This has been a busy and productive year for the Richard Yogi Crowe Scholarship Fund (YCSF). We have continued to add to our endowment fund while still being able to fund seven post-bachelor students.
The last economic recession known as the Great Recession has been the longest and most severe downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Although the official designation for the Great Recession is December 2007-June 2009, the economic recovery has been slow. As the country continues to recover from the Recession nowhere has this been felt more than in Indian Country.
Native American communities were socioeconomically worse off than other groups prior to the Great Recession. Native Americans were more severely and adversely impacted than all other Americans during the Great Recession. Native Americans have experienced increases in unemployment and poverty significantly more so than any other group in the general population since 2007.
Many Indian communities, including our community, rely on casinos for their primary source of income. During the Recession, discretionary spending was hit the hardest. Although our casino has significantly improved since the years of lower revenues, it has prompted many to think of securing their own economic future. The best way to improve and secure one’s economic future is via education.
As enrolled members we have exceptional funding sources for education. In addition to a priority tribal-funded Education Department we have numerous private scholarships available to enrolled members, the YCSF being one of those. YCSF funds enrolled member for degrees beyond the bachelors or baccalaureate level. The YCSF was established in 1985 as a perpetual endowment scholarship fund, the interest from the endowment is awarded to students.
Even during the Great Recession we still received support for the scholarship fund via donations. I would encourage you to invest in the future of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. No amount is too small and we accept any type of donation.