IRVINE — A UC Irvine program aimed at American Indian youths has received a $350,000 grant from the Educational Foundation of America.
The grant will help bring 150 eighth- and ninth-grade American Indians to the university for six weeks of study this summer, UCI officials said. UCI's Native American Intertribal University Preparatory Summer Program was developed to motivate and encourage these youths to pursue a college education.
"We are very grateful to the Education Foundation of America for its support," said UCI Chancellor Jack W. Peltason. He said the money will help improve educational preparation for American Indians and increase their numbers in higher education.
The summer session will begin June 23 and run through Aug. 9. Students will be recruited from reservation and urban areas where American Indian students have little access to college preparatory courses, a university spokeswoman said.
Kogee Thomas, one of the organizers of the summer session, said she hopes the pilot program will be a model for others elsewhere in the country.
"It is our goal that (the program) will serve as a model to redress the lack of educational opportunity currently available to Native Americans," Thomas said.