The Chickasaw Summer Leadership Academy was held on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University July 7-18.
The academy was sponsored by the Chickasaw Nation in coordination with the Native American Center for Student Success. Fourteen Chickasaw students participated in the two-week event. The purpose of the academy was to provide a college-like experience to the students.
Those experiences included living in Shearer Hall, attending classes, eating meals in the university cafeteria, and completing various assignments and tasks. Additionally, the students participated in cultural and recreational activities.
A highlight for the students was learning how to make traditional style woven baskets and learning the history of stickball with some hands-on experiences. Each student attending the academy was presented an iPad to assist them with note taking, web surfing, and photography of events.
“This was a truly remarkable academy for the students,’’ said Chris Wesberry, director of the Native American Center for Student Success at Southeastern. “Not only did they get the college experience at Southeastern, but they also participated in cultural activities and went to some fun places and met some special people. State Representative Lisa Johnson-Billy and Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon met with the group during an outing at the Chickasaw Nation in Ada.”