The book also addresses the impact of this upward mobility on communities. When promising students use their education to move up in the world, which often means moving away, the communities experience a brain drain. This doesn’t only affect the local economy, it also creates an emotional void for the family and friends left behind. (And here you thought we were trying to convince you to become a Wawatay Scholar! But wait, read on.)
To counter these effects, Wawatay creates partnerships with each scholar’s home community. This ongoing connection allows you to stay linked with your family, culture, and the future of your home community.
The partnership between the university and your community begins as soon as someone is interested in applying for the program. The application process involves community elders, who will recommend graduating seniors or graduates from prior classes look into the program and then submit a nomination for interested students as well as contribute to the Wawatay selection criteria. Another key component of the partnership is creating research projects for you based on your community’s concerns.
Since our vision entails creating opportunities and employment for our graduates in their home communities, we see these partnerships evolving over time as more students move through the program and their communities add their ideas and perspectives.