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Odom Awarded Lifetime Scholarship From Chickasaw Nation

by Parissa Zargar

(Oct. 15, 2014) — University of Kentucky senior, Jaye "Jaxcy" Odom, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has received the Chickasaw Nation Lifetime Scholarship. This honor is awarded to tribal citizens who are full-time students pursuing a degree from an accredited institution of higher education. Odom has been involved with the Chickasaw Nation through her attendance of tribal meetings and participation in activities to promote pride in Native American culture.

"When I found out that I had been awarded the Chickasaw Lifetime Scholarship, I was elated. It was an indescribable honor to be a recipient of this highly competitive scholarship, and it meant a lot to me that my tribe believed in me enough to make such a huge investment towards my future," Odom said.

The lifetime scholarship is intended to assist students by providing funding for tuition, fees, books, and room and board. The award is distributed to a selective number of recipients every year after careful consideration. Recipients must have completed 24 hours of college credit and possess a 3.0 GPA. Students who complete their undergraduate degrees are invited to reapply for the Lifetime Scholarship to assist with graduate and doctoral programs.

The Chickasaw Nation Lifetime Scholarship requires recipients to agree to a service repayment component upon completing a degree program. Recipients agree to serve one year for every year they receive the scholarship with a maximum of two years of service. Odom, a psychology major at UK who is also pursuing a minor in philosophy, plans to complete a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. She aspires to serve as a psychologist at one of Chickasaw Nation's behavioral health centers upon graduation.

"My career goals are to design and implement evidenced-based practices for minority issues and autism spectrum disorders," Odom said.

Bill Anoatubby, the governor of Chickasaw Nation, has been recognized for his leadership in promoting mental health awareness. Odom aspires to join the governor's efforts once she completes her doctoral degree.

The Chickasaw Nation is dedicated to the preservation of family, community and heritage. The tribal government focuses their efforts on supportive programs and services to Native Americans. The Chickasaw Nation pursues self-sufficiency and self-determination which helps to ensure that Chickasaws remain united and determined.