Academic journal article Human Ecology

A Helping Hand: Udall Scholar Focuses on Service to His Tribe

Academic journal article Human Ecology

A Helping Hand: Udall Scholar Focuses on Service to His Tribe

Article excerpt

Marcos Moreno '17 spent the summer of 2014 working on a public health project in his home community, his tribe's reservation in southern Arizona. In what he calls an "emotional and very rewarding experience," Moreno worked with community members to examine the quality of life and the health care system on the Pascua Yaqui reservation. The project, he says, cemented his lifelong goal to return home after school and work in medicine.

"I promised people I would be there for a long time," says Moreno, a human development major who is pre-med with a concentration in neurobiology.

This spring, Moreno received the Udall Scholarship, awarded to those excelling in the fields of tribal policy, health care, or conservation; it is named for Congressman Morris Udall (1922-98), who helped the Pascua Yaqui tribe become federally recognized in 1978. As one of 60 scholars chosen from nearly 500 applicants nationwide, Moreno received $7,000 for his education.

A transfer student from St. John's University, Moreno said he found support in Cornell's American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS) program. At first, he planned to create a tutoring program for indigenous communities near campus before learning that such opportunities for students of the Onondaga Nation already exist. Since then, he has been tutoring students at Lafayette Junior and Senior High School each week.

"He's our crown jewel for the tutoring program, and the young guys there really look up to him in a lot of ways," says Ansley Jemison, the resident hall director for Akwe:kon, the North Campus program house that honors American Indian heritage.

Moreno says his interest in tutoring came from his primary schooling, where he attended classes near his tribe's reservation. …

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