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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Investing in the future, REDW LLC, one of the 10 largest accounting and business advisory firms in the Southwest, announced earlier this month its 2020 recipients of the REDW Native American Scholarship in Accounting.

They are Isabel Yasana Hawley (The Klamath Tribes) and Christian Hopkins (Narragansett Indian Tribe of Rhode Island). Both recipients are currently pursuing their Master of Business Administration degrees and focusing on tribal economic development and entrepreneurship.

The American Indian Graduate Center, a national nonprofit organization providing educational assistance to American Indian and Alaska Native college students throughout the United States, administers the scholarship.

“We congratulate Isabel and Christian as the 2020 REDW Scholarship recipients, in taking this important next step in completing their education,” Corrine Wilson (Ft. McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of Nevada), REDW principal and National Tribal Practice co-leader said. “We’re proud to honor their hard work and determination with recognition and financial support. These young people have already shown their dedication to continue using their knowledge and skills to improve life in tribal communities.”

Hawley has been building her career as a brand manager for an internationally known sportswear company and is pursuing her MBA in American Indian Entrepreneurship at Gonzaga University to acquire leadership skills and executive advancement.

“I hope to inspire the next generation of Indigenous leaders to chase their crazy dreams and bring them into fruition,” Hawley said.

Christian Hopkins

After earning his MBA from the University of Kansas, Hopkins plans to pursue a career in teaching in order to help tribal youth see the benefits of entrepreneurship and encourage them to see cultivation of wealth as one of the many methods they can employ to preserve their tribes’ cultural values.

“I see the potential of entrepreneurship in my community and I hope to introduce it through the teaching of personal finance,” Hopkins said.

Through the American Indian Graduate Center scholarship, REDW is able to achieve two key objectives: 1) encourage Native Americans who want to pursue a career in accounting and finance, and 2) build the pool of top talent from which to recruit for the firm’s Internship program and National Tribal Services team.

“Our scholarship continues a long tradition at REDW of supporting tribal youth and encouraging them to pursue careers in accounting and finance,” Wesley Benally (Navajo Nation), REDW senior manager and National Tribal Practice co-leader, said. “Through our work with tribal governments and their enterprises, we understand how funding education for young tribal leaders is an investment in the future. Our program benefits not only these individual students, but every tribal community they give back to.”

Angelique Albert (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes), executive rirector of the American Indian Graduate Center said, “Partnering with organizations like REDW allows us to increase our impact across Indian Country and empower more Native scholars to achieve their educational goals. Building partnerships like the one we have created with REDW is critical to continuing our success as an organization. We look forward to continuing this relationship and strengthening our mutual commitment to Native education.”

Additional information on American Indian Graduate Center scholarships and eligibility requirements is available at www.AIGCS.org.

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