Doyon Foundation student Nicole Smith, daughter of Nancy and John Smith, and granddaughter of Elsie Smith, and Anita and Michael Bolton, aspires to become a marketing manager in a large corporation or to start her own business. From Dexter, New York, Nicole will begin at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego in the fall and study marketing.
Along with looking for internships, “my plan is to cheer at Oswego State. I have cheered since I was 9 years old. I have always loved the sport and cannot wait to continue my career in college,” says Nicole, who was also on a lacrosse team throughout high school.
Nicole says her biggest challenge to overcome has been transitioning into college life, especially “leaving the only home I have ever known. Leaving my family will certainly not be easy, but I know we can do it.”
Fostering a close relationship with her father, a firefighter, Nicole volunteered at the fire department in her community as a junior firefighter. She had the opportunity to go on calls, help get equipment and learn more by attending a weekly training class.
“My father, also enrolled in the Nenana tribe, is a firefighter and that always inspired me to help people like he does and to be just like him,” Nicole says.
Eager to start her college career, Nicole says, “Doyon Foundation has been so helpful as they have been there by giving me the opportunity to apply for scholarships to help me as I advance to higher education; they are great supporters.”
To supplement her scholarship, Nicole also plans to enroll in a work-study program to help pay for her tuition.
Her advice to current and future students is to “never give up. I just graduated high school and this is my time to shine. Show the world, your school, your family what you can do. If you choose to attend college, do your best and never give up.”
Nicole plans to join clubs at college, and encourages others to “always push for the stars whether it’s school, work, clubs, sports or just simply meeting new people! Push as hard as you can with everything you do. Go for your dreams!”