the possibilities,” said Janice Randall, executive director for CNF. “We teach them about the resources that are available to help them succeed and guide them through the necessary processes so they don’t get overwhelmed. It is beyond rewarding to see them gain confidence throughout the week and take a proactive role in planning for their future.”

The weeklong camp features classroom curriculum developed in cooperation with College Horizons, the U.S. Department of Education and the Princeton Review. Lessons include ACT strategies, essay writing, interview skills and time management.

Outside of the classroom, students worked in small groups and benefited from one-on-one sessions with university recruiters to help them stand out among their peers in the application process.

“CCPI is doing a remarkable job of transforming what once was a shrouded and intimidating process and breaking it down to make it more approachable for the students in a mentor/mentee atmosphere,” said Julian Tamayo, assistant director of undergraduate admissions at Yale. “It is so powerful to see our involvement and guidance have a direct impact on their perceptions and mindset as they begin the next step of their academic journey. We’re all rooting for them and hoping they succeed, and that feeling is what fuels the camp.”

Students stay in traditional dorms throughout the week and have many opportunities to explore the campus to gain a better understanding of what college life is really like. Additional activities include learning to play stickball, movie night, laser tag, a closing reception and a dance.

“Last year’s CCPI was so fun, I knew I had to come back again this year,” said Ty Earp, senior at Welch High School and Cherokee Nation Scholar. “The college admissions process has always seemed so daunting to me, and this week has answered so many questions I’ve had about tuition, application essays and interviews. I feel confident and prepared and am looking forward to what comes next.”

This year’s students included the following:

Jordan Conser, Edmond North High School

Madison Duehning, Guthrie High School

Ty Earp, Welch High School

Gabriel Ecklar, Union High School

Haley Flute, Muldrow High School

Grayson Gourd, Ft. Gibson High School

William Greer, Roland High School

Kaycee Griffith, Wagoner High School

Tristin Hampton, Claremore High School

Madison Hanvey, Westville High School

Chase  Hendricks, Tahlequah High School

Noah HorseChief, Hilldale High School

Ashley Jobe, Wagoner High School

Alyssa Jones, Muldrow High School

Ryan Jones, Wagoner High School

Summer Jones, Haskell High School

Hondo Kirk, Sequoyah High School

Nicholas LaRosa, Westview High School

Emilee Lemon, Byng High School

Melanie McHenry, Sallisaw High School

Erin Poe, Royse City High School

Payton Rigler, Edmond Memorial High School

Kileigh Rodriguez, Locust Grove High School

Jillian   Rose, Sequoyah High School

Ashlyn Sisk, Westville High school

Taite Stites, Sallisaw High School

Hailey  True, Pryor High School

Heather True, Pryor High School

Remington Ward, Locust Grove High School

Ethan Winn, Sequoyah High School

Solomon Winn, Sequoyah High School

Matthew Wofford, Claremore High School

Cash Wright, Vian High School

Participating universities included University of California-Los Angeles, University of Central Oklahoma, Duke University, KY-WV-LSAMPS/STEM, Northeastern State University, University of Notre Dame, Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, University of Pennsylvania, Pomona College, Rogers State University, Stanford University, Swarthmore College and Yale University.

For more information, contact the Cherokee Nation Foundation at (918) 207-0950 or Janice Randall at

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