Suquamish tribe partners with Brandman University’s Bangor Campus
While Suquamish tribal member Kristen Soy leads a busy life as a marketing and promotions assistant at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino, she recently added two new roles: new mother and college student at Brandman University’s Bangor campus.
Soy is the first student to benefit from a new partnership between Brandman University and the Suquamish Higher Education Program. “The way we deliver our degree programs are a perfect fit for working students like Kristen,” said Michael Goodnow, Brandman’s Community and Corporate Relations manager at Bangor.
“I am balancing a newborn baby and two college classes right now,” said Soy. “It will be a little more complicated when I return to work full time in January, but I can do it.”
Soy is pursuing her bachelor’s degree from Brandman after missing out on a new job. The other finalist had a college degree and landed the position, but Soy is not deterred. She sees a bachelor’s degree as life-changing.
“Right now, I’m in business and marketing classes, but I’m considering switching to education,” said Soy. “I love helping kids, and I want to be the person who helps our students stay in school. It’s something I needed when I was growing up, and I’ve been through it, so I can offer some solutions that work.”
Brenda Guerrero manages the Higher Education program for the Suquamish tribe. “Our mission is to support education for our tribal members,” said Guerrero. “Brandman University is literally right in our backyard, so this is perfect for our tribal members who want to earn their university degrees online.”
“We are very excited about the possibilities of bringing our educational programs to both tribal members and Port Madison Enterprises employees,” said Jennifer Perryman, Brandman’s campus director at Bangor. “It’s a partnership that we are very proud of.”
Soy said she expects having college taken care of financially will lift a lot of pressure she might otherwise feel after earning her degree. “I won’t have to worry about student loans in the future, and I can easily move if I need to for a future job,” she said. “I would highly recommend this scholarship program and Brandman University to our other tribal members.”
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