2022 Tribal Solar Scholarship awardees!


Hau-Mu (Hello/Greetings),
My name is Jennifer Fragua. I am an enrolled member of the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe in Fallon, Nevada and I am also Jemez from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico. I am currently a student in the Pre- Engineering program at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota. My goals are to graduate with my A.S. and then go on to obtain my bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering at North Dakota State University. My lifetime goal and interests are to help tribal nations become more self-sustainable though renewable energy, specifically through micro-grids. I believe many communities across Indian Country would benefit from micro-grids because the power system can operate independently or co-dependently off the main power grid. Which would be great for communities that are rural or don’t have reliable energy for daily living. My hobbies include beading, back-up singing for the world champion drum group The Boyz from St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota, reading or listening to audiobooks and disc golfing. Some special accomplishments I am most proud of are being the first in my immediate family to attend college, obtaining an internship at Los Alamos National Laboratory and winning Gathering of Nations Powwow, Denver March Powwow, and Fort Hall Powwow back-up singing contests as a solo female singer. I am proud I was raised in a single parent home in Northern Nevada and to be where I am today is more than I could have dreamed. I hope to inspire and become a positive role model to future indigenous engineers. Peesha-U! (Thank you)


My name is Carl Tayah Yazzie, I am Diné from Chinle Arizona. I am pursuing a double major in American Indian Studies and Law from the University of Arizona.
My educational goals include: To graduate with my degree with knowledge in American Indian Studies and Law to shape policies to preserve our Tribal Lands. I plan to continue to educate myself about renewable energy and how my tribal members who live in rural areas can obtain electricity.
My personal objectives include: To give back to my tribal communities by producing faster ways to use renewable energy. I plan to make it my initiative to preserve my tribal land through ways of renewable energy to reduce pollution.


Ya’at’eeh (Hello), my name is Shania Yazzie. I was born and raised on the Navajo Nation in Fort Defiance, AZ. I am Navajo and a senior at Northern Arizona University and will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science with a minor in Natural Resource Management by December 2022. I am a first-generation college student and the youngest (25 years old) within my immediate family. I work as a full-time employee at Walmart as an overnight associate. During my free time I like to help friends and family with hauling water, wood, hay, car maintenance and construction projects but I like relaxing on my days off. I’ve completed a Water Technician Training Program at University of Arizona and was accepted as an intern at Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Navajo Nation EPA, Abandoned Mine Lands, Water Management Branch, and Navajo Nation Surface Mining Program. After I graduate with my bachelor’s degree and Associate in Fine Arts, I plan to apply with the Navajo Nation Surface Coal Mining Program to help monitor and enforce mining regulations within the reclaimed and active coal mines on Navajo land. Eventually, I would like to transition over to renewable energy and help enforce regulations to expand solar power plants on the Navajo Nation because Tribal Lands are most affected by these plant closures and have been dependent on coal. These marginalized communities have been exploited by the extractive industry for the last century and it’s important to me that these communities receive the help of transitioning over to renewable energy with the help from Arizona Corporation Commission and other state governmental agencies.


My name is Nicole Shirley and I am a member of the Sicangu Lakota and Dine’ tribes.  I am originally from the northeast region of Arizona in a small town known as Kayenta, Az. My current major is Business Administration with a minor in Environmental Science where I am a full time student at Tohono O’odham Community College.  My educational goals have embodied a significant amount of support for me to expand my opportunities for my future career goals. Through the completion of my educational journey, I envision bringing renewable energy opportunities to my people that will provide for unfortunate families. Entrepreneurship is my top career goal in renewable energy as I remain hopeful in the coming years to be able to network with amazing companies and entrepreneurs alike throughout Indian Country.  In the summer of 2022, I had the honor of completing an 8 week Summer Associate program with Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund in which I had the opportunity to engage in the solar industry curriculum.  This gave me an expanded knowledge in the networking, logistics and characteristics of renewable energy and I am forever grateful for this opportunity. As I am a mother to 5 beautiful children, I thoroughly enjoy traveling to their games, powwows, beading, arts & crafts, reading and baking.


Brett Alberts is an enrolled member of the Spririt Lake Nation in North Dakota. He grew up in Bismarck, ND where he attended and graduated from school. Upon graduation he attended United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) for Computer Information Technology and Pre-Engineering, graduating from both programs May 2018. He then returned to UTTC to continue for his BS degree in Environmental Science and Research. He has a graduation date of May 2023. While working on his AS degrees, Brett was Student Government President (2017-18), a member of the First Nations Launch (2017-18), a participant of the [insert NASA acronym with travel to NASA Ames], and an active member of AISES (2016-18). He also interned at Sandia National Labs, which sparked his interest in solar/renewable energies.


Ashley Miles is an enrolled member of Santa Ana Nation in Bernalillo
New Mexico and part of the Hopi Nation in Moenkopi Arizona. Ashley is
studying Biology and Business management with a specialization in
software systems. She is also part of a certificate program called
Environmental Stewardship for Indigenous Lands (ESIL) where she is
learning to be a liaison for her people.
Hobbies include Cooking, sewing, beading, and painting.
Ashley has just finished an internship for ESIL in South Korea studying
the indigenous Korean people’s sustainability practices and comparing that to American Indian’s traditional knowledge. The ESIL internship was to identify environmental issues while connecting them to indigenous knowledge. She has also successfully collected a significant amount of donations for our unsheltered indigenous relative on behalf of the Native Student Alliance (NISA) as President of the University of Colorado Denver sector.