Two weeks ago we posted about the American Indian College Fund (AICF) Bridge Grant ($100,000 distributed over two years) that VISTA Members Kaitlyn McCoy and Carly Hosford-Israel applied for and recently received during their terms of service with Fort Peck Community College (FPCC). The grant aims to increase American Indian and Alaska Native high school students' college readiness. FPCC delivers the AICF Bridge Curriculum Guide throughout the year in: academic classes during a summer academy, culturally focused camping trips, college admissions knowledge, first-year experience classes, a book club, and college campus visits.
I signed up for the Fort Peck Community College Bridge Academy to meet others. The towns on Fort Peck are pretty spread out over the two million plus acres of Reservation land so it is difficult to meet peers outside of each individual community. By joining Bridge I have the opportunity to: meet other students outside of Frazer, earn early college credit, and tour college campuses in Minnesota and possibly New York.
The Bridge Program is encouraging me to start getting serious about college. I have taken the initiative to start looking into academic programs that interest me as well as work study options that will make it financially feasible to see myself through senior year.
Life on Fort Peck can be a bit unpredictable. People in our communities face a number of hardships that make flexibility a challenging life skill to build. Before going off to college I hope to practice working more calmly through the unknown and unpredictable elements in life. I know there will be plenty of continued practice with that in college and I want to be prepared.
It is difficult to narrow in on my favorite part of Bridge so far. I really enjoyed our summer academy (even though the teachers might have given us more work than we received in the academic year). Also, I have already had the opportunity to make some solid new friends. We finished off the summer with a historic and culturally focused camping trip on Fort Peck Dam, with swimming, lectures on Pan-Indianism, and wahampi (soup in Dakota).
Everything with FPCC Bridge is fun, which is surprising because I never thought I would say that about an academic program. I’d 10 out of 10 recommend!