The Seneca-Cayuga Nation Education Department provides leadership, assistance, and resources to ensure every Tribal Member has access to the education they need for a more fruitful life. The services they provide include youth fellowships, funding for adult vocational training, higher education scholarships, and much more. All a Tribal Member needs is a dream, and the will to succeed. 

The department is run by two people: Education Clerk Haley Buckallew and HR & Education Manager Carol Brown. Ms. Buckallew, who came on board in August 2021, is in charge of the day-to-day work, ensuring those who reach out for financial aid receive it. Mrs. Brown, who has worked for the department since ’08, oversees the entire operation. She is in charge of making sure all the bases are covered. 

Those bases include six different programs:  

  • The High School Senior Fellowship Fund – A one-time assistance fund of up to $500 to help tribal enrolled and graduating high school seniors with graduation fees, college exams, etc. 
  • The Youth Fellowship for School Clothing – An assistance fund to help provide school clothing for tribal enrolled K–12 students.
  • Fellowship Funding for Higher Education – An assistance fund to help college students pay for the rising costs of tuition. 
  • Fellowship Funding for Adult Vocational Training – An assistance fund to help adult Tribal Members attend full-time vocational training such as an electrician program. 
  • Adult Education Funding – An assistance fund to help Tribal Members attend adult education classes, such as night school computer classes. 
  • The Johnson O’Malley Program – A program that utilizes Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) funds to provide students with school supplies like backpacks. 

BIA programs like Johnson O’Malley are only available to applicants that live within a 50-mile radius of the SCN’s tribal offices due to limits set by the federal government. Luckily, SCN Members that live outside this radius can still apply to programs that use tribal funding. “We can fund anyone that applies for things like part-time adult education and vocational training using tribal funds, “stated Mrs. Brown. “They just need to get their application in on time.” 

In addition to these programs, the department is now able to help fund graduate students using revenue from the casino thanks to a recent expansion. In 2017, SCN Tribal Leaders also passed a resolution that gives any full-time students starting college a one-time payment of $1000. The money can be used to help fund anything that’s important during your four years of school, such as a new laptop. 

Lastly, the department wants tribal members to know that they also fund concurrent students. For those unfamiliar, concurrent students are those who are taking both high school and college classes simultaneously while they’re a junior or senior.

 “Concurrent students usually get their tuition free. We just have to pay for the books and college fees,” said Mrs. Brown. “We even had a student graduate from community college one Friday evening and high school the next.” It’s stories like these that Mrs. Brown brings to Tribal Leadership, allowing her to expand and improve the department’s services. 

So far in 2022 the Education Department has helped fund 107 higher education students using tribal funds, two students using BIA higher education funds, 17 high school seniors, and 2 adult education students taking cosmetology classes. 

Are you interested in attending college? Are you ready to learn a new trade? Check out the financial assistance programs at