News Release Details

10/7/2005

Alray Nelson Receives Leaders of Promise Scholarship

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Eastern Arizona College student Alray Nelson of Beshbetoh, AZ has been named a recipient of the 2005 Phi Theta Kappa Leaders of Promise Scholarship. Nelson, along with twenty-nine other community college students from across the nation, will receive scholarships of $1,000 to further their associate degree studies.

The purpose of the Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program is to provide new Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) members with financial resources to help defray educational expenses while enrolled at a two-year college. The program also provides opportunity and encourages students to assume leadership roles by participating in PTK programs. Thirty members from 20 different states were selected for their demonstrated leadership potential and scholastic achievement.

“This is a noteworthy honor because it recognizes the potential success of outstanding students such as Alray,” explains Rod A. Risley, Phi Theta Kappa Executive Director. “The 2005 Leaders of Promise have demonstrated academic excellence and are committed to improving their communities. Alray exemplifies the outstanding students enrolled not only at Eastern Arizona College, but at community colleges everywhere.”

Nelson graduated in 2004 from Ganado High School as its valedictorian. Graduating from Eastern this coming May with a dual degree in secondary education and political science, he has already been accepted to Harvard University. He is also applying to Cornell University and Northern Arizona University should he need to stay closer to home to assist with family, which he identifies as one of his primary responsibilities. This summer, Nelson will be interning in the White House’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

He aspires to one day be elected as the first Native American President of the United States. Along the way, Nelson hopes to teach at the high school level and eventually become a high school principal, where he names education reform one of his top priorities. He is even considering law as a possible career option, working back on the Navajo Reservation before heading on to local and state government.

He credits his ambition and success to his mother, who raised him and his sisters in a single-parent home. Her encouragement and admonitions to ‘take bigger leaps than me’ continue to spur Nelson to greater heights.