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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Chokka' Kilimpi' Supports Chickasaw Students At OU, OKC Metro
by Chickasaw Times

NORMAN, OK - Going back to school was a walk in the park for Oklahoma City metro area Chickasaw college students. The Norman-based Chokka' Kilimpi' program welcomed students back with stickball and an opportunity to socialize with other Chickasaw students with back to school bashes in two locations.

Katie Croy, a Chickasaw student from Oklahoma City, recently learned about the program at Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC.) The program recently expanded to following its success at the University of Oklahoma (OU.)

"I recently heard about the program after I received an email from Renee Wilson, the navigator at OCCC," Ms. Croy said. "I knew there was a program at OU and was excited to learn that is was now available at the community college."

Chokka' Kilimpi' staff mingled with OCCC students and their families at the Southern Oaks Community Center at 400 SE 66th St., Sunday, Aug. 21. Chokka' Kilimpi' Imatahli program coordinator Jason Eyachabbe led a game of social stickball.

The Chickasaw Nation Chokka' Kilimpi' Recruitment and Retention Program made going back to school better with two Back to School bashes in Norman and Oklahoma City. Navigator Jason Eyachabbe leads a game of social stickball at Reaves Park in Norman.

Social events and stickball are just one component of the Chokka' Kilimpi' Recruitment and Retention program. Navigators guide students through staying on track academically and maintaining funding with the end goal of graduation. Students also participate in other cultural activities including basket weaving and beaded earring classes.

A second event took place at Reaves Park located at 2501 Jenkins Avenue in Norman, Saturday, Aug. 27, for OU students. A disc jockey spun tunes while students and their families enjoyed a game of stickball and a cookout.

Meeting with navigators on a regular basis is a pivotal part of the program. Chickasaw Skyler Boyd, an OU freshman from Moore, met navigator Karen Fish on campus shortly after starting school. Mr. Boyd's participation in the program gives his dad, Stan Boyd, confidence that his son will be successful in college.


"The program will help give him whatever he needs to be successful in college, make the grades and stay in school," the elder Mr. Boyd said. "He's a good student but the program can help him stay on track when I can't be here."

Chris Jones, a Chickasaw and OU student from Moore, is working on his degree completion online.

"Karen Fish offered me the opportunity to be part of the program," he said. "It gives me a chance to be part of both the Chickasaw and OU communities that I wouldn't have had being an online student."

Navigator Jason Murray partnered with the Native American Student Association (NASA) to launch the Chokka Kilimpi' program at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) in Edmond. The first gathering of the group took place Sept. 21 at Plunkett Park on UCO campus.

The recruitment and retention navigators guide students through Chickasaw Nation resources that are available to them, offer career and vocational guidance and most of all, strive to provide a family away from home for the students who are part of their program.

Students who attend OU, OCCC and UCO can enroll in the recruitment and retention by visiting or calling (405) 767-8943. The Chokka' Kilimpi' office is location on Norman on 3200 Marshall Ave., Suite 220.

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