A College Financial Aid Night was co-hosted by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Higher Education Program, SUNY Potsdam and the Akwesasne Mohawk Board of Education Post-Secondary Program on Thursday, January 9 2014 at the Senior Center. Seventy college-bound students and their parents participated in the information packed event.
Sub-Chief Michael Conners commented on the evening’s impact stating “It’s humbling to see so many of our Mohawk youth and families have shown commitment to their educational futures, and the financial commitments that come with it. Our futures rest on their shoulders and it is incumbent upon our leaders to ensure our resources work collectively to assist our youth in the pursuit of higher education”. The evening’s agenda featured welcoming remarks from Stephanie Cook, Executive Director of Education with introductions of each special guest: Rod Cook, Director of Higher Education Program, Samantha Phillips, Administrative Assistant, Norma Sunday of AMBE, Sheila Marshall, Director of the Center for Diversity SUNY Potsdam, Ryan Ransom and Mary Stickney Director of the North Country Science and Technology Entry Program SUNY Potsdam and Carolyn Corcoran and Susan Godreau (Scholarship Coordinator), both Assistant Directors for Financial Aid SUNY Potsdam.
Carolyn Corcoran kicked off the evening with a synopsis of the financial aid process. Information about scholarships, grants, FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and fees were discussed. Rod Cook reviewed funding opportunities and deadlines for the numerous scholarships administered through the Higher Education program, followed by Norma Sunday from the Ahkwesahsne Mohawk Board of Education (AMBE), who shared information with the audience about AMBE’s Post-Secondary program requirements and deadlines. “The imperatives for our seniors include a thorough understanding of financial aid procedures and the importance of knowing when the deadlines are approaching. We want to stress to our students our job is to help upper classmen navigate the complexity of college planning. We are their resource and we’re here to coach them through the college selection, financial aid and application processes” states Stephanie Cook.
The evening concluded with prize drawings for both students and their parents. The prizes were generously donated by: JOM, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and Speedway. The following were selected from the draws:
- Larry Swamp - ITunes card
- Kassidy Lafrance - IPod dock/alarm clock
- Raienkonnis Edwards - $100 Higher Education Scholarship
- Nolan Terrance - $100 Higher Education Scholarship
- Hunter Francis - $100 Higher Education Scholarship
- Louise Thompson - $25 Hannaford gift card
- Jarrod Jacobs - $25 Hannaford gift card