Spencer M. Holmes, 2008
Clayton High School Valedictorian, has a long list of honors
and achievements. They include:
- All-star varsity basketball star.
- Oklahoma State Champion in speech, debate and drama.
- Number one in his class with a consistent 4.00 Grade
throughout his high school career.
- Superintendent's Honor Roll all four years of high
But Spencer’s real passion is acting, drama and the
Spencer Holmes has been accepted into the prestigious Drama
Program at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University
and concurrently at The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in
New York City. Spencer is in good company.
Tisch alumni include Oliver Stone, Alec Baldwin, Spike Lee
and Amy Heckerling. Lee Strasberg Theater Institute graduates
include three generations of American actors from Marilyn Monroe
and James Dean to Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro and Angelina Jolie.
Spencer plans to pursue a career in the Performing Arts. He
will not only study the creative side of story-telling through
drama and acting, but also learn the business aspects of the
industry as well. He plans to obtain his Bachelor degree, then
his Masters in Fine Arts, with an emphasis on Dramatic Acting
and the Performing Arts.
Trent Tolbert is
a 19 year-old member of the Choctaw Nation from Tulsa, Oklahoma
and is a sophomore at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
In high school Trent was an Oklahoma state champion tennis
player and a five time National Indian Tennis Champion. He
has donated many of his National Indian Tennis titles to the
Growing up, Trent’s family focused early on the college
application and enrollment process. “I remember taking
the ACT the first year I was able (7th grade), and continuing
to take it every year till I graduated,” says Trent. “In
fact, most of my high school career was geared towards the college
process.” Every summer during high school Trent would
attend at least one college program or work shop and would usually
visit about two to three colleges.
By the start of his senior year in high school Trent:
- Already knew where he was going to apply.
- Had his resume ready and common application essays
- Was braced – along with his family – for
the application process.
Trent Tolbert won a scholarship at Dartmouth College in Hanover,
New Hampshire. “My experience at Dartmouth has been
incredible,” he says. “ I have been exposed to
things that I would have never seen had I stayed in state.
While I love my home with my family and friends in Oklahoma,
I can’t wait till school starts up again.”
Lauren Palmer is
the SAP Program’s Peer Advisor at the University of Oklahoma
in Norman. She is twenty-two years old, married, and a proud
Choctaw tribal member. Lauren grew up in Durant, Oklahoma where
she was very involved in her high school, church, and community.
She has lived in Norman, Oklahoma for the past four years while
working on her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education
at the University of Oklahoma where she holds a senior status.
Palmer offers three points of advice to all students:
- Go to class and make the grades you are capable of
- Take advantage of free on-campus tutoring opportunities
and writing centers to proof read papers.
- Consistently apply for scholarships. Seek out scholarships
within your university and outside your university as well.
Search for scholarships geared towards Native Americans
and others within your department or field of study.
The SAP Peer Advisement Program helps Choctaw Students during
their college years. Its main goal is retention – keeping
students in school – so that each and every Choctaw student
completes a degree plan, regardless of any obstacles or struggles
they may encounter while attending a college or university.
Brooks will be a senior at Durant High School in
Durant, Oklahoma. In the sixth grade, she moved with her
family to Durant from southern Orange County, California
where she was in a Gifted and Talented Education accelerated
program. She has attended Durant Public Schools from seventh
grade through twelfth grade. Alysia lives at home with her
parents, Alan and Leah Anne Brooks and her younger brother,
Alex and their two dogs and two kittens. For fun she plays
in the Pride of Durant marching band and on the Durant High
School tennis team. Alysia’s favorite things to do
are go to the movies, go shopping and hang around the pool
with her friends.
Alysia’s future plans include going away to college
to obtain an undergraduate degree in Chemistry with a minor
in Psychology. Following her undergraduate program, she intends
to enter medical school to become a pediatrician. She aspires
to work as both a practicing pediatrician and a medical researcher
in the field of autism.
a first year law student at Southern Methodist University (Dallas,
TX) Dedman School of Law. Blake chose law school because
the broad array of legal specialties intriqued him. He was
a Finance and Accounting undergraduate major at the University
of Texas because he was interested in the financial system
and its effects on the economy as a whole. Although, still
a first year law student, Redwine says he is interested in
pursing a creer in a legal specailty related to finance.
Blake’s father, an attorney in Tulsa, OK, influenced his
decision to pursue the law. “From him I learned the benefits
ofa graduate degree and how satisfying a law career can be
despite the hard work and long hours.”
Blake attended Jenks High School (Tulsa, OK) where, in his
junior year, he played football on the state championship
team. In college he was activiely involved in his fraternity
and served as its Vice President his senior year. Blake graduated
with honors from the University of Texas in 2008. At the
University of Texas Redwine earned the O.V. Bennett Jr. Endowed
Presidential Scholarship, the McCombs School of Business
Out of state tuition Waiver and the Choctaw Higher Education
Scholarship. At SMU Redwine has won the Dans Scholarship.
At SMU he is a member of the Dallas Association of Young
Lawyers, the Corporate Law Association and the Student Bar
Association. For fun, Blake enjoys playing golf, running
and outdoor activities.
Hugo, OK is a freshman at Yale University in New Haven, CT
with an undeclared major. “I applied to Yale because the application
fee was waived since I was a Questbridge Scholar (a non-profit
program that links bright, motivated low-income students with
educational and scholarship opportunities at some of the nation's
best colleges). I was encouraged to apply by the Choctaw Scholarship
Advisement Program, my family and a family friend with a student
Chelsea is passionate about helping others who live in low
socioeconimic areas. “I especially enjoy working with children,”
she says. “I hope my future occupation has something to do
with these passions.” At Yale Chelsea is now active in Community
Health Educators, PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support)
and the Boys and Girls Club of New Haven.
“Although I do not know what I will major in yet, I believe
that God has a plan for my life and for others as well that
will exceed our expectations and fill us with an inner peace.
I believe that this is the reason I am at Yale. I did not
pick Yale by myself. God was my pilot that steered me to
this point in my life. He controls what I will do in the
Chelse has lived in Hugo, OK her entire life. “While this
rural area of the world is not flawless, it is my home and
a part of my identity. I will remain a southern girl who
loves homemade buttermilk biscuits and gravy, deer jerky,
and the vast Oklahoma sky. ‘Y’all’ will remain a part of
my vocabulary,” says Chelsea.
“I am a proud member of the Choctaw Nation and am extremely
blessed to be a part of this great group of people. In life,
it is important to find your supporters. Thankfully, I have
a huge support team, which includes my family, friends, past
teachers, and the Choctaw Nation. They are continuously inspiring
me to reach my full academic potential and make a difference
in the world. “
Destiny Sullens grew
up in Idabel, OK and is currently a junior at Columbia University
in New York, NY. She double majors in Anthropology and Middle
East and Asian Languages and Cultures. She became interested
in the Middle East while auditing a class on Arab civilizations
while a student at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics.
She says her studies in Anthropology allow her to learn more
about the histories of Native Americans and other indigenous
peoples. Destiny is a recipeint of Columbia’s Astor Presidential
At Columbia since 2008 Destiny has served as Vice Chair
of the Native American Council. She has planned and budgeted
events for Native American Heritage Month and has been Student
Representative to Columbia’s Native American Studies committee.
She has recruited new members to better serve all indigenous
Destiny is a member of Youth Leadership Oklahoma, Class
VI and a 2004 delegate of Camp Anytown Oklahoma. She later
volunteered for the Oklahoma Conference for Community and
Justice as a counselor at Camp Anytown Oklahoma in 2007 and
in 2009. She is a recipient of the 2007 Ruth Ray Hunt Legacy
of Learning Scholarship. She is currently serving as Chair
of Columbia’s Native American Council and works closely with
other cultural groups on campus to increase awareness and
visibility of minority groups.
Destiny enjoys traveling and finds it to be complimentary
to her education. Thanks to generous support of the Choctaw
Nation of Oklahoma and Columbia University and its affiliates,
she has been able to visit various places in the Middle East
and Latin America.
Keaton Watts is
a freshman at The University of Tulsa majoring in Marketing.
He is from Oklahoma City and graduated from Mustang High School
in Mustang, Oklahoma where he was a member of National Honor
Society and the Ecology Club.
“The University of Tulsa gave me an amazing academic scholarship.
However, I wouldn't have been able to attend if it wasn't
for the scholarship I've received from the Scholarship Advisement
Program through the Choctaw Nation. Currently I am in the
Freshman Leadership Institute at my school.” Besides attending
college Keaton keeps busy at photography, something that
has interested Keaton and he is very passionate about it.
In Tulsa Keaton has been working for CRKWD, a digital marketing & design
agency where he has created identity pieces and print collateral
for various Oklahoma and national businesses, non-profits,
and campaigns. He has photographed mixed businesses, restaurants,
clothing lines and other assignments for use in websites
and/or social media campaigns and. He also provided photography
for a political campaign in Tulsa.
Keaton is a member of theChoctaw Nationof Oklahoma and has
won first place in the Native American Multicultural Month
Poster Design at the University of Tulsa. Keaton has tutored
Native American students on High School Preparation, coursework
as well as college preparation. In high school he was a member
of National Honor Society and the Ecology Club. He is a Choctraw
Honor Scholar and graduated with a Certificate of Distinction,
Oklahoma Academic Scholar, & Academic Achievement Award.