Family values lead to first generation success


Kiara Weathersby has close family ties to Northern Arizona University. Her great-grandfather Lemuel Littleman, who worked as groundskeeper for the university from 1947 to 1983, encouraged Kiara to pursue an education to better herself and her family. Now a senior and dual major in business management and psychology, Kiara says her success is due in large part to the community of support at NAU, as well as to the financial aid she’s received from scholarships.

A community of support

Kiara chose Northern Arizona University because of its traditionally close-knit community. "I'm not just a number here," she says. "Professors and deans know my name. They ask how I'm doing, how my classes are going, and they are interested in my well-being. I don't feel like that would happen at another university."

As a member of the Navajo Nation, Kiara has also relied on services offered at the Native American Cultural Center for support. The Center has its own advisors and study areas, and provides opportunities for Native American students to connect with each other and with their heritage. "It gives us all a place where we can be comfortable as a people and know that we are celebrated," she says.

Scholarships—along with the knowledge that she has support from donors who believe in her—have helped Kiara focus on her studies and gain the confidence she needs to succeed. "It's an honor to have received scholarships," she explains. "Donors recognize that I can be successful, and that gives me confidence in myself. It motivates me to work that much harder and make my family proud."

Committed to students

As one of the leading institutions serving Native Americans, NAU is committed to making sure students like Kiara have access to the resources that will help them graduate and make a difference in their communities. Your gift to the The Campaign for NAU will fund student support programs and Native American initiatives like those that are helping Kiara succeed.

"Donors recognize that I can be successful, and that gives me confidence in myself. It motivates me to work that much harder and make my family proud."—Kiara Weathersby