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Parker was one of 2 Texans selected and will join 9 other students from California, Maine, Illinois, Washington and Oklahoma for a six week internship from June 20-August 2.
Students were chosen based on overall GPA’s, teacher recommendations and the writing of 3 essays.
The six-week Potawatomi Leadership Program brings a group of 8-10 promising young tribal members from around the United States to Shawnee, Oklahoma to learn about the government, culture and economic development of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
At its core, the Potawatomi Leadership Program strives to give interns an accurate perception of the Potawatomi Nation as a whole, and cultivate talent from within to ensure that younger generations are prepared for a role in the future governance of the tribe.
Participants spend their workday visiting tribal departments to hear directors and employees explain their roles. Between departmental sessions, participants tour tribal enterprises and attend board meetings. They also connect culturally by learning about their family heritage, participating in tribal ceremonies, attending language classes and learning traditional crafts. By the end of the program, participants leave with a comprehensive knowledge of the individual tribal components.
Besides attending scheduled daily sessions and events, PLP participants must write three papers. They must also complete a final project which they will present along with a final reflection to tribal leadership at the end of the summer. Parker will receive a weekly stipend as well as $1700.00 at the completion of the leadership program.
Along with this stipend, Parker will receive an $18,500 college scholarship from the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
Parker is a direct descendant of Emma Wesselhoft and Chief Abram Burnett of the Potawatomi Nation. He is the son of Duane and Cheri Lewis.