For the second year in a row, an NAU student has received the prestigious national Udall Scholarship. Danielle Curley, a Northern Arizona University junior in social work, has been selected as a 2018 Udall Scholar in Native Health Care. The Udall Foundation honors the legacies of Arizona brothers Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, whose political careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.
Ms. Curley is a junior who plans a career of dedicated service to the Navajo Nation. “Children are the key to our future,” she says, “so I will prioritize the development of child health and social service systems to ensure trauma-informed care is widely accessible. Through my education in social work, I plan to affect change within multiple levels of Navajo life, from individuals to widespread healthcare initiatives in hopes of facilitating a system of supports that will allow children to thrive in the face of adversity.”
Ms. Curley’s interest in this field is also coupled with an intent to advocate for social justice in all forms. “I chose the Bachelor of Social Work program through Northern Arizona University because of its mission to prepare students to meet the unique needs of indigenous populations, and it gives individuals the tools and knowledge needed to affect change at many levels of our social services systems. I am also interested in Navajo leadership within our government systems. If we expect our children to become leaders of the next generation and carry on the nation’s tribal sovereignty, we must do our part now in ensuring that trauma cannot interfere with their healthy development and life goals.”
The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and a career commitment to issues related to the environment or to the Native American nations. Benefits include a $7,000 scholarship for educational expenses and membership in a professional network of change makers. The 2018 Udall Scholars also will assemble August 7-12 in Tucson, Arizona, to meet one another and program alumni; learn more about the Udall legacy of public service; and interact with national leaders in environmental fields, Native health care, and Tribal public policy issues.
Ms. Curley is one of 50 recipients out of 437 eligible applicants from 209 universities. Since 2012, NAU has celebrated three Udall Scholars and two Honorable Mentions. Udall Congressional Intern Chelsi Tsosie, NAU major in Marketing and Management, is also a 2018 Udall Foundation awardee this year.
Students interested in applying for a Udall Scholarship may contact Melissa Hatfield Riggs, National and International Scholarships coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.