by Agueda Trujillo Fernandez
Idaho Public Radio
Native American high school students have been studying at the University of Idaho’s Native American Student Center in Moscow for the past six weeks as part of the HOIST program (‘Helping Orient Students and Teachers’)
The program is designed to help students prepare for college. Students represent the Shoshone-Bannock, Nez Perce, Standing Rock Sioux, Shoshone Paiute and Navajo tribes.
“We help them become familiar with the college environment, what the campus like, the campus, the dorms, and dining,” said Sydel Samuels, director of the Native American Student Center at the UI.
The students have been blogging about their experiences ( see link below).
The students spent their mornings take college classes– science, English, and math– and spent their afternoons as interns for different programs, both on and off campus.
“For their internships we place them based on their interests,” Samuels said,”so when they submit their application we make sure we know the career they want to go into, if they are willing to work with animals, outdoors or indoors, and what their preferences are.”
Samuels says HOIST helps students become more socially focused and to bring back a large set of leadership skills to their tribes. Students attend leadership workshops, social and physical activities, and go on trips.
“For me it is very impactful,” Samuels said. “Not only do the students find mentors and people to guide them but we are able to form relationships with the students in a good way. It makes our jobs fun, we are able to get out of the office, go on field trips, go rafting, and spend quality time with them.”
HOIST began in 1991 with the same focus– helping Native American students be successful.
“We have brilliant students coming from small families, from very small communities, who are aspiring to do great things,” Samuels said. “It would be important for us to find that understanding to where they come from to help foster their success, and that is what we do here at the Native American Student Center.”
Copyright 2016 Idaho Public Radio
Posted July 15, 2016