ELKO — The Western Shoshone Scholarship Foundation and Barrick Gold North America commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Western Shoshone Scholarship on June 1 with a special reception honoring 2018 college graduates at the Red Lion Casino and Conference Center.
Barrick signed collaborative agreements with the Tribal and Band Councils of the Western Shoshone in 2008, establishing the WSSF and outlining Barrick’s commitment to long-term higher education funding for tribal members. Since its inaugural year, the foundation has funded 1,539 higher education scholarships for Western Shoshone tribal members totaling nearly $3.5 million.
“Barrick believes in the power of education to transform lives and communities. The scholarship program is an example of how we are investing in education to build a diverse pipeline of future talent — not just for Barrick but for our community and our state,” said Brian Mason, manager of Native American affairs for Barrick.
At the anniversary reception, Barrick recognized 2018 graduates and also launched the WSSF Alumni Association, which will enable alumni to network and support each other as they advance in their careers. It will also continue the relationship among scholarship recipients, the foundation and Barrick.
“While Barrick hopes to inspire some WSSF students to pursue a career in mining, the primary goal for all of us is to help our students build on their own strengths, interests and skills and to realize that they have the ability to shape a rewarding future for themselves,” said Alice Tybo, vice president of the Western Shoshone Scholarship Foundation board. “The scholarship program has been a collaborative success between Barrick and the Western Shoshone, changing the trajectory for many tribal members and helping them to achieve educational and professional growth.”