“Through the obstacles I’ve faced as a minority at a predominantly white institution, I’ve gotten a chance to truly embrace my ethnicity and bond with other people of my race who have gone through similar experiences. Becoming involved with organizations on campus that cater to minority students has definitely provided a sense of inclusion that I would have otherwise struggled to feel. Being a part of the small percentage of African Americans in my university’s student body has allowed me to not only form genuine friendships, but has also helped me learn more about myself.”

Kristen Adaway, University of Georgia

“Creating a relationship with my favorite professor in the Lakota language course, who also taught the Introduction to Native history course, motivated and inspired me to learn while giving me the confidence to stay in college, despite the challenges. Embracing my Native identity was the key to complete my first year of college and will continue to help me navigate other challenges I may experience. My advice to all of the young, strong, and resilient Native students who will be pursuing higher education is to embrace and appreciate your identity, culture, and heritage. Find the resources available to you, and do not be afraid to speak up for the things you know are right.” 

Foster Cournoyer Hogan (Rosebud Sioux Tribe), Stanford University

If your home community’s majority population is comprised of ethnic or racial minorities, you may want to consider a few things when looking at PWIs. A PWI can be a real culture shock with regard to seeing significantly fewer people who look like those in your home community. While this change is significant, it may not be a reason to completely write off a PWI.