At the end of last semester, the University of Wyoming hired Wind River tribal member Reinette Tendore to recruit Native American students and help them feel more welcome on campus.
It’s a position that hasn’t been filled for several years. The Native student enrollment is currently at an all-time low and President Nichols has set a goal to bring that number up.
Tendore is a UW alum with a bachelor’s in elementary education and a master’s in social work. She first came to college as a teenage mother, and said she felt very isolated. She said she hopes to help other Native families make the transition to student life easier than it was for her.
While she’ll help students find resources on campus, she said another part of her job will be helping them find housing, work, and childcare in the Laramie community.
“Say they come in and, just like me as a single mom, and they need resources for their kids or they need schools or any resources within the town of Laramie or within the campus that can be useful for them as a teen mom. For their children too,” Tendore said, she will now be able to help people with such things.
Tendore said, her first week on the job, the Native American Center offered a Food-For-Finals event.
“They were all here, de-stressing, unwinding and maybe doing last minute printing, working on papers, editing each other’s papers. And so I was able to just come in at that time and see what was all going on and to sit down and actually visit with them and say, what do need from me?”
Tendore said her job will also involve recruiting more high school students from the Wind River Reservation to apply to college and bringing them to visit for a week for a summer institute.