| TAHLEQUAH, OK
Cherokee Nation Foundation has added yet another scholarship opportunity
benefiting Cherokee students through a newly established endowment
created by Kerry and Deborah Bowers, of Henderson, Nevada.
The endowment was created
through CNFs Leave a Legacy matching program to
honor the late Senior Master Sgt. Texie C. Taylor and her service
with the United States Air Force.
Taylor enlisted in the
U.S. Air Force in 1967, when she joined the distinguished ranks
of the WAF (Women in the Air Force). She was assigned to the 631st
Combat Support Squadron at Don Muang, Royal Thailand Air Force Base
and was publicly heralded as the first WAF assigned to Thailand
during the Vietnam War.
Her long and distinguished
military career includes service with the Air Force Reserve and
the Federal Civil Service. In addition to her extensive military
training, she also completed two Associate of Arts degrees and two
Associate of Applied Science degrees.
I first met Texie
over 35 years ago when we were both working with the U.S. Air Force
at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, said Kerry Bowers. It
was there that she first revealed to me her affection for Americas
Native peoples, and, as I would learn later, she often shared the
blessings of her labors with various American Indian educational
organizations throughout the United States.
Taylor retired honorably
from the Air Force in 2000 after a combined 27 years of both active
duty and reserve service.
Included among her distinguished
military awards are the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force
Commendation Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Republic of Vietnam
Campaign Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Device,
the Good Conduct Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal and the National
Defense Service Medal.
Following her death in
September 2017, Taylor was buried with full military honors at the
Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.
About 10 years
ago, Texie confided in me her concerns for the disposition of her
estate upon her passing, especially since she had no descendants.
Recalling her great love for our nations Native people, I
recommended this memorial scholarship supporting Cherokee youth,
and she was absolutely thrilled, said Kerry Bowers. My
wife, Deb, and I are extremely honored to be a part of continuing
Texies legacy of endearing love and support to Native youth.
The endowment will support
one scholarship each year to a junior or senior undergraduate or
graduate student pursuing a degree in physics, chemistry, biology,
medicine, nursing, engineering or mathematics. The funds are payable
to the college or university of the students choice. Applicants
must be citizens of the Cherokee Nation.
This program was
created for this exact purpose, said Janice Randall, executive
director of Cherokee Nation Foundation. Not only are we furthering
our ability to help Cherokee youth reach their full potential, but
we are also helping family and friends preserve a legacy of someone
they love and respect. Its a way of tying the past to the
future, and we are continually thankful for the opportunity to be
The Cherokee Nation Foundation
launched the Leave a Legacy matching program in 2016,
allocating $100,000 to match gifts ranging from $5,000 to $25,000
on a first-come, first-served basis.
In September of 2017,
CNF reached its program goal and the board voted unanimously to
continue matching qualifying donations beyond the $100,000, as funds
Limited funding remains,
and those interested in establishing an endowment are encouraged
to contact Janice Randall at (918) 207-0950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cherokee Nation Foundation is a nonprofit organization serving
the Cherokee Nation, a federally recognized tribe of more than 300,000
citizens. Its mission is to provide educational opportunities to
Cherokee students so they can reach their full potential.