DENVER, Colo. — The philanthropic arm of apparel and footwear company VF Corp. — known for brands such as The North Face, JanSport, Vans and Dickies — has created a new scholarship program to help American Indian and Alaska Native students. 

The Denver, Colo.-based VF Foundation granted $25,000 to the American Indian College Fund to launch the The VF Foundation Full Circle Scholarship Program. The program will provide Native students enrolled as business majors with a $4,500 annual scholarship, according to a statement. 

Native students attending higher education in California, Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Texas are eligible for the program. 

“As we work to build flourishing economies in tribal communities, knowledge about business ownership and development is essential,” Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said in a statement. “We appreciate The VF Foundation partnering with us to build the next generation of Native business leaders.”

The scholarships will be split among three students attending a tribal college or university and two students enrolled at a traditional institution of higher education.

This year’s scholarship recipients are: 

  • Dion Barrett, Leech Lake Tribal College, Minnesota;
  • Christopher Begay, Colorado State University, Colorado;
  • Milton Budreau, Leech Lake Tribal College, Minnesota;
  • Douglas Clark, Leech Lake Tribal College, Minnesota; and
  • Dawn Knight, Golden Gate University, California.

The VF Foundation provides funding for nonprofit organizations that support the “betterment of people and the planet,” including those that empower diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

“The VF Foundation believes education is the great equalizer in our society,” VF Foundation Director Gloria Schoch said in a statement. “We’re honored to join the American Indian College Fund to foster academic achievement and meaningful career pathways for future AIAN leaders who will one day help to improve the social and economic conditions present in their communities.”

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Author: Native News Online Staff