Student Stories: Mr. Indian Scottsdale Community College

Student Stories: Mr. Indian Scottsdale Community College
Posted on 07/12/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Student Stories: Mr. Indian Scottsdale Community CollegeName: Bryce Kel-Chi Tama McGertt
School: Scottsdale Community College
Degree: Associate of Arts and Associate of General Studies

Tell us about your educational background.
I graduated from Mountain View High School in 2014. I started at Scottsdale Community College in summer 2014 and completed my degree in spring 2019. I also started at Arizona State University in spring 2019.

Describe your most rewarding college experience(s).
I would have to say earning the title of Mr. Indian Scottsdale Community College 2017-2018. With this experience, I’ve learned to be outspoken, gained friendships among my fellow titleholders, expanded my networking and learned what degree I wanted to pursue at a major university. Also, I gained lifelong friends in the Sun Earth Alliance Indian Club and gained a sister, Katiri Herrera, who was Miss Indian SCC 2017-2018. We created a bond and it means the world that we continued to support one another after we had passed down our titles.

What are your future plans?
I plan to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in communications at Arizona State University and pursue a master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma or San Diego State University.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years?
I haven’t quite thought about what I would hope to accomplish in the next 10 years, but I’m excited for what’s to come. Right now, my goal is to achieve a master’s degree and work with Native youth!

Who or what influenced you to go to school?
My biggest influence would have to be my momma. She encouraged my sisters and me to pursue our higher education. I often look at my oldest sister as an inspiration, because she was able to obtain her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in 2013 and 2014. Then my little sister is my motivator too, because I want to be an example for her and show her that with hard work, you can reach your goals.

Did you face any obstacles while attending college/university? If so, how did you overcome them?
The biggest obstacle I had to face while attending SCC was when I realized that the original degree I enrolled in was no longer my interest. It hurt my self-esteem, but with guidance from the American Indian Program, I was able to figure out the path that I needed to take in order to reach my career goals.

What advice would you give to people considering higher education?
My advice is to go for it! This is the place where you find out what your interests are, and you can start by taking general studies courses and take an elective course that appeals to you. Taking smaller portions of classes can help you figure out what you want to do. Also, don’t be discouraged by your age; the important thing is that you are taking the initiative of obtaining your degree! It’s never too late to jump back in. Also, whether you attend community college or university, it is still higher education! Go for it! And be proud of yourself, because your ancestors are cheering you on and celebrating because you’re making a difference in Native Country.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my momma, my sisters and my stepdad for always encouraging me, supporting me and loving me throughout my education endeavors. They have always had my back, even when it got hard. I’d also like to thank (SRPMIC) Higher Education for the hard work they do for Community members! Also, another thank-you to the American Indian Program for working with me throughout the years. I’m truly blessed by all the love and support!

Who are your parents and grandparents?
My mother is Sonya McGertt and my maternal grandparents are the late Kenneth McGertt Sr. and the late Delores McGertt.

Bryce McGertt, by O'odham Action News

This article was written by Marissa Johnson and originally printed in the June 6, 2019, issue of O'odham Action News. It is republished here with permission.

The Salt River Higher Education Program is proud to help support students like Bryce McGertt reach their academic and professional dreams. For more information about financial aid, contact the Higher Education Program today at 480-362-2547 or email HigherEducation@saltriverschools.org.

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