UTA student recognized for his commitment to Native excellence and leadership on and off campus

Monday, Jul 01, 2024

From left: Breckin Horton and Stephen-Silva-Brave
Photo courtesy of Native Forward from left:
Breckin Horton and Stephen-Silva-Brave


ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Native Forward Scholars Fund, the largest direct provider of scholarships to Native students, has announced the winners of the 2023 Students of the Year Award. One undergraduate and one graduate student each were honored for their success in higher education and their contributions to the communities around them:

  • Stephen Silva-Brave (Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud Indian Reservation), undergraduate degree in social work at the University of Texas at Arlington
  • Breckin Horton (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), fourth-year medical student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York

Angelique Albert, CEO of Native Forward Scholars Fund, said: “The Student of the Year Award commemorates the achievements of student leaders that are actively working to build a better world for all of us, and Stephen and Breckin are inspiring scholars who we at Native Forward are honored to recognize this year. I commend their dedication to cultural preservation and the public good throughout their higher education journeys, and am eager to continue supporting Native Forward scholars at the Summit and beyond.” 

Since 2018, the award has recognized personal mission and academic excellence. This year’s awardees seek to undo generations of systemic injustice perpetrated toward Native communities through their respective professional pursuits. 

The annual Empowering Scholars Summit is a free, three-day immersion opportunity for Native Forward awardees to grow their academic and professional expertise. The Summit seeks to be a space where Native students can elevate their professional skills, expand their social capital and networks, enhance their personal brand, and develop an executive presence.

“Native Forward has helped lift the financial burden so I can stay focused on the end goal,” said awardee Stephen Silva-Brave. “Being a Native Forward Scholar signifies more than financial support, though. It represents a belief in my vision for a community where Indigenous knowledge and social justice pave the way for healing and empowerment.”

“Native Forward has been an invaluable ally, empowering me to pursue my aspirations while simultaneously addressing the pressing needs of marginalized communities,” said awardee Breckin Horton. “Their support, spanning tuition assistance to exam fees and study materials, has been instrumental in alleviating the financial burdens associated with medical education, enabling me to focus wholeheartedly on my academic pursuits and community endeavors.” 

Native Forward Scholars Fund Announces Prestigious Student of the Year Award at 2024 Empowering Scholars Summit - https://www.nativeforward.org/2024/07/01/native-forward-scholars-fund-announces-prestigious-student-of-the-year-award-at-2024-empowering-scholars-summit/?sfnsn=mo