Running Strong Dreamstarters Awarded the Gift of Scholarship by the Earl and Anna Broady Foundation

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Earl C. Broady, Sr., was a pioneering Black man who started out as a janitor and later in life became a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. During his career he served as a police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department through the 1930s and 1940s, and also as a district attorney for the City of Los Angeles. In 1965, he was appointed to the Superior Count bench by then-Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Sr. Earl passed away in 1992, and when his wife, Anna, died in 2016, their trust established The Earl and Anna Broady Foundation.

The expressed wish of Earl and Anna Broady was to have their foundation help worthy minority students attend college, and through a partnership with Running Strong for American Indian Youth® several of our Dreamstarters have received scholarship assistance through the generosity of the Earl and Anna Broady Foundation Scholarship program.

In a letter to Foundation Trustees, Running Strong Executive Director Lauren Haas Finkelstein explained how the Dreamstarter program came about as a way to mark the 50th Anniversary of our spokesperson and cofounder Billy Mills’ gold medal win in the 10,000-meter race in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.

Billy had grown up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, orphaned at age 12, and pursed his dream of running to earn hm a scholarship at the University of Kansas, and eventually on to realizing his ultimate dream of winning an Olympic gold medal.

“We know that there are thousands of Native kids out there like Billy,” Lauren said. “And by creating Dreamstarter, we are going to find and nurture them, planting seeds of hope and change in American Indian communities nationwide. Dreamstarter is now in its sixth year and has exceeded our wildest dreams.”

Lauren noted that the scholarship support provided through the Broady Foundation is “an incredible way to grow our investment in them and really help these exceptional youth,” some of whom are the first in their family to go to college.

Since our partnership began, nearly a dozen of our Dreamstarters have benefited through the Broady Foundation Scholarship program.

With the Broady Foundation’s first gift in 2019, Running Strong was able to award eight Dreamstarters with $5,000 scholarships to help them continue to achieve their dream of an education.

Among them are:

2015 Dreamstarter Breanna Potter (Cherokee), whose dream was to educate youth about the prevention of diabetes by living a healthier lifestyle and motivating Native youth by providing them with information about healthy eating and physical fitness, which through her project year impacted more than 500 children and teens in her community of Sallisaw, Oklahoma.

“Please tell the Earl and Anna Broady Foundation how thankful I am for this scholarship,” says Breanna. “Without their help I would not have been able to finish my degree. In fact, my college is discontinuing my degree in 2021 and I will be one of the last cohorts to graduate at this school in Indian Law.”

2015 Dreamstarter Noah Blue Elk Hotchkiss (Southern Ute/Southern Cheyenne/Caddo), whose dream was to create a series of wheelchair basketball camps for disabled Native youth such as himself, which benefited more than 100 youth during his Dreamstarter year.

Today, Noah is in his fourth year of a five-year program at the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana where he is majoring in Recreation, Sports and Tourism and is a member of the university’s wheelchair basketball team.

“I will be the first person on my mom’s side of the family to graduate college and your generosity is making that possible,” says Noah. “Thank you to the Earl and Anna Broady Foundation for creating this opportunity and making me a recipient of this scholarship. Words cannot express the importance and impact scholarships like this have for our Indigenous youth.

“Providing these opportunities allow myself and other Native students to keep dreaming and making a positive impact for our people. So, once again, thank you for this scholarship and keeping my dream alive.”

2019 Dreamstarter Jacob Crane (Tsuut’ina Nation), whose dream is to positively influence Native youth by empowering their voices through authentic and personal storytelling, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Utah Valley University.

“I am incredibly thankful to have received your scholarship this semester,” Jacob told the Broady Foundation. “I have gained a stronger foothold within my professional and academic endeavors. As a young parent, at times, we push our education aside to make a better life for our children.

“This scholarship has directly impacted me for the better, and now I can attend university this fall to continue supporting both my child and my future. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done for my family and indigenous students.”

2018 Dreamstarter Kelsey Leonard (Shinnecock Indian Nation). whose dream is to empower a generation of water protectors for a plastic-free ocean, is pursuing her doctorate degree in Political Science and notes that one of the greatest challenges she has faced is accessibility and affordability of higher education.

Kelsey is looking forward to creating future educational opportunities for Indigenous students that allow for career mobility without being burdened by lifelong financial debt. The Broady Foundation scholarship has given her the reprieve she needed during these hard times of the COVID-19 pandemic as she continues her education to become a PhD.

2018 Dreamstarter Michael Charles (Diné) whose dream is to “overwhelm higher education with indigenous peoples, culture and knowledge,” is currently in his fifth year of his PhD studies at Ohio State University where he is studying chemical and biomolecular engineering.

“To the Earl and Anna Broady Foundation, thank you so much for your financial support amid the pandemic and uncertainty,” said Michael. “Thanks to your generous gift, I have been able to pay off some of my undergraduate student loans, and ensure that I have internet to work from home – for all the infinite Zoom meetings that I find myself now on.

“Your generosity helps me continue to focus on my research, my advocacy, and my work in the community – rather than fixating on bills and loans. I appreciate it so much. Aheheé (Thank you in Navajo).

2016 Dreamstarter Ruben Zendejas (Omaha Tribe of Nebraska), whose dream was to organize a youth-centered pow wow, is currently pursing a J.D. in Indigenous Law.

Having to handle his schoolwork, his job, extracurricular activities, as well as being a good husband and father, can be a bit overwhelming, but with the scholarship opportunity provided by the Broady Foundation, he was able to put aside the worry of paying for his room and board so that he can continue to focusing on his education and being an indigenous voice within the community.

2017 Dreamstarter Shayleena Britton (Round Valley Indian Tribe), whose dream is to bring back the Wailaki language through social media, is pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree in 3D Animation at the Art Academy Institute in California.

Through her scholarship from the Broady Foundation, Shayleena was able to pay a significant amount of her summer semester tuition. After she graduates, one of her main goals is to create films about her reservation and include real problems that face Native communities such as hers so others can see all of the challenges Native Americans face daily on and off a reservation.

Because of the Broady Foundation scholarship, Shayleena is one step closer to making her dreams a reality.

2016 Dreamstarter Charmayne Sandoval (Diné), whose dream was to help Native youth discover mental health and wellness through art, is studying to become a business manager for a school district on the Navajo Nation.

Like many college students, Charmayne faced the challenge of finding enough funding to cover the cost of her education, hopefully without having to take out expensive student loans which can take years to pay off. Though she was awarded some scholarships, it was not enough and student loans become her last option to continue her education.

However, through the scholarship provided through the Broady Foundation, she was able to cover the cost of her semester and register for upcoming classes. While the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the Navajo Nation hard, and she was forced to return home from school to quarantine with her family, she is eagerly looking forward to the day when she can resume her education.

And Lauren once again wanted to express her gratitude to the Broady Foundation on behalf of all of the Dreamstarters whose lives have been enhanced through the scholarship funding they received.

“We are so appreciative of this second gift so that we can help more Native students with their education. Thank you again for playing such an important part in Dreamstarter and everything we do to make a difference for these amazing kids,” Lauren told the trustees upon receipt of a second grant in October, 2020.

“We are honored to be part of the Broady Foundation’s legacy. We can’t wait to see all the amazing things this partnership will do for Native youth across the country!”

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