Education Forward Arizona & Freeport-McMoRan Foundation Announce New Navajo Code Talkers Scholarships

Education Forward Arizona announced they are expanding their Native American Scholarship program in partnership with the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation. The $3 million grant will create 100 more scholarships to honor the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II, who used the Navajo language to create an unbreakable code for radio and telephone communication, which helped the U.S. win the war.

The announcement of the Navajo Code Talkers Scholarships took place at the National World War II Museum’s American Spirit Awards Gala in New Orleans. The event honored the last three living Code Talkers, of which two were in attendance.

“The Navajo Code Talkers represent an important and proud part of both Navajo and American history — and we are pleased to honor them with this named scholarship program that we hope will enable Navajo students to build a prosperous future for themselves, their families and their community through education,” said Tracy Bame, Freeport-McMoRan Foundation president.

“The Navajo Code Talkers Scholarship program is open to all Navajo students who have a desire to achieve a higher education, serve their community and inspire others through their own selfless acts to create a better future — as the Navajo Code Talkers did.”

Recipients will receive scholarships of up to $6,000 annually. Each scholar will also receive support from Education Forward Arizona Success Advisers, who will help students navigate their way through school. These support services include mentoring sessions, enrollment counseling, academic tracking, financial aid and more. Recipients are selected based on future goals, accomplishments and their desire to help the community.

“Supporting students is at the heart of our work and we know it’s the best lever for improving students’ lives and the quality of life for all Arizonans. We are very thankful to the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation for its investment in scholarships for Native American students in Arizona,” said Education Forward Arizona president and CEO Rich Nickel.

Education Forward Arizona recently selected the first 50 Navajo students as inaugural Navajo Code Talkers Scholars for the 2022-23 school year. The second cohort of 50 students will be selected in the summer of 2023 for the 2023-24 school year.

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