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Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute’s American Indian College Fund 2022 Student of the Year

Derrick Shirley, Native American male, smiles for photo in a gray suit, and blue tie.


The American Indian College Fund (College Fund) and the Adolph Coors Foundation sponsors one student from each of the thirty-seven Tribal College and Universities (TCUs). Students selected for this prestigious award, by their TCUs, receive a $1200.00 scholarship during the Spring 2022 academic term in recognition of their scholastic achievement and community service.

The Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI), is greatly honored to announce Mr. Derrick M. Shirley as SIPI’s 2022 recipient of the College Fund Student of the Year Award. Derrick is a first generation college student and member of the Dine´ Nation from Forest Lake Chapter, AZ. He is an exceptional individual as demonstrated not only through his campus and community involvement but also his academic excellence as a member of Phi Theta Kappa with a cumulative 4.00 GPA. He is a dual major in SIPI’s Accounting and Network Management programs.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Derrick faced many rural area challenges - no internet connectivity, food instability, no running water, and extremely limited cellular service. Despite these challenges he was determined to succeed and found resourceful ways to obtain stable internet connection to complete his online classes. During this challenging time, Derrick also worked as a peer tutor with the SIPI Academic Coaching Center and served as the Student Government Association’s Treasurer.

Derrick embodies the characteristics of a promising individual with the talent, determination, and work ethic to transform lives and communities. He plans to continue his education and obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. He hopes to return back to the Dine´ Nation to work individuals struggling with life controlling issues.

For more information on the American Indian College Fund, please see www.collegefund.org. For more information on SIPI please see www.sipi.edu.

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