Student Spotlight: Aiyana Perry

Major: Agriculture & Natural Resources

Primary Site: Main Campus

Tell us about yourself.

I am an Ojibwe woman and a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. I was born at Ashland Wisconsin and have lived there, as well as Stevens Point. We moved to LCO when I was 5 and in Kindergarten. I am a traditional student going to college straight out of high school. I am the first traditional student in my family, my mother went to college only after having a family. I also have special needs due to a learning disability, when I was very young.

Why did you decide to pursue a college degree with Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College?

I decided to pursue a career in Natural Resources out of pure love for the place I live. I grew up with my grandfather and uncles teaching me the traditional ways to hunt, fish and gather on our reservations. I have grown to love being outside and with nature and have come to understand why it is so important to conserve what we have for future generations.

How is Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College different from other college options?

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College is different from other colleges because it is very small and personable. Everyone knows each other and is willing to give each other help. I need this due to my learning disability and this college and the teachers and support staff have helped me get through the first semester successfully.

What has been your favorite class so far?

I think basic English has been my favorite, because It had helped me improve in my writing skills, which I really needed help with.

What student organizations are you a part of? Why?

I am currently not a part of any student organizations only because I was scared it might be too much for me to handle my first year. I plan on joining some clubs and organizations next semester and year for sure.

What advice would you give someone who is undecided on starting college?

I would tell any student starting college to not take too many classes at first. To see what you can handle and work form there. Also, stay on task and do all of your work on time. It is so important to receive grants and scholarships if your grades are good and it will help you be successful throughout your years in college. Also, get to know people. It is harder to do than say even I am still a little shy. But making friends and meeting people is also a good source of help.

What will you do after you complete your degree with Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College?

When I finish my 2-year degree at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College I will either go on to a 4-year college to complete a bachelor’s degree or enroll in a technical school to work towards a second degree and certificate and license as an Auto Mechanic. I love working on cars with my dad and so I feel strongly about making it one of my career options in the future.

What does it mean to you to attend college in our local community?

It is important for me to attend college and do well while I’m here to leave an impression on my younger siblings. I want them to know how hard I work so they work hard. I also want my community to see me strive for my own success and become a tribal member they can all be proud of. I have overcome many barriers to get here and I will keep breaking them until I reach my own goals.

What does it mean to you to attend a Tribal College?

Attending a tribal college was not what I was looking for I was looking for a small school to help me start my college career. I needed the help from a small college to start off and it has been great for me so far. I am lucky that this is a tribal college. It has taught me so much about my own Ojibwe culture that I did not know before. I have become more proud to be Ojibwe, I have learned about what our ancestors have done for us to make sure we could still provide for ourselves for years to come. I would not have been able to learn those things and become familiar with myself as an Ojibwe woman.

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