Brandon G. Enos Educational Foundation awards GRIC students
Gila River Indian News
f you have attended a promotion ceremony at Sacaton Middle School or Gila Crossing Community School, you’ve probably seen former Community Council representative, Dale Enos present scholarships on behalf of the Brandon G. Enos Educational Foundation. The scholarship provides students with tools and assistance for learning and is in honor of his late son, Brandon G. Enos who died in a car accident in 2006.
Originally, the Enos family had begun doing basketball tournaments in memorial of Brandon, but instead the family began a scholarship. “We wanted to do something in his memory and we felt that scholarship was something we can do at Sacaton [Middle School].” Said Enos. Completely funded out of their own pocket, the family first gave the $200 scholarship to students at Sacaton Middle School to assist in any school supplies or needs for them to begin high school.
Since the foundation began in 2007, it has supported 27 students going into high school. First starting with Sacaton Middle School, then with Gila Crossing, and are working towards students at St. Peter Indian Mission School as well. Two students per school are awarded but with the increase of applicants over the years, the foundation has sometimes awarded three students per school.
In 2014, the educational foundation became a functioning 501c3 and has been a recipient of forfeited jackpot funds from Gila River Hotels & Casinos. All AZ based 501c3 status nonprofit organizations recognized by the IRS are eligible to apply to receive these funds. This, along with donations, has allowed the Brandon G. Enos Educational Foundation to increase their scholarship to $300 and in addition has allowed the students to receive a backpack with school supplies and a laptop. “We want to be there to support them as much as we can,” said Enos.
Applicants must be an enrolled member with GRIC and must be attending a local school within the Community during the time of application to qualify. The application process includes filling out a general application, an essay, tribal info/certificate of Indian blood and include three reference letters. Selected applicants proceed to go through an in-person interview before being selected.
Dale attends the promotions and awards the students with their backpack and educational funds. The foundation hopes to reach those going to schools outside of the Community, and begin assisting high school graduates sometime in the future.
This year’s recipients were Maya Lewis from Gila Crossing and Lillian Baptisto and Gracie Mark, both from Sacaton Middle School. “The scholarship is wanting to encourage our students to continue their education and we want to be supportive of their future endeavors,” said Enos.
For more information on the Brandon G. Enos Educational Foundation, the number is (520) 562-3649 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.