STUDENT OF THE MONTH SPOTLIGHT- LAUREN KICKINGBIRD WALTERS

  Moving From Success to Success    In Education

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Kiowa Tribe

"My higher education has been a long journey.  I graduated from High School in 2000 but did not learn about opportunities from Kiowa Higher Education until half way through my freshman year at college.  Someone from the tribe informed me about scholarships from the Indian Health Service and since I was majoring in Biology and interested in the health field I went ahead and applied for assistance through IHS for a preparatory scholarship which was very helpful.  I graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Biology in 2005 from The University of Central Oklahoma.  I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do but found a job at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) in a pediatric rheumatology research lab where I worked for several years before deciding to go back to school for nursing.  I graduated with an Associated Degree in Nursing in 2013 from Rose State College and became an RN working as a Pediatric Research Nurse at the OUHSC.  I quickly realized that I wanted to care for patients as a primary care provider and in particular my fellow tribal members and other American Indians so I went back to school to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.  I again applied for assistance from IHS and received a health professions scholarship.  I graduated with honors in May from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. with a Masters of Science in Nursing with a degree of Family Nurse Practitioner.  I am currently looking for positions at IHS and tribal facilities in Oklahoma for my service payback for receiving the IHS scholarship which paid for 2 out of the 3 years of my graduate tuition.  The tribe has recently helped me get contacts and forms needed to apply for these positions.
My parents are Kirke and Lynn Kickingbird.  My grandparents are Carl and Sue Kickingbird." ~ Lauren Kickingbird



 Lauren at the George Washington University commencement, wearing the stole she received at the Kiowa Higher Education Banquet in April.


HIGHER EDUCATION

To enable Kiowa tribal members to pursue higher education job placement to assist Kiowa tribal members to a solid start in employment. To assist Kiowa tribal members to facilitate a career in a vocational technical institution.