Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer is a caring and bright leader of Hopa, and, their outreach programs, to community programs help so many address issues in their tribal environments. Hopa is alway there to consult and work with you. I do suicide prevention among Native American youth, and we all hurt, sometime, and we're all in this together.
Hopa Mountain and its premier program, Indigenous Scholars of Promise, for the past two years has supported and helped several Native American high-achieving high school students search for and connect with top colleges and universities! As a mentor organization, Hopa Mountain and ISP are making a huge difference in the lives of these mostly-rural youth who don't usually have an opportunity to know about college opportunities! Our twin daughters were two of the first four graduates through ISP and benefited immensely from the support and encouragement! And I know that Hopa Mountain is involved in many other community endeavors that are making a huge impact in rural Montana communities!
Hopa Mountain has been a transformational influence through its constant support for the conception and continuance of a program begun in October, 2011, Indigenous Scholars of Promise. Indigenous Scholars of Promise is a real and concrete support for the very highest-achieving Crow and Northern Cheyenne high school juniors and seniors who live on these reservations in Southeastern Montana, in a very remote part of the state. Many have traveled thousands of miles over long distances just to receive their educations and have already persevered through many obstacles and difficult situations in order to earn the distinction of top students, However, these students still are in need of support in terms of awareness of higher education opportunities, college application requirements and deadlines, and a general overview of the entire process of the college quest. Coming from rural areas with high poverty rates, these students have gained immeasurable benefits from the care and support of Hopa Mountain and Indigenous Scholars of Promise. Our twin daughters were two of the first four graduating senior ISPs and have gone on to study at a highly-regarded liberal arts college. ISP continues to support them and they will in turn stay involved in the program in order to support the other students who are coming up. The program continues to evolve and improve, gaining more depth and breadth. In June, 2012, the upcoming seniors were able to take a life-changing trip to visit several Ivy League colleges on the East Coast! Hopa Mountain and Indigenous Scholars of Promise is impacting the futures of these young scholars, their families, their tribes and their communities! Hopa Mountain is impacting eternity!
I serve on the Board of Directors of the Northwest Unangax Culture (NWUC). Our Board President found Hopa Mountain while searching for a way to learn more about applying for grants. She applied for us to attend their Strengthening the Circle seminar and we were accepted. We went there not really knowing what to expect. What we encountered were the most helpful people and the most professionally run seminar. Clearly careful thought and preparation were put into this event. There were numerous classes on grant writing, marketing, strengthening Boards of Directors and more... everything that we needed to know to become better and enable us to do more in our communities were part of this event. Our needs for comfort, sleep and food were met as well. I went into that seminar knowing I did not have the skills to accomplish the things I wanted to do, I left there feeling as if I could do anything. Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer is a powerhouse with endless energy, ideas and a willingness to help. Under her supervision and with her incredible staff, Hopa Mountain is doing so much to help so many. I am very grateful for the help they gave us. Evelyn Dye-Garcia